Bernardo Bertolucci death: Italian director behind Last Tango in Paris dies aged 77

Natasha Sporn
In memory: Bernardo Bertolucci has died aged 77: Valerie Macon/Getty Images

Italian filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci, who directed multiple hit films, has died aged 77.

Bertolucci, best known as the man behind Last Tango in Paris and The Last Emperor, died in Rome on Monday morning.

His film career also saw him at the helm of The Conformist, The Sheltering Sky and The Dreamers. His final feature, Me and You, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012.

A spokesperson confirmed to the BBC that he died after a short battle with cancer.

Last Tango in Paris: Director Bernardo Bertolucci with Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider (AP)

The award-winning director had been using a wheelchair for over a decade after unsuccessful herniated disc surgery in 2003 left him unable to walk.

Born in 1941, the Parma-native directed his first film, La Commare Secca, at the age of 21 but it was Last Tango in Paris starring Marlon Brando that catapulted him into the limelight.

His later work, The Last Emperor, won nine Oscars in 1988 including the coveted Best Picture accolade.

The film, starring John Lone and Peter O’Toole, was a biopic of Chinese emperor Pu Yi.

Bertolucci was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2008 and earned an honorary Palme d’Or at Cannes three years later.