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02 February 2022

Monica Vitti dead: ‘Queen of Italian cinema’ loses battle to Alzheimers aged 90

02 February 2022

Italian screen icon Monica Vitti has died aged 90, the country’s culture ministry has confirmed.

“Goodbye Monica Vitti, goodbye queen of Italian cinema. Today is a truly sad day, we have lost a great artist and a great Italian,” the culture minister, Dario Franceschini, said in a statement.

In his own tribute, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi hailed Vitti as an actress of “great irony and extraordinary talent, who won over generations of Italians with her spirit, bravura and beauty.”

The actress, who shot to fame in the 1960s, had been battling Alzheimers disease for two decades.

She was best known for her roles in films by director Michelangelo Antonioni, including L’Avventura (1960), Red Desert (1964), L’Eclisse (1962) and La Notte (1961).

She is survived by partner Roberto Russo, with whom she had been with since 1973. They married in 2000.

Russo revealed in 2018 that he was looking after Vitti at their home in Rome with the assistance of a caregiver.

Vitti had withdrawn from public life in recent years as she battled with the degenerative disease.

Her last public appearance was in 2002 while attending the French premiere of the stage musical, Notre-Dame de Paris.

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