UPDATED: Veteran Italian actress Monica Vitti dead aged 90

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Italian media is reporting the death of veteran Italian actress Monica Vitti. She was 90 years old.

The news was first announced by Italian politician and former Rome mayor Walter Veltroni on Twitter.

Paying tribute, Culture Minister Dario Franceschini described her as the “queen of Italian cinema” and “a great artist and a great Italian”.

Vitti was best known for her work with director Michelangelo Antonioni on classics like 1960’s L’Avventura, which earned her a Bafta nomination.

Her English-language roles included the title part in 1966’s Modesty Blaise.

Following her death, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said Vitti had “made Italian cinema shine around the world”.

He added: “An actress of great wit and extraordinary talent, she conquered generations of Italians with her spirit, her bravura, her beauty.”

Born Maria Luisa Ceciarelli on the  3 November 1931, Vitti wasbest known for her starring roles in films directed by Michelangelo Antonioni during the early-to-mid 1960s.

 After working with Antonioni, Vitti changed focus and began making comedies, working with director Mario Monicelli on many films. She has appeared with Marcello Mastroianni, Alain Delon, Richard Harris, Terence Stamp, Michael Caine, and Dirk Bogarde.

Vitti won five David di Donatello Awards for Best Actress, seven Italian Golden Globes for Best Actress, the Career Golden Globe, and the Venice Film Festival Career Golden Lion Award.

The actress, who had been suffering from a degenerative disease, had withdrawn from public life in recent years.

Photo – (FILE) – Italian actress Monica Vitti poses with the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, 08 September 1995. EPA-EFE/str

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