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Lina Wertmüller

Lina Wertmüller (born 14 August 1926) is an Italian film writer and director of aristocratic Swiss descent. In 1976, she became the first woman ever to be nominated for an Academy Award for Directing with the film Seven Beauties. With the full name Arcangela Felice Assunta Wertmüller von Elgg Español von Braueich, Wertmüller was born in Rome to a devoutly Roman Catholic Swiss family. She was rebellious as a child and was expelled from more than a dozen Catholic schools. Although her father wanted her to become a lawyer she enrolled in theatre school. After graduating from school, her first job was touring Europe in a puppet show. For the next ten years she worked as an actress, director and playwright in legitimate theatre. During this period she met Giancarlo Giannini, who would later star in many of her films. Through her acquaintance with Marcello Mastroianni, she met Federico Fellini and in 1962 Fellini offered her the position of assistant director on 8½.

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