Valentina Cortese, Italian Screen Diva, Dead at 96

By The Associated Press

ROME—Valentina Cortese, one of Italy’s post-war screen divas who was nominated for a best-supporting-actress Oscar, has died. She was 96.

Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala announced the death Wednesday, July 10, of the Milan-born actress in a tweet.

Cortese was a popular muse for leading Italian directors including Michelangelo Antonioni and Franco Zeffirelli.

She garnered an Oscar nomination in 1975 playing a fading diva in Francois Truffaut’s “Day for Night,” a movie about making movies.

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Italian film actress Valentina Cortese is shown in Italy in January, 1949. (AP)

She was also an acclaimed stage actress. Her performances at Milan’s Piccolo Theater included roles in works by Brecht, Goldoni and Pirandello, directed by Giorgio Strehler. The theater will hold a wake for her on Thursday and Friday.

The theater in a statement mourned the loss of a “splendid, elegant, iconic” actress.

Emmy-Winning Actor Rip Torn Has Died

Rip Torn, the free-spirited Texan who overcame his quirky name to become a distinguished actor in theater, television and movies and win an Emmy in his 60s for his comedy turn on TV’s “The Larry Sanders Show,” has died. He was 88.

Torn died Tuesday afternoon, July 9, at his home with his wife, Amy Wright, and daughters Katie Torn and Angelica Page by his side, according to his publicist Rick Miramontez. No cause of death was given.

Actor Rip Torn attends the world premiere of the Twentieth Century Fox film “Dodgeball” at the Mann Village Theater in Westwood, Calif., on June 14, 2004. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

His career on stage and screen spanned seven decades, ranging from an early career of dark, threatening roles to iconic comedic performances later in life.

After acclaimed performances in “Cross Creek,” ″Sweet Bird of Youth” and other dramas, Torn turned to comedy to capture his Emmy as the bombastic, ethically challenged television producer in “The Larry Sanders Show.” Created by and starring Garry Shandling, HBO’s spoof of TV talk shows aired from 1992 to 1998 and is widely credited with inspiring such satirical programs as “30 Rock” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

Born Elmore Rual Torn, the actor adopted the name Rip in his boyhood, following the tradition of his father and uncle. It was the subject of endless ridicule during his early days as a stage actor in New York, and fellow drama students urged him to change it.

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Actor Rip Torn plays Richard Nixon during the filming of “Blind Ambition,” an eight-hour film for television on Dec. 8, 1978. (Doug Pizac/File Photo/AP)

Film credits include “Critics Choice” and “The Cincinnati Kid.” In Albert Brooks’ “Defending Your Life,” he was featured as a gregarious attorney in the afterlife.

Brooks tweeted Tuesday night, “R.I.P Rip Torn. He was so great in Defending Your Life. I’ll miss you Rip, you were a true original.”

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