Photo of Bernardo Bertolucci Bernardo Bertolucci

Born March 16, 1940, in Parma, Italy, Italian maestro Bernardo Bertolucci is renowned for infusing his often languidly paced films with a stunning visual style. The director attended Rome University and first found fame as a poet (his father was a well-known verser). He later served as assistant director for another master of cinema, Pier Paolo Pasolini.

In 1962, Bertolucci made his directorial debut with the feature La Commare Secca (The Grim Reaper). Bertolucci's stunning 1972 portrayal of infidelity and murder, Last Tango in Paris (starring Marlon Brando in peak form), thrust him into the front rank of directors.

He followed that up with 1900 (1976) and, 11 years later, finally won two Oscars for Best Direction and Best Adapted Screenplay for The Last Emperor. Other key films include The Sheltering Sky (1990), Stealing Beauty (1996), Besieged (1998) and The Dreamers (2003).

Bernardo Bertolucci in The Last Emperor

The Last Emperor

1987 PG-13

Recounting the last years of China's Ching Dynasty through flashbacks and flash-forwards, this Oscar-winning epic charts the life of Pu Yi (John Lone) -- who ascended the throne at age 3 -- from coddled aristocrat to enlightened insurgent to ordinary citizen. Co-starring Peter O'Toole as Pu Yi's Scottish tutor and directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, the lavish drama collected nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

  • Bernardo Bertolucci in The Conformist The Conformist
  • Bernardo Bertolucci in Salò Salò
  • Bernardo Bertolucci in Last Tango in Paris Last Tango in Paris
  • Bernardo Bertolucci in The Sheltering Sky The Sheltering Sky
  • Bernardo Bertolucci in 1900 1900
  • Bernardo Bertolucci in Stealing Beauty Stealing Beauty
  • Bernardo Bertolucci in Great Directors Great Directors
  • Bernardo Bertolucci in Little Buddha Little Buddha
  • Bernardo Bertolucci in La Commare Secca La Commare Secca
  • Bernardo Bertolucci in Partner Partner