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Last Updated: Saturday, 31 July, 2004, 16:49 GMT 17:49 UK
Italy film star Laura Betti dies
Laura Betti
Betti, pictured in 1984, was a close friend of Pier Paolo Pasolini
Actress Laura Betti, who worked with such great Italian directors as Pier Paolo Pasolini and Federico Fellini, has died in Rome at the age of 70.

Betti was a close friend of Pasolini, who cast her as the Wife of Bath in his 1972 version of The Canterbury Tales.

She acted in Fellini's La Dolce Vita and appeared in Bernardo Bertolucci's films 1900 and Last Tango in Paris.

One of her last screen appearances was in the 2001 movie A Ma Soeur, directed by French filmmaker Catherine Breillat.

Betti, whose real surname was Trombetti, was born in the northern Italian city of Bologna in 1934 and started her career as a jazz singer.

She made her acting debut in La Dolce Vita in 1960 and went on to work with such celebrated filmmakers as Roberto Rossellini, horror director Mario Bava and the Taviani brothers.

But it was her association with Pasolini for which she is best remembered. The pair made seven films together, including the controversial 1975 drama Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom.

Shortly after completing the film Pasolini was killed in mysterious circumstances on a beach near Rome.

Betti made a documentary on the director's life in 2001 and donated his archive to Bologna's film library earlier this year.

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