Zeffirelli, Franco

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Zeffirelli, Franco Gender: M
Gianfranco Corsi
born on 12 February 1923 at 12:00 (= 12:00 noon )
Place Florence, Italy, 43n46, 11e15
Timezone MET h1e (is standard time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Steinbrecher
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_aqucol.18.gif 22°43' s_mo.18.gif s_capcol.18.gif 13°40 Asc.s_gemcol.18.gif 12°18'

Franco Zeffirelli


Italian actor and set painter, stage designer, opera designer and director and film director. Demonstrating a highly developed visual sense, his films include "Romeo and Juliet," 1968 and "Brother Sun and Sister Moon" in 1973. The former film won Oscars for costume design and cinematography and was nominated for Best Picture and Director.

Zeffirelli was an illegitimate child rejected by family and neighbors. He was not immediately given a name but was known only as "N.N." or "nescio noma" which translates "I do not know the name." His mother eventually named him after her favorite aria in Mozart’s "Cosi fan tutte." The "zeffiretti" are "little breezes." However, the name was misspelled in the register as Zeffirelli.

At age eight, Zeffirelli saw his first opera in Florence, Wagner’s "Die Walkure." He describes this adventure as one likened to "Star Wars" for a child of his time. He began constructing collages from magazine cutouts trying to recreate the scenes he’d seen on stage. About the same age, Zeffirelli began acting in a church drama club and attended the movies almost every day.

Zeffirelli reached draft age in the midst of WW II. When 19, he was given five days to join the Fascist Army or be shot. Instead he went into the mountains and joined the Italian Resistance. The Partisan group he belonged to fought a guerrilla war against the German and helped refugees escape. He was captured by the Fascists but the ranking soldier in charge happened to be one of his many half-brothers who let Zeffirelli go. After the war he barely escaped a Communist firing squad.

His acting career took off when he was hired by an anti-Fascist producer of European and American plays in 1946. That same year he designed his first opera set. Zeffirelli soon moved to Rome to escape an abusive father who once threatened him with a revolver. He began working with scriptwriters in the Italian cinema and met many famous celebrities such as Tennessee Williams and Salvador Dali.

Zeffirelli was chosen to design a production of "The Italian Girl in Algiers" at the famous La Scala in 1952. When he came back to design for "L’Elisir d’amore," he openly argued with conductor Arturo Toscanini and became known as "the man who stood up to Toscanini." He later designed and directed productions at major opera houses in Europe and the US.

In 1952, he made his directing debut with "Camping." Zeffirelli’s fame grew with "The Taming of the Shrew," 1967 and he made a major career policy of filming the classics. In 1968 Zeffirelli was involved in an auto accident which left him laid up for many months. His devotion to his Catholic faith was revived and he kept a promise to God by making a film based on the life of St. Francis, "Brother Sun, Sister Moon," 1973, as soon as he was able. This was followed by a television series, "Jesus of Nazareth," 1977. He wrote over a dozen films and directed some 20.

Zeffirelli became involved with opera again in the 1980s. He also became interested in politics and ran unsuccessfully for parliament in Florence. In 1992 he directed "Dan Carlo" with Luciano Pavarotti and tickets sold for $1200 apiece. Zeffirelli productions are lush and very expensive, leaving audiences gasping at their beauty.

When Zeffirelli has any free time, he enjoys gardening, water sports and fast cars.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • business associate/partner relationship with Callas, Maria (born 3 December 1923)


  • Work : New Career 1946 (Designed his first opera set)
  • Work : New Career 1952 (Directing debut)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1968 ("Romeo and Juliet" released)
  • Health : Accident (Non-fatal) 1968 (Auto injury, recovered for months)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1973 ("Brother Sun and Sister Moon" released)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1992 (Directed "Dan Carlo")

Source Notes

B.R. in hand from Steinbrecher (Same from Bordoni)


  • Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Accident/Injury (Auto accident, extensive injuries)
  • Family : Childhood : Abuse - Physical/ Verbal (Dad threatened to kill him)
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Gain - Financial success in field
  • Lifestyle : Social Life : Hobbies, games (Gardening, fast cars)
  • Lifestyle : Social Life : Sports (Water sports)
  • Passions : Sexuality : Bi-Sexual (Serious committed relationship with film director Luchino Visconti)
  • Personal : Birth : Illegitimate birth
  • Personal : Misc. : Changed name (Not given name at birth)
  • Vocation : Art : Stage/ Set design (Set and Opera)
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Actor/ Actress
  • Vocation : Entertain/Business : Director (Opera and film)
  • Vocation : Politics : Activist/ political (Resistance movement)
  • Notable : Awards : Oscar (Design and Cinematography)