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Italian screenwriter Cecchi d'Amico dies at 96

Suso Cecchi d'Amico, the favourite screenwriter of director Luchino Visconti best known for her work on "Bicycle Thieves" and "The Leopard", died in Rome aged 96, Italy's ANSA news agency reported Saturday.

Born into an artistic family in 1914, the rebellious and strongly anti-fascist Cecchi d'Amico began her career as a screenwriter after World War II.

Her breakthrough came with 1949's "Bicycle Thieves", directed by Vittorio De Sica.

Cecchi d'Amico was prominent in Italian literary and artistic circles, and worked with great Italian directors including Michelangelo Antonioni, Francesco Rosi and Mario Monicelli.

But it was her work with Visconti that brought the greatest acclaim, starting with "Bellissima" in 1949, and including "Senso" (1954), "The Leopard" (1963) and "The Stranger" (1967).

Cecchi d'Amico was awarded the prestigious Lion D'Or at the 1994 Venice Film Festival.