Franco Zeffirelli KBE (born Gianfranco Corsi on February 12, 1923), is an Italian film director. He is also an opera director, designer and producer of opera, theatre, film and television, and a politician.
Internationally, he is known for having directed the 1968 film version of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, for which he was nominated to receive an Academy Award. His 1977 television mini-series Jesus of Nazareth also won acclaim and is still shown on Easter weekend in many countries.
Zeffirelli was born and grew up in Florence, under the auspices of the British expatriate community and was particularly involved with the so-called Scorpioni, who inspired his semi-autobiographical 1999 film Tea With Mussolini.