Bernardo Bertolucci (born March 16, 1940) is an Italian film director and screenwriter, whose films include The Conformist, Last Tango in Paris, The Last Emperor and The Dreamers.
Bertolucci was born in the Italian city of Parma, in the region of Emilia Romagna. He is the elder son of Ninetta, a teacher, and Attilio Bertolucci, who was a poet, a reputed art historian, anthologist and film critic. Having been raised in such an environment, Bertolucci began writing at the age of fifteen, and soon after received several prestigious literary prizes including the Premio Viareggio for his first book. His father's background helped his career: the elder Bertolucci had helped the Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini publish his first novel, and Pasolini reciprocated by hiring Bertolucci as first assistant in Rome on Accattone (1961). But Bertolucci's potential had already been noticed by others, such as Sergio Leone, who asked him to write the storyline for Once Upon a Time in the West. Leone later rejected it as too cerebral for an American audience.
Bertolucci has one brother, the theatre director and playwright Giuseppe (b. February 27, 1947). His cousin was the film producer Giovanni Bertolucci (June 24, 1940 - Feb, 17, 2005), with whom he worked on a number of films.