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ROME, Italy – Pioneering Italian filmmaker Lina Wertmüller, the first woman to be nominated for an Academy Award for directing, has died at 93.

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Wertmüller died overnight in Rome surrounded by her family, according to Italian press reports.

Lina Wertmüller worked first in a puppet show before moving on to become an actress, director and playwright for the stage, Variety reported.

Wertmüller both wrote and directed her films, which were often political and controversial, The Associated Press reported. “I refuse to make films without social themes,” the AP quoted her as saying.

The prolific director was nominated for an Oscar in 1975 for her film “Seven Beauties.” She was the first woman ever to receive a nomination for the honor, People Magazine reported. She later received an honorary Oscar at the 2019 Governors Awards, the Los Angeles Times reported, making her the third woman to receive an Academy Award for her work as a director.

In 2016, Wertmüller was the subject of the documentary “Behind the White Glasses,” The New York Times reported.