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Italy: Actress Franca Rame, wife of Nobel laureate Dario Fo dies at 84

last update: May 29, 13:24

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Milan, 29 May (AKI) - Italian actress, feminist and political activist Franca Rame at the age of 84 on Wednesday at her home in Milan. Rame, the wife of Italian Nobel literature laureate Dario Fo, had been ill for some time and had suffered two strokes since July last year.

Rame and actor-playwright Fo married in Milan in 1954 and had a long professional partnership that began when they co-founded La Comune threatre company soon afterwards.

She and Fo in 1971 signed an open letter published by left-leaning weekly L'Espresso calling for several government officials to be ousted over the death of Italian anarchist Giuseppe Pinelli, who fell - or was thrown - from the fourth floor window of a Milan police station in 1969.

The Pinelli case had earlier inspired Fo to write his internationally acclaimed 1970 play 'The Accidental Death of an Anarchist', which has been performed around the world.

The couple's involvement in the case rankled with the far-right and in March 1973, Rame was kidnapped, beaten, tortured and raped by a five-member neofascist gang. No one was ever jailed for the crime after a trial that timed out 25 years later under Italy's statute of limitations.

Rame recalled her 1973 ordeal in her influential 1981 monologue, 'The Rape', which she performed on stage and the Italian state broadcaster Rai.

In 2006 Rame was elected senator for the northern Piedmont region with the centre-left Italy of Values party but resigned the post in 2008 after a dispute with the party's leader, former graft-busting magistrate Antonio Di Pietro.

The Italian senate on Wednesday held a one-minute silence in tribute to Rame.


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