Italian actress Virna Lisi has died, aged 78.

The beauty passed away on Thursday (18Dec14) after battling an unknown illness for a month. Her family revealed she died peacefully in her sleep.

Lisi starred in Hollywood as well as Italian movies, working opposite Jack Lemmon in How to Murder Your Wife, and she also appeared with Tony Curtis in Not with My Wife, You Don't! and with Frank Sinatra in Assault on a Queen.

The highlight of her career came when she was given both France's highest movie honour, The Cesar Award, and Italy's Silver Ribbon for Best Supporting Actress, as well as a best actress award at the Cannes film festival, for her performance in 1994 movie La Reine Margot.

In 2004, Lisi was given an honorary Italian Golden Globe for her cinematic achievements, and she also scooped seven David di Donatello awards in Italy in the 1980s and '90s.

In her later career, she concentrated mainly on Tv roles.