Italian film star NINO MANFREDI has died in Rome hospital following a stroke. He was 83.

The comedic actor, whose long TV and movie career spans seven decades, died today (04JUN04) after spending months in hospital after he suffered a stroke earlier this year (04).

Manfredi was born in Castro dei Volsci, 50 miles (80 kilometres) south of the Italian capital, and after studying law, made his big screen debut in DOMENICO GAMBINO's drama TORNA A NAPOLI in 1949.

He reached the height of his fame in the '60s and '70s with films such as PER GRAZIA RICEVUT (BETWEEN MIRACLES) and QUESTA VOLTA PARLIAMO DI UOMINI (LET'S TALK ABOUT MEN).

Rome Mayor WALTER VELTRONI paid tribute to the comedy legend, saying, "he was perhaps the last of the great actors of an unrepeatable period of our cinema."

Manfredi is survived by his wife ERMINIA FERRARI and his three children, ROBERTA, LUCA and GIOVANNA.

04/06/2004 19:11