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US actor Anthony Franciosa dies

Franciosa died on Thursday at UCLA Medical Centre after suffering a massive stroke, publicist Dick Guttman said on Friday.

india Updated: Jan 21, 2006 15:48 IST

Anthony Franciosa, whose strong portrayals of moody, troubled characters made him a Hollywood star in the 1950s and 1960s but whose combative behaviour on movie sets hampered his career, has died, his publicist said. He was 77.

Franciosa died on Thursday at UCLA Medical Centre after suffering a massive stroke, publicist Dick Guttman said on Friday.

The actor's wife, Rita, and children were present. The Rev Jesse Jackson, a long time friend, visited the family later, Guttman said.

Franciosa was part of a new wave in the mid-20th century who revolutionised film acting with their introspective, intensely realistic approach to their roles.

From his first important film role as the brother of a drug addict in 'A Hatful of Rain' in 1957, Franciosa became known for his portrayals of complicated young men. The role, which he had created in the New York stage play, won him an Academy Award nomination as supporting actor.

Franciosa's career continued in high gear with such films as 'The Long Hot Summer' and 'The Pleasure Seekers.'

But the actor's behaviour on movie productions became the subject of Hollywood gossip. The stories alleged fiery disputes with directors, sulks in his dressing room, and outbursts with other actors.

Franciosa's assertive attitude extended beyond movie stages; in 1957 he served 10 days in the Los Angeles County jail for slugging a press photographer. His reputation contributed to the downturn in Hollywood offers, and his career veered to European-made films and television.

First Published: Jan 21, 2006 05:00 IST