Franco Zeffirelli (born 12 February 1923) is an Italian director and producer of films and television. He is also a director and designer of operas and a former senator (1994-2001) for the Italian centre-right Forza Italia party.
He is principally known for his 1968 version of Romeo and Juliet, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award, although his 1967 version of The Taming of the Shrew (with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton) remains the best-known film adaptation of that play as well. His miniseries Jesus of Nazareth won acclaim and is still shown on Easter weekend in many countries.
He received an honorary knighthood from the British government in 2004 when he was created a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
He was awarded the Premio Colosseo in 2009 by the city of Rome.