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Italian actress Franca Rame dies at 84

MILAN -- Franca Rame, an Italian actress and wife of Nobel laureate Dario Fo, died Wednesday at the age of 84 after a long illness.

Rame's death was marked with a moment of silence in Parliament, where she served as a senator in 2006-08, and President Giorgio Napolitano praised her "passionate civic engagement."

Born into a theatrical family, Rame was a stage and film actress who married the actor and playwright Fo in 1954. The couple founded theater companies that thrived on political satire, winning acclaim from progressive audiences and critics, but also upsetting the powerful.

In the 1970s she began writing plays herself, including "The Rape," about her experience being brutalized in 1973.

In 1980, Rame and Fo were refused entry to the United States because of their support for left-wing activities in Italy. In 1984, the U.S. government relented and allowed them to see the New York production of "Accidental Death of an Anarchist," Fo's most internationally known work.

Fo dedicated his 1997 Nobel Prize for Literature to Rame.

-- AP

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