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Dario Fo (1926 - 2016)

Getty Images / AFP / Gabriel Bouys

Dario Fo (1926 - 2016)

Italian playwright Dario Fo, whose biting political satire was recognized with 1997’s Nobel Prize in literature, died Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016. He was 90.

Also known for work as an actor, set designer, director, comedian, and left-wing activist, Fo penned his most famous work, the 1970 play “Accidental Death of an Anarchist,” a farce inspired by the true story of an Italian anarchist who was falsely accused of a bombing, and who fell or was thrown to his death from a police station window. The play has been performed in more than 40 countries.

Unafraid of controversy, Fo was banned from Italian state broadcasting for 14 years and saw his work “Mistero Buffo” condemned as “blasphemous” by the Vatican in 1977. His support for left-wing causes led to U.S. visas being denied in the 1980s.

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In later years, Fo aligned himself with the Italian anti-establishment party Five Star Movement (M5S). Beppe Grillo, the founder of M5S, remembered Fo on his blog after his death: "We remember him with his speech from the stage in Piazza Duomo 19 February 2013, when he said in his loud voice: ‘Go do it yourselves!’”

Matteo Salvini, leader of Italy’s right-wing Northern League, a party that Fo often railed against, dismissed his past disagreements with the playwright, saying “it’s all right, it’s water under the bridge. I’m not resentful.”

Fo had been hospitalized for respiratory issues in the weeks before his death. He is survived by a son, Jacopo Fo, who is also a playwright and actor.

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