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Actor Helmut Berger dies

Actor Helmut Berger dies
Helmut Berger / © Cover Media

Austrian star Helmut Berger has died at the age of 78.

The actor passed away "peacefully but nevertheless unexpectedly" at his home in Salzburg on Thursday morning, according to a statement issued by his agent.

In a message obtained by The Associated Press, the rep added: "(Berger) enjoyed his motto La Dolce Vita to the full all his life."

No further details were given.

One of the biggest stars of European cinema in the '60s and '70s, Berger is perhaps best known for his performance in Luchino Visconti's 1969 film The Damned, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe. He also appeared as King Ludwig II of Bavaria in 1973's Ludwig and starred opposite Burt Lancaster in 1974's Conversation Piece.

In addition, Berger landed roles in Hollywood projects such as 1973's Ash Wednesday, which also featured Henry Fonda and Elizabeth Taylor, as well as 1975's The Romantic Englishwoman.

Openly bisexual, Berger had relationships with director Visconti and actress Marisa Berenson. He was also married to Italian writer and model Francesca Guidato from 1994 until they separated in 2010.

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