While editing The Taming of the Shrew Zeffirelli's native Florence was devastated by floods. After World War II broke out he fought as a partisan before he met up with British soldiers of the 1st Scots Guards and became their interpreter. His first work as a director was buffo operas by Rossini.
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. He was the first Italian national to receive an honorary knighthood from the British government when he was created a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Franco Zeffirelli KBE (Italian: [ˈfraŋko dzeffiˈrɛlli]; born 12 February 1923) is an Italian director and producer of films and television.