Mario Monicelli did not go quietly into that good night.
Upon learning his condition was terminal, the Oscar-nominated director of I Compagni and Casanova 70 took a page right out of the movies and on Monday night leaped to his death from a fifth-story hospital window in Rome.
The 95-year-old filmmaker had been admitted a few days ago with pancreatic troubles, a spokeswoman for San Giovanni hospital told the Associated Press.
"We feel profoundly and humanly hurt by his death, which we know is a loss that weighs and will continue to weigh heavily on us," former Rome Mayor Walter Vetroni said in a statement.
Monicelli was considered a master of Italian comedy in the 1950s and '60s. His most famous films include My Dear Friends and Big Deal on Madonna Street, one of his many collaborations with Italian superstar Marcello Mastroianni. The late actor teamed with the Monicelli for the drama I Compagni, later nominated for top foreign film at the Academy Awards in 1965.
His next nomination came the following year for Casanova 70, also starring Mastroianni as a pleasure-loving army officer.
"Death doesn't frighten me, it bothers me," Monicelli, who was awarded the Career Golden Lion achievement award at the Venice Film Festival in 1991, told Vanity Fair in 2007.
"It bothers me for example that someone can be there tomorrow and but me I am no longer there. What bothers me is no longer being alive, not being dead."