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Laura Betti, at 70; was an Italian actress

ROME -- Laura Betti, an Italian actress who worked with top film directors including Pier Paolo Pasolini, Federico Fellini, and Bernardo Bertolucci, died Saturday in Rome, of a heart attack after surgery, her family said yesterday. She was 70.

Born Laura Trombetti in the northern city of Bologna, she started her career as a jazz singer before her acting debut in Fellini's "La Dolce Vita" in 1960.

Miss Betti appeared in Bertolucci's "Last Tango in Paris" and "1900."

The actress was remembered particularly for her long friendship with Pasolini. She appeared in seven of his films, including "Teorema."

After Pasolini was slain on a beach near Rome in 1975, Miss Betti dedicated herself to preserving his memory and life's work, which included poetry as well as film.

In 2001, she made a well-received documentary about him.

A memorial service was held yesterday in Rome's Argentina Theater, and a funeral was scheduled for today in Bologna.

Miss Betti leaves a brother and a sister.

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