Zeffirelli in hospital with heart trouble

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ROME -- Franco Zeffirelli was in good condition at a Rome hospital after being admitted with an irregular heartbeat, his son said Tuesday.

"He's doing well," said Luciano Zeffirelli.

The 83-year-old Italian filmmaker was undergoing medical tests at San Giovanni hospital after being admitted late Monday with heart fibrillation, a type of irregular heartbeat, his son said.

It wasn't clear when he would be released, but it would likely be over the next few days, he said.

"I decided a while ago that I would undergo a three-day revision of my old machine ... which still works well but has gone through various misfortunes, including the application of a defibrillator," Franco Zeffirelli was quoted as saying by the ANSA news agency.

Zeffirelli said he asked for an ambulance while he was taking part in the recording of a TV show, according to ANSA. "After a long chat and some stress, I said, 'Guys, call an ambulance and take me to the San Giovanni (hospital). I would have had to go there the next day in any case."

Zeffirelli received an Oscar nomination for 1968's "Romeo and Juliet." He won acclaim for the 1977 TV miniseries "Jesus of Nazareth," which is still shown on Easter weekend in many countries.

He recently directed a production of Verdi's "Aida" that opened the 2006-07 season at La Scala opera house in Milan.

Zeffirelli said he is working on the sets for the opera "La Traviata," which is being staged in Rome on April 20, ANSA reported.
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