Singer, actress, and presenter, Raffaella Carrà has passed away at the age of 78 following an illness, longterm partner Sergio Japino announced.

The Italian icon made her TV debut on Tempo di Danza in 1961, and appeared in dozens of films in the following years including Von Ryan’s Express with Frank Sinatra in 1965.

Carrà, who was widely known as a gay icon, later became the host of several Italian shows including Ma Che Sera, Fantastico 3, Pronto…Raffaella?, Domenica In, and Weekend con Raffaella Carrà.

Photo by Gianni Ferrari/Cover/Getty Images

Raffaella Carra passes away at 78

Raffaella Carrà has died at the age of 78. News of her death was announced by Carrà’s longterm partner, Sergio Japino, who said:

“Raffaella has left us. She has gone to a better world, where her humanity, her unmistakable laugh and her extraordinary talent will shine forever.”

Japino explained that Carrà had been suffering from an illness for a while, and highlighted her “unstoppable strength” and “overflowing energy.”

Back in 1984 at the height of her fame, weekly L’Espresso described Carrà as “more applauded than Pertini, more expensive than Michel Platini, more miraculous than Padre Pio.

Twitter pays tribute to Raffaella Carra

Gloria Estefan: Sangre Yoruba | Official Preview | Great Performances | PBS

Gloria Estefan: Sangre Yoruba | Official Preview | Great Performances | PBS

In other news, Why did Meghan King and Jim Edmonds split, TV star weds Cuffe Owens