Revered Italian celebrity photographer Willy Rizzo has died in Paris, France.

He passed away in hospital on Monday (25Feb13), aged 84.

Rizzo became a friend to the stars after covering the Nuremberg trials after World War Ii. He was an official snapper at the inaugural Cannes Film Festival in 1946 and went on to shoot the likes of Brigitte Bardot and Marilyn Monroe for magazines such as Paris Match and Life.

A close friend of Belgian cartoonist Herge, the photographer was the inspiration behind paparazzo character Walter Rizotto in Tintin's The Castafiore Emerald.

Married to Italian actress Elsa Martinelli, Rizzo was also a celebrated furniture maker.