ROME (AP) — Luciano De Crescenzo, an Italian writer, actor and director, has died in Rome after being hospitalized for a few days. He was 90.

The publishing house Mondadori announced his death on Thursday.

Born in Naples on Aug. 20, 1928, De Crescenzo gained famed in 1977 with his best-seller “Così parlò Bellavista” (“Thus spoke Bellavista”), a collection of anecdotes about his beloved Naples.

Over the years, De Crescenzo became an internationally successful author. His books sold almost 20 million copies in Italy and abroad and were translated in 25 countries.

De Crescenzo was particularly successful in delivering philosophy to the general public with his books. In the 1980s, he debuted as actor in “Il pap’occhio,” (“In the Pope’s Eye”), a comedy directed by Renzo Arbore and starring Oscar-winning actor Roberto Benigni.