Italian news agency ANSA says playwright Dario Fo, whose energetic mocking of Italian political life, social mores and religion won him the Nobel Prize for Literature, has died. He was 90.

Citing hospital officials, ANSA said Fo died Thursday morning in Milan's Sacco hospital. Premier Matteo Renzi said with Fo's death, Italy had lost one of the leading protagonists of Italian culture and civil life.

The author of "Accidental Death of an Anarchist" and more than 70 other plays saw himself as playing the role of the jester, combining raunchy humor and scathing satire. He was admired and reviled in equal measure.

His political activities saw him banned from the United States and censored on Italian television, and his flamboyant artistic antics resulted in repeated arrests.