In 1960, the word paparazzi was used to describe pesky freelance journalists. These kind of journalists were immortalized first in Federico Fellini's internationally popular film La Dolce Vita, Italian for the Sweet Life. A news photographer named Paparazzo (played by Walter Santesso in the 1960 film La Dolce Vita is the eponym of the word "paparazzi".

After the movie was first released in Italy, the word paparazzi became synonymous with intrusive photographers who chased movie stars and other public figures to capture their behavior on film.

The incorporation of the word paparazzi into the English language is now indefinitely tied to the film La Dolce Vita. When it was released in the U.S. in 1961, Time magazine introduced the word to the American public in an article titled: Paparazzi on the Prowl.

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