While Wertmüller may have paved the way, there have been only four other women who have since received best director noms: Jane Campion (The Piano), Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation), Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) and Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird), with only Bigelow taking home the Oscar in 2010.
Wertmüller, who began her career as an assistant director to Federico Fellini on the 1963 film 8½, became renowned for her unique cinematic vision in political and often whimsical movies.
Her noted films include The Seduction of Mimi (1972), Love and Anarchy (1973) and Swept Away (1974), which was later remade by Guy Ritchie.
Wertmüller will finally take home an Oscar at the Governors Awards on Sunday, alongside other honorary award winners David Lynch, Wes Studi and Geena Davis.
Lina directed one Euro-western using the alias Nathan Wich; The Belle Starr Story (1968) starring Elsa Martinelli, George Eastman and Robert Woods.