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Vittorio Gassman

Vittorio Gassman

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Also Known As: Died: June 29, 2000
Born: September 1, 1922 Cause of Death: heart attack
Birth Place: Italy Profession: actor, screenwriter, director

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Handsome, occasionally grandiloquent, Vittorio Gassman has been a popular and successful stage and screen actor in his native Italy for well over fifty years. American cineastes will recall his performances in such classics as "Bitter Rice" (1948) and "Big Deal on Madonna Street" (1956). Less discerning filmgoers may remember him as Anatole in King Vidor's 1956 version of "War and Peace" or the crime lord King Benny in Barry Levinson's "Sleepers" (1996).

Handsome, occasionally grandiloquent, Vittorio Gassman has been a popular and successful stage and screen actor in his native Italy for well over fifty years. American cineastes will recall his performances in such classics as "Bitter Rice" (1948) and "Big Deal on Madonna Street" (1956). Less discerning filmgoers may remember him as Anatole in King Vidor's 1956 version of "War and Peace" or the crime lord King Benny in Barry Levinson's "Sleepers" (1996).

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Affabulazione (1985) Director
2.
  Di Padre in Figlio (1983) Director
4.
  Kean (1956) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Dinner, The (1999) Maestro Pezzulo
3.
 Sleepers (1996) King Benny
4.
 Once a Year, Every Year (1995) Giuseppe
5.
 Largo Invierno, El (1992) Claudio
7.
 Palermo Connection, The (1991) Prince
8.
9.
 Sheherazade (1990) Sinbad
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Born in Genoa, Italy
1927:
Moved with family to Rome
1943:
Made stage debut as member of Elsa Mellini Company
1946:
Film acting debut in "Preludio d'amore"
1949:
Breakthrough screen role opposite Silvana Mangano in "Riso amaro/Bitter Rice"
1951:
Reteamed with Mangano in "Anna"
1952:
Signed contract with MGM
1954:
Starred opposite then-wife Shelley Winters in "Mambo"
1956:
Co-starred in "War and Peace", directed by King Vidor
1957:
Wrote, co-directed (with Francesco Rosi) and starred in the biopic "Kean", about British actor Edmund Kean
1958:
Had featured role in "Big Deal on Madonna Street", directed by Mario Monicelli
1958:
Founded theater company Teatro Popolare Italiano
1959:
Enjoyed a stage success in "Irma La Douce"
1959:
Reteamed with Monicelli for "The Great War"; starred opposite Albert Sordi
1959:
First of 16 films with writer-director Dino Risi, "Il Mattatore"; originally made for Italian TV
1960:
Directed and starred in a stage production of "Oresteia" in Syracuse, Greece
1961:
Initial collaboration with Vittoria De Sica, "The Last Judgement"
1963:
Played a short season at London's Aldwych Theatre with his Teatro Popolare Italiano
1964:
Essayed multiple roles in Ettore Scola's "Parliamo di donne/Let's Talk About Women"
1967:
Appeared opposite Shirley MacLaine in one segment of the anthology film "Woman Times Seven", directed by De Sica
1969:
With Adolfo Celi, co-wrote, co-directed and co-starred in "L'Alibi"
1972:
First feature as solo director "Senza famiglia nullatenenti cercano affetto/Without Family"
1975:
Won critical praise for his portrayal of a blind army captain in the black comedy "Profumo di donna/Scent of a Woman", directed by Risi
1978:
Returned to US features as co-star of Robert Altman's "A Wedding"
1979:
Reteamed with Altman for "Quintet"
1981:
Appeared opposite Burt Reynolds in "Sharkey's Machine"
1983:
With son Allesandro, co-wrote and co-starred in "Di Padre in figlio/From Father to Son"; also directed
1984:
Toured USA in one-man stage show "Viva Vittorio!"
1985:
Last feature (to date) as director "Affabulazione"
1987:
Reteamed with Scola for "La Famiglia/The Family"; played dual role
1990:
Cast as Sinbad in Philippe DeBroca's "Sheherazade/Les 1,001 nuits/A Thousand and One Nights"
1991:
Last screen collaboration with Risi (to date), "Tolgo il disturbo/I'll Be Going Now"
1996:
Delivered a fine turn as an aging crime lord in Barry Levinson's "Sleepers"
1997:
Recorded Italian volume of poetry written by Pope John Paul II; released c, December
1999:
Reteamed with Scola for "Tavole apparechchiate e charienti/The Dinner"
1999:
Appeared in new version of "Il Mattatore" for Italian TV
1999:
Had featured role in "La Bomba/Once Upon a Time in Little Italy"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Law University of Rome: -
Accademia Nazionale di Arti Drammatica: -

Notes

"Vittorio was Italian theater--an extraordinary artist who seemed immortal." --frequent co-star Claudia Cardinale quoted in Daily Variety, June 30, 2000.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Nora Ricci. Actor. Born in 1924; married in the mid-1940s; divorced in the early 1950s; mother of Paola.
wife:
Shelley Winters. Actor. Second wife; married in 1952; divorced in 1955; mother of Vittoria.
wife:
Juliet Mayniel. Actor. Mother of Allesandro.
wife:
Diletta D'Andrea. Survived him.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

daughter:
Paola Gassman. Actor. Mother, Nora Ricci.
daughter:
Vittoria Gassman. Born c. 1953; mother, Shelley Winters.
son:
Alessandro Gassman. Actor, screenwriter. Born in February 1965; mother, Juliet Mayniel.
son:
Jacopo Gassman. Mother, Diletta D'Andrea.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Luca Dei Numeri"
"A Great Future Behind Me"

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