One of Italy's most celebrated film stars, Paolo Stoppa left behind an acting legacy that spans roughly six decades and hundreds of stage and screen appearances. A native of Rome, Stoppa began performing in the 1930s as part of the local company Teatro Eliseo, alongside future wife and film star Rina Morelli. Drawing on a repertoire of classical and contemporary works from Chekhov to Shakespeare, the company earned widespread critical acclaim throughout Italy. But it was in the postwar period, when the actor teamed up with neorealist directors Luchino Visconti, Vittorio de Sica, and Roberto Rossellini, that his career as a film star took flight. Lending compassionate performances to such classics of the genre as 1951's "Miracle in Milan," 1960's "Rocco and his Brothers," and Visconti's 1963 international breakthrough, "The Leopard," Stoppa, while by no means convincing as a leading man, emerged as a durable character player in Italian cinema, starring in a seemingly endless variety of films--from slapstick comedies to spaghetti westerns to melodramas--until his death in 1988.