Italian Living Legends
Being Italian... and thinking about our glorious past makes me so proud. Italy has given so much to the film industry and it's impossible to forget our legends... That's why today I wanna celebrate with you some of the greatest Italian living legends...
Their names are...
Franco Zeffirelli - Born February 12, 1923
Gina Lollobrigida - Born July 4, 1927
Ennio Morricone - Born November 10, 1928
Valentino Garavani - Born May 11, 1932
Sophia Loren - Born September 20,1934
Claudia Cardinale - Born April 15, 1938
Dante Ferretti - Born February 26, 1943
Roberto Benigni - Born October 27, 1952
Born Gianfranco Corsi, Franco Zeffirelli is one of the greatest directors and producers alive. He started his brilliant career co-working with Luchino Visconti, Roberto Rossellini and Vittorio De Sica. Zeffirelli's greatest success was Romeo and Juliet in 1968. He has worked with Hollywood legends like Liz Taylor and Richard Burton (The Taming of the Shrew), but also Ernest Borgnine, Ian Holm, Lawrence Olivier, Christopher Plummer, Anthony Quinn and Peter Ustinov (Jesus of Nazareth - 1977).
Liz Taylor and Richard Burton (The Taming of the Shrew)
He directed Mel Gibson, Helena Bonham Carter and Glenn Close (Hamlet - 1990). He wrote, designed, and directed Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata in 1983, starring Placido Domingo as Alfredo Germont. He worked as Stage Director at the Metropolitan Opera (Don Giovanni), and at La Scala with Luciano Pavarotti (Don Carlo). He was a close friend of Maria Callas, they worked together on La Traviata and La Tosca and he dedicate to her his last movie Callas Forever (2002). He also directed Cher and Judi Dench in Tea with Mussolini (1999).
He received two Academy Awards nominations for Best Art Direction (La Traviata) and Best Director for Romeo and Juliet for which he won the National Board of Review Awards, Nastro D'Argento and the David di Donatello.
Born Luigia Lollobrigida, Gina has been one of the most famous actresses and sex symbol of the 50's. She has been directed by John Houston in 1953' Beat the Devil, starring Humphrey Bogart and Jennifer Jones, she worked with Anthony Quinn, Rock Hudson, Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and Sean Connery. She co-starred Tony Curtis and Burt Lancaster in Trapeze, 1956.
Gina Lollobrigida meeting Marilyn Monroe on the Seven Year Itch set
In 1961 she won the Golden Globe Henrietta Award (World Film Favorite – Female), and in her career she won three David di Donatello and one Nastro D'Argento.
Composer and conductor, for more than 50 years, Ennio Morricone is a real legend. He worked with his friend Sergio Leone, composing music for A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), and Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), and Once Upon a Time in America (1984). He composed the music for:
Roland Joffé's The Mission (1986)
Brian De Palma's The Untouchables (1987)
Giuseppe Tornatore's Cinema Paradiso (1988), Malèna (2000), Fateless (2005), Baaria (2009)
Ennio Morricone with Clint Eastwood, Honorary Oscar 2007
During his career Morricone collected a huge number of Awards, including: five Baftas and two Golden Globes, six David di Donatello and two Nastri D'Argento.
Valentino: Master of Couture at Somerset House, LondonValentino
Il Maestro... Born Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani, Valentino is a real icon of style, elegance and glamour. During his long career he designed dreaming dresses for some of the most beautiful and talented women and men on earth. Wherever you find a red carpet, Valentino is present. From Grace Kelly to Sophia Loren, from Naomi Campbell to Jackie Kennedy, or Eva Herzigova, Gwyneth Paltrow and Claudia Shiffer every woman that wanted something more than a dress, have to wear a Valentino.
Valentino and Anne Hathaway on the red carpet, Oscars 2011
Sophia Loren in La CiociaraSophia Loren
Born Sofia Villani Scicolone, Sophia Loren has been directed by legendary Director Vittorio De Sica in La Ciociara (Two Women), for that performance Sophia won the Academy Award for Best Actress (the first actress winning that award for a non-english speaking performance).
She co-starred Marlon Brando in Charlie Chaplin's last movie A Countess from Hong Kong. She has worked with Charlton Heston, Gregory Peck, Richard Harris, Martin Sheen, Ava Gardner, Clark Gable, Paul Newman, Peter Ustinov, Anthony Perkins, Cary Grant, George Cukor, Julia Roberts, Judi Dench, Marion Cotillard, Nicole Kidman, Robert Altman, Penelope Cruz, Daniel Day-Lewis, Walter Matthau, Jack Lemmon, Kate Hudson, Mira Sorvino, Totò, Marcello Mastroianni and Alberto Sordi.
She has presented the Academy Award when Roberto Benigni won for Life is beautiful, screaming and laughing "Robbberto!!!".
2 Oscars (1962 La Ciociara, 1991 Honorary Oscar)
1 BAFTA (1962 La Ciociara)
1 Honorary Golden Berlin Bear (1994)
1Palma D'oro Cannes (1962 La Ciociara)
9 David di Donatello (including a Golden Plate, a Special Plate and a Career David)
12 Golden Globes (including Henrietta Award, Career Golden Globe and Cecil B. De Mille Award)
... and several other awards during her career.I have to admit... Sophia you are my favourite...
The Famous Streaptease with Marcello Mastroianni in Ieri Oggi Domani directed by De Sica
During the 60's the beautiful Claudia Cardinale appeared in some of the most important italian movies, directed by Luchino Visconti, she co-starred with Alain Delon in Rocco e i suoi fratelli, and after three years again with Alain Delon and Burt Lancaster in Il Gattopardo (Luchino Visconti).
In the same year, 1963 she appeared in Federico Fellini's Otto e mezzo (8½ 1963) with Marcello Mastroianni, the movie won two Academy Awards, and is listed as one of the most remarkable movies ever.
From 1963 to 1968 she acted in other famous movies like:
The Pink Panther (1963),
Circus World (1964) with John Wayne and Rita Hayworth
Blindfold (1965) with Rock Hudson
The Professionals (1966) with Burt Lancaster and Jack Palance
Don't Make Waves (1967) with Tony Curtis and Sharon Tate
and in Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West (screenplay written by Sergio Leone, Bernardo Bertolucci and Dario Argento in 1968 and scored by Ennio Morricone) with Charles Bronson, Henry Fonda and Jason Robards.
Henry Fonda, Claudia Cardinale, Sergio Leone, Charles Bronson and Jason Robards
Once Upon A Time in the West (1968)
Il Gattopardo, Alain Delon and Claudia Cardinale
Dante Ferretti and his wife Francesca Lo Schiavo in 2012 Academy Awards
Arte Director, Costume and Production Designer, Dante Ferretti started his career in the 70's. During his long and glorious career he received ten Academy Awards Nominations, and won three Oscars for Best Direction working with his wife Francesca Lo Schiavo:
in 2004, The Aviator, directed by Martin Scorsese
in 2007, Sweeny Todd, directed by Tim Burton
in 2011, Hugo, directed by Martin Scorsese
Scorsese and Ferretti developed a huge professional and long lasting relationship, thanks to Dante's vision and imagination, Scorsese decided to include the Italian genius in several movies, starting from The Age of Innocence, Casino, Kundun, Bringing out the Dead, Gangs of New York and Shutter Island.
It's impossible to forget Dante's vision in Bram Stoker's Dracula or Interview with the Vampire, Meet Joe Black or The Name of the Rose. I am proud that Italy's talented figures have been recognized all around the world.
Bram Stoker's Dracula
Last but not Least...
A charismatic figure, a totally wilde genius, a little crazy boy in an adult body, the smartest fool you have ever met in your life (if you have been so lucky, I'm not). Roberto is melted with ice cream and iron, a combination of madness and control. He's sweet, but he can sting like a bee.
He started his career in the 70's. He worked with Massimo Troisi in Non ci resta che Piangere (1984), with Blake Edwards, Walter MAtthau, Federico Fellini and several other greatest actors.
With Sophia Loren... Robberto!!!
His greatest success is La Vita è Bella with his wife Nicoletta Braschi (Life is Beautiful 1997), for that movie he won three Academy Awards, Best Actor, Best Original Score (Piovani) and Best Foreign Film.
Stay Tuned... Uncleoscar