AGI – Next Monday, March 22, will be the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of the best and most loved Italian actors, Nino Manfredi. Born in 1921, the actor was born in Castro dei Volsci where he is registered with the name of Saturnino. He is the son of peasants, but then his father earns the marshal’s stripes in the police and gets a transfer to Rome. As a boy he was enrolled as a semi-convictor in a religious college from which he escaped several times. Learn acting online classes.
He contracts tuberculosis and grows up in a sanatorium where he attends a performance by the theatrical company of Vittorio De Sica. Hence his passion for theater and acting. Healed, he enrolls in university, but spends his evenings acting in a parish theater. After 8 September he escapes to the mountains with his brother and when the war is over he returns to university and at the same time he enrolls in the drama academy where he studies with Orazio Costa.
He continues his studies until obtaining a degree in law then makes his debut in the theater with Tino Buazzelli in the Maltagliati-Gassman company, being entrusted above all with dramatic roles by contemporary authors. He then goes to the school of the Piccolo Teatro in Milan with Giorgio Strehler and finally, back to Rome, with Eduardo De Filippo.
His turning point came at the beginning of the 1950s: with his friends Paolo Ferrari and Gianni Bonagura he obtained a good success on the radio in light curtains, between variety and musical comedy, also taking advantage of his beautiful voice and knowledge of music as well as his ability to play. On the radio he meets Vittorio Metz, Dino Verde and Marcello Marchesi who sense his comic talent. He arrives at the prestigious Sistina Theater in the late 1950s with ‘Un trapezio per Lisistrata’ together with Delia Scala. However, the triumph came in ’62 with ‘Rugantino’ by Garinei & Giovannini.
In the meantime he also frequents the cinema where he acts in unpretentious comedies. The first real opportunity in the world of celluloid comes in 1955 with Antonio Pietrangeli and Mauro Bolognini. In the 1950s, television also discovered him (‘Canzonissima’ by Antonello Falqui in which he also dragged his former companion at the academy, Marcello Mastroianni for one evening) and his television popularity forced him into the cast of the film ‘Audace coup of the unknown suns ‘by Nanni Loy from 1959.
It is the beginning of a great career that lasts 55 years in which Manfredi has starred in over 100 films, some of which alongside illustrious names such as those of Dino Risi, Ettore Scola or Vittorio De Sica, bringing the portrait to the screen. of a smart Italian, but also cheerful, not courageous but not even cowardly. Memorable roles include the interpretation of Geppetto in the TV movie ‘Pinocchio’ by Luigi Comencini and that of him in Scola’s ‘We were so loved’. His career then changed in the 90s when he landed on TV with some very successful fiction, starting with ‘A commissioner in Rome’ and ending with ‘Linda and the Brigadier’ with Claudia Koll. His career continued until a few months after his death as in 2003 he was staged on TV in Luigi Magni’s ‘The night of Pasquino’.
From dubbing to theater, from radio to television dramas, Nino Manfredi was also honored at the Venice Film Festival just a few weeks before the cerebral hemorrhage that then killed him at 83 on June 4, 2004.