Vittorio Gassman

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Vittorio Gassman Knight Grand Cross OMRI(September 1, 1922 – June 29, 2000), popularly known as Il Mattatore, was an Italian theatre and film actor and director. He is considered one of the greatest Italian actors and is commonly recalled as an extremely professional, versatile, magnetic interpreter, whose long career includes both important productions as well as dozens of divertissements (which made him greatly popular).



Early life

He was born in Genoa to a father from a wealthy family of German origins and a Pisan mother. While still very young he moved to Rome, where he attended the studies at the Accademia Nazionale d'Arte Drammatica.


Gassman's debut was in Milan, in 1942, with Alda Borelli in Niccodemi's Nemica (theatre), he then moved to Rome and the Teatro Eliseo joining Tino Carraro and Ernesto Calindri in a team that remained famous; with them he acted in a range of plays from bourgeois comedy to the sophisticated intellectual theatre. In 1946, he made his film debut in Preludio d'amore, the year after he appeared in five films. In 1948 he played in Riso amaro.

It was with Luchino Visconti's company that Gassman achieved his mature successes, together with Stoppa, Rina Morelli and Paola Borboni. He played Stanley Kowalski in Tennessee Williams' Un tram che si chiama desiderio (A Streetcar Named Desire), as well as Rosalinda[clarification needed] (by Shakespeare) and Oreste (by Vittorio Alfieri). He joined the Teatro Nazionale with Tommaso Salvini, Massimo Girotti, Arnoldo Foà, for a successful Peer Gynt (by Henrik Ibsen). With Luigi Squarzina in 1952 he co-founded and co-directed the Teatro d'Arte Italiano, producing the first complete version of Hamlet in Italy, then rare works such as Seneca's Thyestes and Aeschylus's The Persians.

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