This blog is dedicated to the preservation, investigation and all things related to European films and personnel involved with the Western genre. Tom B.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
RIP Aldo Berti
Italian actor Aldo Berti died shortly after midnight in Florence, Italy from brain cancer on December 26,2010 . He was 74. Aldo was born on February 29, 1936 in Florence. Aldo appeared in over 40 films from 1956's “Time of Vacation” with Vittorio De Sica until 1972's “Return of the Holy Ghost”. Half of his films were Euro-westerns. Among them were supporting roles in “A Stranger in Sacaramento” and “Why Go On Killing?” both 1965, “The Dirty Outlaws” and “A Stranger in Town” both 1967, “Once Upon a Time in the West” (1968), “El Puro” (1969), “The Ballad of Death Valley” (1970), “Have a Nice Funeral” and “Mallory Must Not Die” both in 1971 and two Spirito Santo films in 1972. Aldo lived a nomadic life traveling all over the world after giving up his film career. Aldo was living life with no cares and a mind like a sponge soaking up everything he could see and hear. He was friends with William Berger, had a romantic relationship with actress Barbara Steele after which he almost committed suicide. Berti was friends with Sarah Churchill, became a poet and wrote a book of poems entitled ‘Canto Finale’. On February 14, 1984 while traveling up the Nile with a load of patients for Juba and the first Doctors Without Borders they were attacked by armed men with machine guns, grenades and burned. Hundreds died and Aldo’s spirit died with them. From that point on he lived a personal life of shame for not dying with them. For many years he lived a simple life in Morocco. He was diagnosed with brain cancer in October of this year and returned to Florence to face death. One of the most recognized Italian character actors has left us. We should best remember Aldo by one of his famous sayings, "To be born is the privilege of all, having lived a privileged few." Rest in peace amigo.
Born in Toledo, Ohio in 1946 I have a BA degree in American History from Cal St. Northridge. I've been researching the American West and western films since the early 1980s and visiting filming sites in Spain and the U.S.A. Elected a member of the Spaghetti Western Hall of Fame 2010.