Ernesto Calindri was born on February 5, 1909 in Certaldo, Tuscany, Italy. His father was actor Manlio Calindri and his sister was actress Dora Calindri [1911-2002]. Be took engineering classes at the university before dropping out and debuting on stage before he was twenty years of age in 1928-29 and almost by chance in the troupe Luigi Carini. He became an imposing figure on the scene very quickly with impeccable diction and a slender figure. In the 1937 season he was called by Renato Simoni to Venice for the role of Florindo in “Il bugiardo“, by Carlo Goldoni. This was the start of a brilliant career and performing leading roles with a varied repertoire, with major players like Sergio Tofano Luigi Cimara, Antonio Gandusio, Emma Gramatica, Laura Adani and Evi Maltagliati. In 1939 he married actress Roberta Mari [1918-1993], who often worked with him on stage. One of the children of the marriage was the actor Gabriele Calindri [1960- ].
Calindri’s film career began in 1935 with a role in the film “La sposa del re”, directed by Duilio Coletti. Most of his performances were in supporting roles in films in various the genre films. Perhaps his most notable interpretation of that period was in the film “I bambini ci guardano” (1943) directed by Vittorio De Sica. He appeared in only one Euro-western: “Two Sergeants of General Custer” (1965) as a Union Army Colonel.
After World War II, Calindri continued acting in theater, getting rave reviews thanks to its innate elegance and irony, which made him an ideal interpreter of small bourgeois comedies. With the advent of television the number of theatergoers in Italy fell sharply. Like many talented actors before him, Calindri participated in short advertising films that were aired in the popular Carosello program. Although he became quite popular on TV he continued his stage career.
In 1993, President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro granted him the title of Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. His advanced age did not seem to affect his energy and brilliance, Calindri indeed at eighty, surprised everyone in the theater playing in the musical “Gigi, in which he even sang and danced.
Calindri died in his sleep, suffering a stroke at the age of 90 on June 9, 1999 in Milan, Lombardy, Italy.
Today we remember Ernesto Calindri on what would have been his 105th birthday.