Gianni Rizzo was born on April 5, 1924 in Brandisi, Puglia, Italy. Gianni graduated from the masterful institute in his hometown. He then moved to Rome to pursue a career as a stage actor. He made his big-screen debut as a film actor in 1944’s “Macario contro Zagomar”, directed by Giorgio Ferroni, he continued with small parts, then character roles with greater commitment.Rizzo was often used in character roles in films (including the peplum, and Spaghetti westerns), the Italian comedy, B-movie genre, politicals, etc. . , He was active from 1944, until 1986, with his last performance as a papal envoy in “The name of the Rose”, by Jean-Jacques Annaud.
He often portrayed cynical if not wicked characters in such films as “La città dolente”, directed by Mario Bonnard, where he played the role of a vindictive and unscrupulous spy. These features remained for most of his career, and only at the end of his career he managed to break free from the uncomfortable cliche, by acting in so-called art films. He worked with such directors as Roberto Rossellini, Alberto Bevilacqua, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Pietro Germi.
It seems like more, but Rizzo appeared in only six Euro-westerns from “Face to Face” (1967) to “Return of Sabata”. He’s probably best remembered for his appearances in all three Sabata films directed by Gianfranco Parolini.
Gianni died in Rome, Italy on February 4, 1992. He was 68 years-old.
Today we remember Gianni Rizzo on what would have been his 90th birthday