Luigi Pistilli was born on July 19, 1929 in Grosseto, Tuscany, Italy. Pistilli studied acting at Milan's Piccolo Teatro, graduating in 1955. He never completely severed his ties with the theater and often returned to appear in plays directed by Giorgio Strehler. Pistilli made his feature film debut with an uncredited role in Dark Passage (1947).
He appeared in seven Euro-westerns such as Groggy in “For a Few Dollars More” (1965), “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (1966) (as the priest brother of Eli Wallach's character Tuco). He played the murderous Alberto in the Mario Bava giallo “Twitch of the Death Nerve” in 1971. Luigi had a regular role on the popular Italian television Mafia drama “The Octopus”. He also appeared as Walcott in "Death Rides a Horse".
In 1972 he appeared in the giallo film “Your Vice Is a Locked Room” and “Only I Have the Key” playing an alcoholic.
Pistilli committed suicide in his Milan home just before he was to appear in the final performance of Terence Rattigan's Tosca on April 21, 1996. The show had been harshly panned by critics and audiences and ultimately contributed to throw Pistilli into a deep depression. However, according to his suicide note, Pistilli had suffered a deep state of despair after making some bitter public comments regarding the recent termination of a four-year off-stage relationship with singer/actress Milva. In his note he apologized to her for the spiteful statements released in the published interview.
Today we remember one of the most memorable actors of the genre on what would have been his 85th birthday.