Wednesday, May 12, 2010

RIP Massimo Sarchielli

Italian actor, director and screenwriter Massimo Sarchielli passed away on the evening of May 11, 2010 in Rome, Italy. Sarchielli was born in Florence on April 9, 1931 into a poor family. His father did odd jobs never having full-time employment. His mother was a seamstress and it was she who supported the family. Massimo learned metal working and sewing from his grandfather in order to obtain small jobs and earn money for the family. He earned a degree at the a technical institute in Florence. He obtained a short term job as an illustrator for the Military Geographical Institute in Basilicata before returning to Florence and entering the Academy of Fine Arts but soon left. He then began trading in leather works and handicrafts to local merchants to sell to tourists. This resulted in a full-time job and he opened a leather shop with a friend. He left this and ventured to New York City where he attended the Etienne de Croux and became a mime and later moving to Paris. Returning to Italy he toured doing shows all over the peninsula. He then attended the Milan Strehlet School of Theatre. This led to a series of collaboration with some of the biggest names in Italian cinema.

His film debut was in “Juliet of the Spirits” (1965) directed by Federico Fellini. In 1967 he made four appearances in Spaghetti westerns: “Bandidos”, “A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die”, “Requiescat” (aka Kill and Pray) and “$10,000 for a Massacre”. In 1970 he appeared with Marcello Mastroianni in “Correva l'anno di grazia” (1970). He worked with Terence Stamp in “Death in the Vatican” (1975). In the 1980's he worked in the United States with Michelle Pfeiffer in “Ladyhawke” and Richard Gere in “King David”. In 1987 he appeared in “The Sicilian” directed by Michael Cimino. He then made a series of films with Pupi Avati from 1987-1999. In 2007 he worked with Spike Lee in “Miracle at St. Anna” and in 2009 he was chosen to play Peter Pacciani in Antonello Grimaldi's “Mostro di Firenze”.

Massimo was married to an American woman named Giudy in 1962 and they had a son. They divorced in 2000 after being separated do to the illnes of Giudy's maother and their long distance relationship.

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