Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Remembering Tiberio Mitri

Tiberio Mitri was born in Trieste, Italy on July 12, 1926. He started his career as a professional boxer in 1946. He became the Italian Middleweight Champion in 1948 and the European Champion in 1949. On July 12, 1950 he faced Jack "The Bronx Bull" LaMotta in New York City. He lost a very tough 15 round decision. Some say it was because he was jealous and had his wind on his wife Fulvia Franco [1931-1988], a former Miss Italy of 1948, who was in Hollywood at the same time trying to break into films. Mitri would regain the title on May 2 1954 but lost it six months later. During this time Tiberio had also started a film career appearing in "I tre corsari" (1952). He and Fulvia seperated in 1954 and he hung up his boxing gloves in 1957 after 101 matches, 88 wins, 7 losses and 6 draws. In 1959 Mitri was a frequent face on television but by 1975 his career was over. The last years of his life were spent in misery. Two of his children died, Alexander by drugs and Tiberius do to AIDS. His boxing career had also taken its toll and his mental condition was deteriorating do to the many blows to the head he had received. He became a cocaine addict and an alcoholic. He returned to acting in the late ‘80s cast as an ex-boxer who was now a pizza maker on TV’s "Classe di ferro" (Class of Iron) directed by Bruno Corbucci. On February 12, 2001 while walking in a daze along the train tracks on the line from Rome to Civitaecchia he was hit and killed by a train. RAI TV was hoping to broadcast a miniseries called "Tiberio Mitri: Il campione e la miss" on March 6 and 7, 2011 but Mitri’s nephew, in order to protect the reputations of his relatives, brought a lawsuit after the first broadcast and prevented the rest from being shown. Mitri appeared in two Euro-westerns during his acting career: "The Hills Run Red (1967) as a Union Sergeant and "A Man Called Sledge" (1970) as a prisoner. Today we remember Tiberio Mitri on what would have been his 85th birthday.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks to an e-mail from Howard Hughes I've now posted the correct Union Sergeant. Sorry for the error.