Sunday, September 18, 2011

Remembering Rossano Brazzi

Rossano Brazzi was born on September 18, 1916 in Bologna, Italy and is usually remembered as the star of such American film classics as "South Pacific", "Summertime" and "Three Coins In The Fountain". What we fail to realize is just how truly international and extensive his career was. He was a hugely popular stage and screen actor in his native Italy for well over a decade before his first American film, considered at a very early age to be one of the best and brightest young stars of the Italian theater. He then astonished critics and public alike, at the age of twenty-four, with his electric film portrayal of a middle aged Edmund Kean in Dumas' "Kean", and delivered a critically acclaimed and award-winning performance in the Italian film classic "Noi Vivi/Addio Kira" ("We The Living/ Goodbye Kira") two years later. He starred in at least twenty-eight films before arriving in the United States in 1939 to do "Little Women". Among his films were "Tosca", as Mario Cavaradossi," I due Foscari" as the young Jacopo Foscari, "Una donna dell'ovest" ("Girl of the Golden West"), which many consider the first Italian western, and the enormously popular "Aquila nera" ("Black Eagle") series. He made films in France, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Spain and Great Britain. Brazzi starred in several popular telenovelas and TV movies in Italy and at least two European (and one American) television series. In his 55-year career, he acted in and/or directed over 230 films, as well as maintaining a presence in Italy as an accomplished stage actor. Beside’s his appearance in "Girl of the Golden West" (1942) he also appeared in 1971's "Drummer of Vengeance". Brazzi died from a neural virus the day before Christmas in 1994. Today we remember Rossano Brazzi on what would have been his 95th birthday.

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