Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy 70th Birthday Franco Nero

Francesco Sparanero was born on November 23, 1941 in San Prospero, Parma, Italy. Along with Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Giuliano Gemma, Nero would go on to enrich the ranks of the legendary heroes of the spaghetti westerns. Although after "Django" (1965) directed by Sergio Corbucci, Nero proved he was able to pull off other more complex and demanding roles. After graduation he enrolled in accounting at the Faculty of Economics and Commerce, but interrupted his career to follow his preference to become an actor. He attended acting school at the Piccolo Teatro in Milan. Later he moved to Rome to become a part of the film industry. Handsome, athletic, dark-haired, blue-eyed, still under his real name, Franco Sparanero, he debuted on the screen next to Annie Girardot and Rossano Brazzi, the protagonists of "La ragazza in prestito" (The Girl on Loan) directed by Alfredo Giannetti, (1964). While "Django" was being shown in Italian theaters, he was chosen by John Huston to play Abel (Cain was Richard Harris) in "The Bible" (1966). A great break that he did not miss, pledging to learn English in ten days. Then appearing in the musical legend of King Arthur, "Lancelot and Guinevere", which marked the 'beginning of his romance with Vanessa Redgrave. \pard plain With her they will have a son, Carlo Gabriel who today is a producer, director and screenwriter. Other films followed until he is one of the biggest stars in Italian cinema. During his ongoing career he has appeared in 17 Euro-westerns among which were; "Texas Addio", "The Brute and the Beast" (both 1966), "The Mercenary" (1967), "Companeros" (1970) "Keoma" (1976) "Django Strikes Again" (1987) and "Jonathan of the Bears" (1994). Nero and Redgrave were married in 2006 and Franco is still involved in films, producing, directing, writing screenplays and acting. Today we celebrate one of the greats of the Euro-western, Franco Nero’s 70th birthday.

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