Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Remembering Raf Baldassarre

Raffaele Baldassarre was born on January 18, 1932 in Giurdignano, Lecce, Italy. Being photogenic and a good stuntman it was easy for Raf to find work in the Italian film industry in the 1950s where he worked in Sword and Sandal and adventure films. He gained much recognition during the Spaghetti western era and became an active character actor using such aliases as Ralph Baldwin, Ralph Baldwyn and appeared in such films as “The Sign of Zorro” (1962), “The Implacabele Three” (1963), “The Stranger Returns” (1967) and  “Blindman” (1971). In the 1970s he turned to Sex Comedies and narrated a religious film about the visit to Otranto, Italy by Pope John Paul II in 1980. Raf left the business after an appearance in Luigi Cozzi’s “The Adventures of the Incredible Hercules” (1985). He and several of his family members basically ran the town of Otranto being involved in politics, the police department and several businesses. Raf owned a large villa and owned a winery before his death the day before his 63rd birthday in 1995 in Rome. Today we remember one of the great character actors of the Italian Westerns, Raffaele Baldassarre on what would have been his 80th birthday.

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