Monday, June 18, 2012

Remembering Ennio Balbo

Ennio Balbo was born on June 18, 1922 in Naples, Italy. The intense theatrical and television actor has appeared in numerous films, specializing in incisive and vigorous character roles and was well suited to action films. Although he never was assigned the roles of the protagonist, he still had the opportunity to highlight his skills as an actor giving life to characters in some notable and spectacular films. Among these were 1968’s, “The Day of the Owl”, based on the novel by Leonardo Sciascia, a robust film directed by Damiano Damiani, who denounced the disastrous impact on the human reality of the Mafia in Sicily. It had as its main actors Franco Nero, playing Captain Bellodi and a stunning, intense Claudia Cardinale, in the role of the female protagonist, a young woman whose husband was killed. In the same year came another film denouncing the Sardinian banditry, “Kidnapping”, directed by Gianfranco Mingozzi, where Balbo effectively delineated the character of a corrupt and unscrupulous man. Among Balbo’s 59 films and TV appearances were six Euro-westerns from “Day of Anger” (1967) to “Django the Bastard” (aka “The Stranger’s Gundown”) in 1969. Balbo was married to actress Dora Calindri [1911-2002] from 1958 until 1989 when he died of a heart attack on June 18th in Rome. Today we remember Ennio Balbo on what would have been his 90th birthday.

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