Bockelmann was born on September 30, 1934 in Schloß Ottmanach, Carinthia,
Austria.Udo was born into a
wealthy family, he grew up in the Austrian Ottmanach Castle in with his
brothers John [1931-2006], later a businessman, and Manfred [1943-], now a respected painter. He became a
composer and singer of popular music, his career spans over fifty years. He has
written more than 800 songs and sold over 100 million records. In 2007 he
additionally obtained Swiss citizenship.
He is credited with
broadening German-language pop music beyond the traditional postwar schlager in
the 1960s by infusing it with a modern pop appeal; his exceptionally tuneful
compositions and sophisticated arrangements attract fans of all ages, and even
in his 70s he continues to fill the largest concert venues in Germany, Austria,
Jurgens composed the
music for one Euro-western; 1975’s “Montana Trap”.
A 1966 Spanish, Mexican co-production [Cesáreo González Producciones
Cinematográficas(Madrid), Oro Films (Mexico City)]
Producers: Gonzalo Elivra, Jr., Sánchez de Aparicio
Director: Miguel Monrayta (Miguel Martinez)
Story: Fernando Galiana, Miguel Morayta (Miguel Martinez)
Screenplay: Fernando Galiana, Miguel Morayta (Miguel
Cinematography: Alex Phillips (Alexander Pelepiok)
Music: Manuel Esperón (Manuel González)
Songs: “Carmen de Espana”, “La cruz de mayo”, “La
adelita”, “Jesusita en Chihuahua” sung by Carmen Sevilla (Maria Galisteo)
Running time: 976 minutes
Reyes Mendoza – Carmen Sevilla (Maria Galisteo)
Ricardo Peñalver - Julio Alemán
Capitán Pablo Márquez – Vicente Parra (Vicente Collado)
General Pancho Villa - José Elías Moreno (José Padilla)
Doncella de Reyes - María Herrero
Capitán - Óscar Morelli (Oscar Mouet)
Colonel Gutiérrez - Jaime Fernández
Villista – ‘Harapos’ (Mario García)
Man in theater - Federico González
Soldadera - Leonor Gómez
Train passenger – ‘La Chichmeca’ (Isabel Vázquez)
With: Ferrusquilla (José Ángel Espinosa), José Baviera,
Carlos Bravo, Enrique García Álvarez, Carlos López Figueroa (Carlos Cardán), Roberto
Porter, Sergio Virell (Sergio Virel), Salvador Zea, Guillermo Sánchez
Madero is president of the Mexican Republic, a coup kills him and usurps power.
Pancho Villa takes up arms to defend the legality. Reyes Mendoza’s boyfriend, a
Spanish tonadillera acting in Mexico, convince her to help the revolutionary
Pancho Villa, as no one will suspect a popular singer. During performances of
northern Mexico, Reyes falls madly in love with Ricardo Peñalver.
Ivanova Bakhchevanov was born on September 29, 1944 in Grudovo, Bulgaria.
Georgi was a film and TV actor who appeared in ten films from 1973-1988. Among
those films was one Euro-western, “Death for Zapata” (1976) as Thomas. He died
in Hakovo, Bulgaria of cancer in 1992. He was only 47 years-old.
we remember Georgi Bakhchevanov on what would have been his 70th
Marina Berti was born Elena
Maureen Bertolini on September 29, 1924 in London, England.Berti made her film debut in an uncredited role in 1941's “ La
Fuggitiva”. Because of her bilingual abilities she appeared in films shown in
the U.S. such as “Quo Vadis” (1951), “Ben Hur” (1959) and “Cleopatra” (1963),
“If It's Tuesday, This Must be Belgium” (1969). She would go on to appear in
over 100 films in character and lead roles. Her last screen appearance was in
the Costa-Gavras film “Amen” (2002). Marina was married to actor Claudio Gorra
from 1944 until his death in 1998. She was the mother of actor Andrea Giordana
and actress Marina Giordana. Marina appeared in two Euro-westerns “The Stranger
Returns” (1967) and “Hate is My God” (1969). Marina died on October 29, 2002.
Today we celebrate what
would have been her 90th birthday.
Hielscher was born on September 29, 1919 in Berlin-Charlottenburg, Berlin,
Germany. Margot is a German singer and film actress. She appeared in over fifty
films between and 1939 and 1994. Among her films was one Euro-western, “Johnny
Saves Nebrador” (1953) in the role of Marina.
Hielscher was chosen to represent Germany at the Eurovision Song Contest with
the song "Telefon, Telefon". The song finished fourth out of ten,
with eight points.
chosen again to represent Germany at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1958 with
the song "Für Zwei Groschen Musik". The song finished seventh out of
ten, with 5 points.
In 1989, she
starred in the TV series ‘Rivalen der Rennbahn’.
celebrate Margot Hielscher’s 95th birthday.
We continue our search for film locations for “Texas
Adios” (aka The Avenger). Staying ahead of Pedro and his men Burt Sullivan
reaches Cisco Delgado’s hacienda fortress. We see him ride down the street in
front of Delgado’s fortress.
The front of the hacienda is actually the front of the Goyeneche
Palace located in Nuevo Baztan and dominates the small town southeast of Madrid
on M-204. Founded in 1709 the palace/church and two plazas were set aside as
conservation area in 1941 which has been extended to include the entire town.
The building is in disrepair and proposals have been made to restore it.
Brigitte Anne-Marie Bardot was born on September 28, 1934
in Paris, Île de France, France. She studied ballet as a teenager at the
National Superior Conservatory of Paris for Music and Dance and appeared on the
cover of France's Elle magazine at the age of 15. She was discovered by
screenwriter and future filmmaker Roger Vadim, and the two wed in 1952. Bardot
made her big-screen debut that year as well, in “Le Trou Normand”. Various
roles followed, including as a romantic leading lady in “La Lumiere d'en Face”
(1954) and a handmaiden in “Helen of Troy” (1955).
Brigitte Bardot and Vadim divorced in 1957, but
maintained a professional relationship, as he directed her 1958 film “The Night
Heaven Fell”. Bardot was featured in other projects as well like “The
Parisienne” (1958), “La Femme et le Pantin” (1959) and “Come Dance With Me”
(1959). During the making of the 1960 film “La Verité”, however, Bardot
attempted suicide on her 26th birthday. Decades later the actress would talk
about how nightmarish the world of celebrity had become and the pressures
inherent in constantly aiming to display a certain image.
Bardot starred in three Euro-westerns: “Viva Maria!
(1965) as Maria Fitzgerald O’Malley, “Shalako” (1968 (as Countess Irina Lazer)
and“The Legend of Frenchie King” (1971)
as Louise ‘Frenchy’ King.
During the 1960s, Bardot embarked on a career as a
musical artist as well, releasing albums like Brigitte Bardot Sings (1960) and
Special Bardot (1968). She also recorded hits with French
vocalist/songwriter/lounge-man Serge Gainsbourg.
Ultimately having appeared in dozens of films, Bardot
retired in 1973 and went to live in St. Tropez. She has subsequently devoted
her life to animal activism.
Today we celebrate Brigitte Bardot’s 80th
Marcello Vincenzo Domenico Mastroianni was born on
September 28, 1924 in Fontana, Liri, Italy. Mastroianni grew up in Turin and
Rome. He was the son of Ida (née Irolle) and Ottone Mastroianni, who ran a
carpentry shop, and the nephew of the Italian sculptor Umberto Mastroianni
[1910–1998]. During World War II, after the division into Axis and Allied
Italy, he was interned in a loosely guarded German prison camp, from which he
escaped to hide in Venice.
His brother Ruggero Mastroianni [1929–1996] was a highly
regarded film editor who not only edited a number of his brother's films, but
appeared alongside Marcello in Scipione detto anche l'Africano, a spoof of the
once popular peplum/sword and sandal film genre released in 1971.
Mastroianni made his onscreen debut as an uncredited
extra in “Marionette” (1939) when he was fourteen, and his first big role was
in “Atto d'accusa” (1951). Within a decade he became a major international
celebrity, starring in “Big Deal on Madonna Street” (1958); and in Federico
Fellini's “La Dolce Vita” opposite Anita Ekberg in 1960. He followed “La Dolce
Vita” with another signature role in Fellini's “8½” (1963).
Other prominent films include “La Notte” (1961), “Divorce,
Italian Style” (1961), “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” (1963), “Marriage
Italian-Style” (1964), and Robert Altman's “Ready to Wear” (1994); Mario
Monicelli's “Casanova 70” (1965); Fellini's “City of Women” (1980) and “Ginger
and Fred” (1986); Marco Bellocchio's Henry IV (1984), and Agnès Varda's “One
Hundred and One Nights” (1995).
He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor
three times: for “Divorce Italian Style”, “A Special Day” and “Dark Eyes”.
Mastroianni appeared in only one Euro-western as General
George Armstrong Custer in 1973’s “Don’t Shoot the White Woman” a modern day
farce taking place in downtown Paris with 19th century character such as
Buffalo Bill and Sitting Bull.
Marcello died from pancreatic cancer on December 19, 1996
in Paris, France. He was 72.
Today we remember one of the great actors of the Italian
cinema Marcello Mastroianni on what would have been his 90th birthday.
Giuseppe Accattino was born on September 28, 1914 in
Genoa, Liguria, Italy. Giuseppe Accattino studied for a degree in architecture
at the Academy of Fine Arts, the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome.
After a making few documentaries that are now considered lost, he founded after
the Second World War, the film production company SILA (Società Italiana Lanci
Artistici), with which he in 1949 made his only feature film the Euro-western “Buffalo
Bill in Rome” which he directed, wrote and produced. The film, in which he used
his girlfriend Elly Starr was, but the critics panned his effort. and until
1951 (and again in 1953) awarded. Another planned project failed.
Accattino died in Rome on April 20, 1979.
Today we remember Giuseppe Accattino on what would have
been his 100th birthday.
Retired Spanish actor and stuntman Jesús Laguna has died
in Almeria, Spain. Word spread on Facebook that Laguna had died. He was one of
the stuntmen that worked during the heyday of the European western craze in
Spain. Most of his appearances were uncredited as stuntmen’s names were seldom
seen in the closing credits of a film, but it was there daring and nerve that
filled these films with thrills and excitement. After the film business died in
Southern Spain Laguna worked as a stunt performer at Mini Hollywood and Texas
Hollywood in Tabernas putting on shows for the tourist who visited the now
tourist attractions and the occasional commercial that may be filmed in the
towns. As the years passed he became more of a vagabond, travelling around
Tabernas and Almeria in search of work, food and a place to rest. Laguna recently appeared as the town drunk in the award winning "6 Bullets to Hell".
Veteran stage and film actor Michael McCarty died in
Santa Barbara on Friday September 27th, 2014. He was 68. Born on
September 7, 1946 in Evansville, Indiana, McCarty was appearing in a stage play
of Amadeus when he collapsed earlier in the week. McCarty appeared on TV in ER,
3rd Rock from the Sun, Murder One and over 200 TV commercials. Michael
appeared in a small role as a Makah villager in the Euro-western Dead Man in
1994 starring Johnny Depp.
Cinematography: Mario Mancini [Telecolor, CinemaScope]
Music: Vassili Kojucharov
Running time: 88 minutes
Sabata – Brad Harris (Bradford Harris)
Jim Sparrow – Vassili Karis (Vassili Karamesinis)
Willy – Sergio Testori
Mexicans – Giovanni Cianfrigilia, Artemio Antonini
With: Elena Pedemonte, Gino Lavagetto (Luigi Lavagetto),
Paul Carter (Paolo Magalotti), Maria Luisa Sala, Emilio Messina, Roberto
Messina, Pietro Fumelli, Gino Turini (Giulio Turini), Irio Fantini (Eirio
Fantini), Elena Marchiani (Eleanora Marchiani), Cesar Ojinaga, Claudio Trionfi,
Ezio Vergari, Emilio Zago
At a ranch, Jim Sparrow a professional bounty killer,
kills the owner's brother, Willy, and puts the blame on Sabata. Four witnesses
paid for by Jim accuse Sabata and he is sentenced to be hanged. But an unknown savior
send through the window of the jail a weapon in which Sabata, is able to escape
injuring the jailer, who is killed by another’s hand. The public prosecutor
finds Sabata guilty of this murder also, and a bounty is placed on his head.
While the posse is hunting for Sabata during the night a man who resembles him is
killed by one of his accusers. The size of the bounty is increased to eight
thousand dollars. During the search, Sabata is able to convince the sheriff of
his innocence. Together they capture Jim Sparrow and force him to confess. Now
it is Jim who is imprisoned and forced to face the gallows.
Anthony Wilford Brimley was
born on September 27, 1934 in Salt Lake City, Utah. His father worked as a real
estate broker. Prior to his career in acting, Brimley dropped out of high
school to serve in the United States Marine Corps, where he served in the
Aleutian Islands for three years. He also worked as a bodyguard (for Howard
Hughes), ranch hand, wrangler, and blacksmith. He then began shoeing horses for
film and television. He began acting in the 1960s as a riding extra in Westerns
as a stunt man at the urging of his friend, actor Robert Duvall. Brimley has
appeared in over 75 films since his first uncredited role in 1969’s “True
Grit”. His only Euro-western was 1971’s “Lawman” in the role of Marc Corman
where he was credited as Bill Brimley.
Today we celebrate Wilford
Brimley’s 80th birthday.
Enrico Cucuzza was bornon September 27, 1919
in Trieste, Friuli Venezia, Giulia, Italy. Henry entered the film industryas a character actor, he was most active
in B-movies, plays, musicals but also appeared in crime films and television between
the 1940s to the 1980s. He became famous to radio audiences in the early 1950s,
in the show ‘Rosso e nero’.
television, he was part of the Quartetto Cetra, billed as Henry Luzi seen in the
cast of ‘Biblioteca di Studio
Uno’ in the episode ‘A Fistful of Songs’, a parody of the novel by Margaret
Mitchell “Gone with the Wind” and participated in several episodes of the
television series ‘Le inchieste del commissario Maigret’ and those on ‘tenente
Sheridan’ and gastronome-detective ‘Nero Wolfe’. He also participated in the
filming of the series ‘Il
giornalino di Gian Burrasca’, with Rita Pavone.
a voice actor, lent his voice to many cartoons, including ‘Kimba, il leone
bianco’, ‘L'orsetto Mysha’ Kimba, and ‘Napo orso capo’. He was the voice of
Uncle Fester (the original starring Jackie Coogan ), in the Italian version of the
TV series ‘The Addams Family’.
died on October 18, 2011 in Rome, Italy.
we remember Enrico Luzi on what would have been his 95th birthday.
Josef Stöckel was
born on September 27, 1894 in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. Josef was the son of a
Munich architect and at 16 years of age attended the State Drama School - even
though his father only wanted him to learn a "decent trade". After a
apprenticeship at the Munich Court Theatre he had his first engagements in
Bayreuth and Landshut. Then became a comic operetta specialist and performed as
a comedian in the Gärtner-seat Theater.
In the 1920s he
founded his own film company in which he produced the then known
internationally film series “Joe Marco,
der Mann der Kraft”. Stöckel played the lead role as Joe, who had had the
most sensational adventures. He transformed the river Isar in Munich to a Wild
West setting and Americanized his first name Joseph. From then on he was called
He belongs alongside
Karl Valentin, White Ferdl, Josef Eichheim and Beppo Brem as pioneers of Munich
Joe Stöckel's main
claim to fame was, however, to having brought the comedy to Bavarian film. He
adapted stage classics such as “Die
drei Dorfheiligen”, “Das sündige Dorf”, “Der scheinheilige Florian” and worked
as a screenwriter or director on these films. He was probably the first to use the
contrast between Bavaria and other German ethnic groups, especially as
"Prussia", used for comedy.
Joe reached the peak
of his career after the Second World War, he worked on a total of about 170
films, of which he himself was the director on about 30 times.
Joe appeared as an
actor, screenwriter and director on over a half-dozen Euro-westerns in
Josef Stöckel died in Munich,
Germany on June 14, 1959.
Today we remember
Joe Stöckel on what would have been his 120th birthday.
Boccardo was born in Genoa, Liguria, Italy on January 29, 1948. The sister of
actress Gabriella Grimaldi, Delia spent her childhood and adolescence in Nervi,
then studied in a Swiss College, in the Poggio Imperiale girl's school and, for
about three years, in a College in Sussex. In 1965 she moved in Rome where she
attended the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia. Boccardo made her stage
debut in 1967, alongside Raf Vallone in “Uno sguardo dal ponte”, shortly after
she made her film debuted in 1967 with an appearance as Mady in the
Euro-western “Death Walks in Laredo”. She went on to
routinely provide diverting and seductive decoration in numerous tales of
intrigue and other outdoor adventure. In her third film she made her first
English-speaking appearance as leading lady to Alan Arkin in the misguided
comedy “Inspector Clouseau” (1968) with Arkin briefly replacing Peter Sellers
as the thoroughly inept French detective. Additional European-filmed appearances
by Boccardo include co-star to some of Europe's most virile and handsome actors
of the 1970s: Franco Nero in “Un detective” (1969), Bekim Fehmiu in the
US-produced epic “The Adventurers” (1970), Lou Castel in “Stress” (1971), and
even found herself a co-star to skier Jean-Claude Killy in “Snow Job” (1972).
Continuing into the early 1980s, Delia proved an entrancing Athena in the
Italian-made “Hercules” (1983), starring Lou Ferrigno and portrayed Mary
Magdalene in the TV-movie ‘The Day Christ Died’ (1980). From the mid-1980s she
focused on a stage career, where she worked intensively with Luca Ronconi, and
Delia [1/29/1948, Genoa, Liguria, Italy -] – stage, TV actress, sister of actress
With: Bruno Arie, Fausto Signoretti (Faustone
Signoretti), Mirella Panfili (Mirella Pamphili), Richard Kent, Agostino De
Simone, Nerio Bernardi (Nerino Bernardi), Omero Capanna
A colonel in the Texas Rangers recruits Johnny Texas to
exterminate the outlaw gang of the fierce O'Connor using dynamite to blow up
his hideout. The man, who is violent and unreliable, makes a lot of enemies
before he completes his assignment. Johnny risks his life several times, but
finally eliminates the equally heinous members of the notorious gang.
Scala was born Odette Bedogni on September 25, 1929 in Bracciano, Lazio, Italy.
As a young girl the family moved to Milan where she studied ballet at "La
Scala" Ballet School for seven years. She performed in numerous ballets
until World War II, after which she began appearing in motion pictures using
the stage name, Delia Scala. In 1956, she began a career in television, an
industry that at the time in Italy was still in its infancy. She starred in
several variety shows during the 1950s and 1960s, and became one of her
country's most beloved TV showgirls. Delia appeared in two Euro-westerns: “The
Dream of Zorro” (1951) as Gloria/ Estrella/Dolores and “The Terror of Arizona”
in 1959 as Bethsabee/Betsabea.
Scala achieved great fame and success, her life was plagued by misfortune and
sorrowful losses. She married a Greek military officer at age 15 (in 1944), but
separated from him two years later, and got the marriage annulled in 1956. During
the mid-1950s she gained much publicity for her relationship with Formula One
race car driver Eugenio Castellotti. He died in 1957 when his Ferrari crashed
while attempting a speed record at the Modena race track.
married in 1967 to Piero Giannotti, but was widowed when he died in 1982 of a
heart attack while bicycling along the beach in Viareggio. She married a third
time in 1985 with industrialist Arturo Fremura, but this marriage too ended
sadly with her husband's death of liver cancer in 2001.
1970 Scala was diagnosed with breast cancer, and underwent a radical
mastectomy. Although she appeared to have healed completely, in 2002 she was
struck again with the same illness. After two more years battling her cancer,
Delia Scala died on January 15, 2004 in Livorno, Tuscany. With the news of her
death, Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi called her a "model of
vivaciousness and rigorous professionalism" and said she ranked among
"the most beloved and popular artists in the history of Italian
we remember Delia Scala on what would have been her 85th birthday.
Diana Körner was born on September 24, 1944 in Wolmirsleben,
Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Diana studied at the Westphalian Drama School in
Bochum. She received her first exposure to acting during the 1964-65 season at
the Theatre Oberhausen. From 1966 to 1969 she was part of the ensemble of the
Schiller Theater in Berlin. Later, she performed as a freelance actress in
numerous theaters, including 1979 at the Schauspielhaus Hamburg and from 1981
to 1983 at the Würzburg Festival. She appeared in films and especially in
television in numerous productions, such as her appearance in the TV series
‘Liebling Kreuzberg’, there she played the prosecutor Rosemarie Monk and was
the girlfriend of lawyer Robert Liebling.
Körner appeared in only one Euro-western: “Montana Trap”
was born Nuria Torrà Resplandi on September 24, 1934 in Barcelona, Cataluna,
Spain.She combined her studies in
Philosophy and Letters with amateur performances at Teatro Universitario
Spanish. Soon the stage manager José Tamayo noticed her and she began her
professional career, and interprets “The Crucible” in the Spanish Theatre in
Madrid and later becomes the main character in “Irma la Douce”. A highlight is
Doña Inés in “Tenorio” made by Tamayo in 1960 and participation in the
assembly “¿Quién quiere una copla del Arcipreste de Hita?” (1965) of Joseph
Martin, “Los siete infantes de Lara” (1966), by Lope de Vega and “Lope de Vega”
and “Águila de blasón” (1966) by Valle-Inclán, all carried out by Adolfo Marsillach
she began her professional relationship with who would become her husband,
director Juan Guerrero Zamora , who directed her in "The Gioconda Smile"
(1951) by Aldous Huxley from which she becomes one of the most assiduous faces on
Spanish TV in the 1960s and 1970s, starring in the series ‘Un mito llamado’ (1979) ‘La Celestina’ (1983).
She made her
film debut in 1956, but despite their excellent acting never had a substantive
film career, abandoning the medium in 1971 after her appearance in “La casa de
las muertas vivientes”. During this time she appeared in five Euro-westerns
from “Apache Fury” in 1963 to “Django and Sartana are Coming” in 1970.
In 1991 she
played the main character of Lysistrata at the Festival of Classical Theatre of
Merida. Her retirement from the stage came in 1995 with the work “My Dear Family,
by Neil Simon, which earned her the Ercilla Award.
Nuria died of
colon cancer on June 7, 2004 in Madrid, Spain.
remember Nuria Torray on what would have been her 80th birthday.
Douglas Gamley was born on September 24, 1924 in
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Douglas was an Australian film composer, who
worked on British and American films.
Gamley's early teachers included Waldemar Seidel in
Melbourne. He was particularly influenced by Modest Mussorgsky, creating a full
orchestral version of his “Pictures at an Exhibition”, and adapting his Night
on Bald Mountain for his score for “Asylum” (1972). He adapted Gabriel Fauré's
Pavane for “The Monster Club” (1980).
Gamley created many vocal arrangements for Dame Joan
Sutherland and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, both for performing and recordings. He also
made orchestral arrangements of songs for Luciano Pavarotti and Victoria de los
Ángeles. He was associated for many years with the Australian Pops Orchestra as
conductor and arranger.
Gamley’s only Euro-western score was for the 1961 film
Douglas died in London, England on February 5, 1998.
Today we remember Douglas Gamley on what would have been
his 90th birthday.
Frank Cottrell Boyce
was born on September 23, 1959 in Liverpool, Merseyside, England. Boyce is a
British screenwriter, novelist and occasional actor, known for his children's
fiction and for his collaborations with film director Michael Winterbottom. He
recently achieved fame as the writer for the 2012 Summer Olympics opening
ceremony and for sequels to Chitty Chitty
Bang Bang: The Magical Car, a children's classic by Ian Fleming.
Boyce has won two
major British awards for children's books, the 2004 Carnegie Medal for Millions, which originated as a film
script, and the 2012 Guardian Prize for The
Unforgotten Coat, which was commissioned by a charity.
Boyce wrote the
screenplay for the Euro-western “The Claim” in 1999.
Today we celebrate
Frank Cottrell Boyce’s 55th birthday.
Tini Cansino was born
Photina Lappa on September 23, 1959 in Volos, Magnisia, Greece. She studied
classical ballet, and at 19 years old, during a vacation in Italy, she was
noticed by Alberto Tarallo, a manager who introduced her to the world of
entertainment. The same manager suggested the name of Tini Cansino, noting its
resemblance to the actress Rita Hayworth as the real name of the actress was
just Cansino, in order to invent a fake relationship with the American actress,
all to increase her fame. Because of her stage name, for years mistakenly
considered to be the granddaughter of Hayworth.
She made her debut on
television in the sexy show ‘Playgirl’, with Minnie Minoprio, but her big
breakthrough came in 1983 with the role of "ragazza fast food" in the
popular television show Drive In . Switching to film came as a result. Her
first role as Scella Pezzata in the cult Euro-western by Ciro Ippolito “Arrapaho”
(1984), inspired by the self-titled album of Squallor the previous year. She
then participated the following year in the comedy “Carabinieri si nasce” by
Mariano Laurenti, the television film “Doppio misto” (1986) and “Provare per
credere” (1987) by Sergio Martino, and the erotic film “Delizia” of Joe D'Amato
(1987), “A un passo dall'aurora” by Mario Bianchi and “Arabella l'angelo nero”
by Stelvio Massi (1989).
In 1989, after joining the
program on Italy 1 ‘Trisitors’, she retired from acting to devote herself fully
to her family. In 2006 with a heartfelt appeal she aska in the newspapers to be
a part of the cast of “L'isola dei
famosi” because of her financial straits, but her direct appeal to the
presenter Simona Ventura falls on deaf ears. In January 2012 she joined as a
commentator for the transmission of Channel 5 ‘Uomini e Donne’, dedicated to
meetings between ultra-forties.
I was asked to participate in a lunch presentation at the
Autry Museum on June 18th of this year. Producer Rob Word holds a
monthly meeting for his group the Algonquin Cowboys, former members of the
Golden Boot, of which I am a member. The luncheons are free and open to the
public and are held every third Wednesday of the month. June’s subject was
Spaghetti Westerns and Rob had asked me to help put the program together. We
invited Brett Halsey, Robert Woods, Marty Kove and Bill Lustig as speakers. He
asked me if I would speak a bit on the music and the Westerns… All’Italian! fanzine. I said sure. The links below will
take you to You Tube clips of parts of Brett’s Robert and my presentations.
Ornella Vanoni was born on
September 22, 1934 in Milan, Lombardy, Italy. She started her artistic career
in 1960 as a theatrical actress of Bertolt Brecht works, under the direction of
Giorgio Strehler in his Piccolo Teatro of Milan. At the same time, she started
singing, recording for a high-class public. The folklore and popular songs she
reinvented in her recordings of this period, especially the ones connected with
organized crime, gave her the nickname cantante della mala ("Underworld
Owing to the songs
"Senza fine" and "Che cosa c'è" written for her by Gino
Paoli, her popularity rose in 1963. Next year, she won the Festival of
Neapolitan song with "Tu si na cosa grande".
In the following years, she
took part in a series of Festivals of Italian Song in Sanremo, which resulted
in great successes with the songs; "Abbracciami forte" (1965),
"Io ti darò di più" (1966), "La musica è finita" (1967),
"Casa bianca" (1968), and "Eternità" (1970). "Casa
Bianca", which came second, was the subject of a copyright dispute between
the composer Don Backy and the Clan Celentano label.
Later in the period, Vanoni
released the hits "Una ragione di più", "Un'ora sola ti
vorrei", and "L'appuntamento". The Swinging Blue Jeans carried
Vanoni's song "Non Dirmi Niente" to the U.K. chart under the English
title "Don't Make Me Over". "L'appuntamento", which was
composed in 1970, is a cover of the Brazilian song "Sentado à Beira do
Caminho" (Sitting by the Roadside) by Erasmo Carlos and Roberto Carlos.
In 1976, Vanoni cooperated
with Vinicius de Moraes and Toquinho releasing the hit "La voglia, la
pazzia, l'incoscienza e l'allegria". During the 1980s, she released
"Ricetta di donna", "Uomini", and "Ti lascio una
canzone" (a duet with Gino Paoli). In 1989, she returned to Sanremo
Festival with the song "Io come farò". In 1999, she recorded
"Alberi", a duet with Enzo Gragnaniello. She was mostly active
performing live and as a guest singer in recordings. In 2004, she released a
duo album with Gino Paoli to celebrate her 70th birthday.
In addition to her singing
career, Ornella Vanoni was active in other arts, starring in stage and TV
shows, movies, and posing nude for the Italian edition of Playboy magazine. The
inclusion of her former hit "L'Appuntamento" (1970) on the Ocean's
Twelve soundtrack sparked a worldwide renewal of interest in Ornella Vanoni.
Ornella appeared in only
one Euro-western; “A Fistful of Songs”, (1966) as a singer.
Today we celebrate Ornella
Vanoni’s 80th birthday.