Franco Citti was born in Rome, Lazio Italy on April 23, 1935. He is the brother of director, screenwriter Sergio Citti [1933-2005]. He gained fame as an actor at the age of 26, playing the title role in Pier Paolo Pasolini's film “Accattone”. In 1967, he appeared in the title role in Pasolini's version of “Oedipus Rex”. He acquitted himself admirably in around 40 films. The only one he said he regretted was Bernardo Bertolucci’s “La Luna” (1979), in which he played a gay man who tries to pick up a drug addict in a bar in Rome. He was particularly pleased to have a cameo as a Sicilian bodyguard in The Godfather (1972) and he reprised the role for Francis Ford Coppola in The Godfather: Part III (1990) and uttering the line "In Sicily, women are more dangerous than shotguns." Franco remained an outsider to the film industry and did not need to learn to act. “I realized that if I tried to speak Italian well, or studied at a drama school, I’d be a fake,” he said.
Franco directed a short called “Vergogna” (Shame), showing how the spot where Pasolini was murdered at Ostia in 1975 which had become a rubbish dump. The Citti brothers also co-directed a magical fantasy film, “Cartoni Animati” (Animated Cartoons), in 1997. That year, Franco suffered a debilitating stroke after which he was unable to speak ending his acting career.
Franco appeared in two Euro-westerns: Kill and Pray in the role of Burt and in 1968’s “Kill Them All and Come Back Alone” as Hoagy.
Franco Citti died in Rome on 14 January 2016, at the age of 80 from a heart attack.
CITTI, Franco [4/23/1935, Rome, Lazio, Italy - 1/14/2016, Rome, Lazio, Italy (heart attack)] – director, writer, film actor, son of actor Santino Citti, son of actor Santino Citti, brother of actor Sergio Citti [1933-2005], married to ? (19??-19??), married to Anita Sanders (19??-2016) father of Paolo Citti, Marina Citti.
Kill and Pray - 1967 (Burt)
Kill Them All and Come Back Alone – 1968 (Hoagy)