December 30, 2018
In the 1960s and 1970s the so-called Spaghetti western were very popular. Success also in Brazil, they were shown in neighborhood cinemas and brazilian television, in sessions such as Bang Bang à Italiana, on TV Record.
The productions were cheap, and usually had a former Hollywood star, who unemployed left for Europe in search of work. Actor Stelvio Rosi was a whistleblower. Italian, moved to Brazil in 1973.
Stelvio is also known as Stan Cooper, as it was common for Italian actors to adopt American names to try to drum up fans abroad. Even star Giuliano Gemma once adopted the name Montgomery Wood.
[Stelvio Rosi, or Stan Cooper]
Stelvio Rosi was born in Rome on August 1, 1938. He made his film debut as a child, acting in Sissignora (1942), his only work as a child actor.
Stelvio only returned to the cinema in Gli Attendenti (1960). He then began acting in Italian comedies and musicals such as Brotos ao Sol (Diciottenni al sole, 1962) and Um Pedaço de Mau Caminho (La voglia matta, 1962).
[Catherine Spaak & Stelvio Rosi in Brotos ao Sol]
Stelvio even had a small role in The Leopard (Il Gattopardo, 1963), a masterpiece by Luchino Visconti. After making several films under his first name, he adopted the name Stan Cooper, the stage name used in his most famous films.
Stan Cooper was first credited in History of a Crime (Colpo sensazionale al servizio del Sifar, 1968). He then starred in The Battle of the Last Panzer (La battaglia dell'ultimo panzer, 1969) and The 7 Commandos of Hell (Commandal al infierno, 1969), both with former Hollywood heartthrob Guy Madison in the cast. Stan Cooper also worked with American Ty Hardin, another unemployed actor from Hollywood, living in Italy.
His first western spaghetti film was Franco and Ciccio sul sentiero di guerra (1970). He would still make Dollars for the MacGregors (Ancora Dollari per I MacGregor, 1970), I kill all and save My Skin (Monta in Sele figlio di...!), With death in the Look (Sei jellato amico... hai incontrato Scramento, 1972) and Gunslingers of Trinity (Scansati... Trinità arriva Eldorado, 1972).
Stelvio Rosi made 38 films in Europe, the last of them was the Italo-Spanish production of the Dead (La orgía de los muertos, 1973). In Brazil, his films were distributed by director and producer Livio Bruni. The actor met Livio's sister, Ana Maria Bruni, and married her.
Here he set up the production company Universo Filmes, which made advertising films and covered formula 1 for Italian television. He went on to produce the film Terror and Ecstasy (1979) and tried to make a children's film with Daniel Azulay and Xuxa, to no avail.
He was also producer of two American films shot in Brazil, Lamb
The death of Stan Cooper, or Stelvio Rosi, went unnoticed by the press, being only disclosed on an American website, dedicated to the memory of western films. The actor died in Rio de Janeiro on December 19, 2018, at the age of 80.
[submitted by Michael Ferguson and Gary Williams]