Thursday, August 12, 2021

Who Are Those Guys? ~ Paul Costello


Paul Costello was born in Pittston, Pennsylvania on August 29, 1924. He was the son of Angelo and Louise Costello and the younger brother of Norman, Marty and Joe. While the brothers followed their father in the contracting business Paul turned to the arts studying dance, specializing in tap and ballroom. After graduating from Pittston High School, he enrolled in Drexel Institute of Technology with the intention to study radio and radar. He put his training to good use in the U.S. Air Force Signal Corps. during World War II at Okinawa rising to the rank of staff sergeant. For morale purposes he helped coordinate various shows for the servicemen, setting the stage for the start of his civilian career. After the war he attended the University of Chicago where he earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a master’s of fine arts concentrating on writing and painting.

He earned extra income, thanks to his dancing skills as an artist and instructor. During his master studies he went to Rome for special studies and fell in love with the city. After college he became involved with the Arthur Murray Dance Studios. He worked as a choreographer on the company’s TV show. Falling in love with a ballerina from the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and sensing marriage was close, he broke off the relationship and fled to Rome.

For three years he became entrapped in the nonstop nightlife of the eternal city. During the day he worked as a choreographer on a musical variety TV program called ‘Sentimentale’. Paul wrote a screenplay for Federico Fellin’s wife, Giulietta Massina. Fellini never looked at the script but offered Paul a role in “La Dolce Vita”. He was given a cameo role in the film and from there on was hooked on Italian cinema. He did scattered bit parts for friends and associates, worked as a dialogue coach and revision writer, screenplay writer and director’s assistant.

In 1975 he found himself in the Canary Islands as a production assistant on “Take a Hard Ride”. In 1976 he was co-writer of the Yul Brynner film “Death Rage” and then Lee Van Cleef’s “The Ripoff”. He was then associate director on “L’ultimo squalo” aka “The Last Shark” (1981) starring James Franciscus and Vic Morrow. Paul would go on to appear in such films as “Escape from the Bronx” and “Warriors of the Wasteland” and “Yor, the Hunter from the Future” all in 1983.

Paul Costello died in West Pittston, Pennsylvania on January 24, 2005.

COSTELLO, Paul [8/29/1924, Pittston, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. – 1/24/2005, West Pittston, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.] – producer, production manager, director, assistant director, film actor.

And God Said to Cain – 1969 (innkeeper)

Chapaqua’s Gold – 1970 (hotel bellboy)

The Stranger and the Gunfighter – 1974 (Wang’s lawyer)

Take a Hard Ride – 1975 (card player)


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