Friday, November 4, 2022

Spaghetti Western Trivia – Lino Desmond

 


Oakland Tribune

Oakland, California

Perry Phillips

June 4, 1965

There’s a grand opening tomorrow night, over in Alameda, at New Lino’s Restaurant with hosts Carmen and Rose Esposito planning a huge spread for the occasion. The Espositos have reopened a popular spot which was once owned by Lino Simeole. Lino, you might recall, is an interesting character. Never liked American women and vowed he’d return to Rome someday and open a restaurant for American tourists. He made good on part of his boast by returning to Rome but never got around to opening that dinery he always dreamed of. I used to get an occasional card from him datelined Rome, then they suddenly stopped coming. Recently, I had a chat with singer Johnny Desmond (who used to frequent Lino’s Alameda spot when he was in town) and asked him if he’d seen Lino lately. “I was in Rome last month,” said Johnny, “I saw him, and he’s making Italian movies.”

     I really didn’t take Johnny to seriously and thought maybe he was having a little fun with me. After all, Bill Fiset always called Lino “The Italian Kirk Douglas” because of a certain resemblance, and not because he considered him an actor. Well, Johnny wasn’t joking, for yesterday Ercole Caroselli (he writes for an Italian periodically) reached me on the phone and told me he’d just returned from Rome and that Lino send along his regards. Caroselli told me Lino was actually done so well in Italian movies it’s almost unbelievable. He’s playing the heavy in Italian Westerns and has good parts in science fiction pictures. An oh yes, before I forget, Lino changed his surname. His professional name over there is (and get this) Lino Desmond. On that note let me remind you once again, there’s a grand opening tomorrow night at New Lino’s in Alameda.

Oakland Tribune

Oakland, California

By Perry Phillips

July 9, 1965

I touched off a flurry of phone calls recently when I mentioned that Lino Simeole, who used to own Lino’s in Alameda, had changed his name to Lino Desmond and was now making Italian western movies in Rome. I didn’t dream this one up. I have a photo of Lino riding a horse in one of his movies. The picture came by mail this week. Lino is very photogenic. With the picture was a note saying he’ll be appearing with Marcello Mastroianni and Wayde Preston in coming films. He's playing bad guy parts. I answered his note with one question: “How do you say, ‘Let’s cut ‘em off at the pass!’ in Italian? Meanwhile the dinery in Alameda is doing well under the name of New Lino’s Restaurant.



 

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