Friday, January 6, 2023

English voices of the Spaghetti Western – Geoffrey Copleston


Geoffrey Copleston was born in Manchester, England, U.K. on March 18, 1921. He was a prolific character actor and voice dubber who played small roles in more than 100 Italian films and TV productions from at least the mid-1950s and well into the 1990s.

Copleston was a British Army Captain who after the end of World War II married an Italian girl named Lydia M. Federici. Like a lot of other native English speakers living in Rome, he eventually got involved in the dubbing industry, working both as a dubbing director and dubbing actor on the English-language versions of countless Italian films.

Geoffrey also began appearing in small roles on-screen, with his earliest documented role being a tiny part in “War and Peace” (1956), a Hollywood epic shot on location in Rome. By the mid- 1960s, Geoffrey began to appear in larger and credited roles. His heavy build and characteristic face made him in frequent demand for character roles, and he was cast in a lot of traditionally British parts such as Secret Service bosses or Scotland Yard inspectors.

The 1970s saw Geoffrey becoming more and more active in films, and though he typically appeared in very small parts that consisted of only one or two scenes, he was constantly working. He was usually always cast as foreigners such as tourists, ambassadors, army men etc, but not just Brits - he also played Germans, Americans and even Russians. At the same time, his dubbing career also continued, and he usually dubbed his own voice for the English-language versions of the films he appeared in, and sometimes also in the Italian-language dubs.

In the 1980s, he began to appear more frequently on television. Indeed, it was for television that he played the role that most Italians remember him for: Alfredo Ravanusa, the powerful bank director with ties to the mafia in the famous TV series ‘La piovra’ (1984) - a role which he also reprised for the second series in 1986. Also on television, he appeared as Henry Winterbottom, the boss of Bud Spencer's character in the Big Man movies (1988).

His last known acting role was a surprisingly big part in the infamous neo-giallo “Fatal Frames” (1996). He died in Anzio, Lazio, Italy on October 6, 1998.

COPLESTON, Geoffrey (Gerard Geoffrey Copleston) [3/18/1921, Manchester, England, U.K. – 1999, Rome, Lazio, Italy] – writer, film, TV, voice actor, married to Lydia A M Federici (1947-1999), father of Patrizia Copleston.

Geoffrey Copleston’s English dubbed voices:

Django – 1966 [English voice of Angel Alvarez]

Kill or Be Killed – 1967 [English voice of Furio Meniconi]

Last of the Badmen – 1967 [English voice of Eduardo Fajardo]

The Magnificent Texan – 1967 [English voice of Beni Deus]

Wanted – 1967 [English voice of Carlo Hintermann]

A Hole in the Forehead – 1968 [English voice of Adriano Micantoni]

If You Want to Live... Shoot! – 1968 [English voice of Adriano Micantoni]

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