Diego Abatantuono (Milan, May 20, 1955) is an Italian cinema and theatre actor, as well screenwriter.
Abatantuono was born in a popular quarter of the city to a father of Pugliese origin and a mother from Como. The latter worked as wardrober in a Milanese jazz and later cabaret place, the Derby, whose owner was Abatantuono’s uncle.
He started to work at Derby first in lighting, then as artistical director and later as an actor. After a stint with the music-comical group Gatti di Vicolo Miracoli and several minor film roles, he returned to work at Derby where he was discovered by the famous TV showman, film director and talent-scout Renzo Arbore, who called him for a role in his movie Il Pap’occhio (1980). Here started Abantantuono’s first successful career in the recurrent role of a poorly-cultivated immigrant from southern Italy (the “Terruncello”), speaking a personal form of slang which was to become a kind of brand.
His most successful performance was in the… read more