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Vittorio Gassman


“Acting is not that far from mental disease: An actor works on splitting his character into others. It is like a kind of schizophrenia.”



One of the most popular and versatile stars in Italy for over 40 years, handsome, flamboyant Vittorio Gassman has found tremendous success on stage and screen as an actor. Internationally, Gassman is perhaps best known as the comic star of such films as I Soliti Ignoti/Big Deal on Madonna Street (1956) and Lo Zio Indegno/The Sleazy Uncle (1989). Before making his film debut in the 1946 Preludio d’Amore, Gassman had established himself as a major stage star, having appeared in some 40 productions; he specialized in classical plays.

He was born in Genoa, the son of an Italian mother and an Austrian father, and before entering the National Academy of Dramatic Art in Rome, studied law. It was his mother who encouraged Gassman to become an actor. In film, he started out in dramatic or romantic roles, but did not become a star until his fourth film, Giuseppe De Santis’ Riso Amaro/Bitter Rice (1949), in which he played the fugitive lover of buxom… read more


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Picture of Pierluigi Puccini