The spirit becomes free only when it ceases to be a support.

Franz Kafka

Marcello Vincenzo Domenico Mastroianni - biography

Marcello Vincenzo Domenico Mastroianni (28 September 1924 – 19 December 1996) was an Italian film actor. His honours have included British Film Academy Awards, Best Actor awards at the Cannes Film Festival and two Golden Globe Awards. He was a famous actor in Italy and all around the world.

Personal life

Mastroianni was born in Fontana Liri, a small village in the Apennines, and grew up in Turin and Rome. Mastroianni was the son of Ida (née Irolle) and Ottone Mastroianni, who ran a carpentry shop. His mother, who was of Jewish descent, was born in 1898 in Minsk, and moved with her parents 1906 to Germany and later to Italy. He was the nephew of the Italian sculptor Umberto Mastroianni (1910–1998). During World War II, after the division into Axis and Allied Italy, he was interned in a loosely guarded German prison camp, from which he escaped to hide in Venice. Mastroianni was married to Italian actress Flora Carabella (1926–1999) from 1948 until his death. They had one child together, Barbara. His brother Ruggero Mastroianni (1929–1996) was a highly regarded film editor who not only edited a number of his brother's films, but appeared alongside Marcello in Scipione detto anche l'Africano, a spoof of the once popular peplum/sword and sandal film genre released in 1971. Mastroianni had a daughter, Chiara Mastroianni, with the actress Catherine Deneuve, his longtime lover during the seventies. Both his daughters and Deneuve were at his bedside when he died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 72, as was his partner at the time, author and filmmaker Anna Maria Tatò. The Trevi Fountain in Rome, associated with his role in Fellini's La dolce vita, was symbolically turned off and draped in black as a tribute.


In 1945, Mastroianni started working for a film company and began taking acting lessons. His first role was in I Miserabili (1948). He soon became a major international celebrity, starring in Big Deal on Madonna Street; and in Federico Fellini's La dolce vita with Anita Ekberg in 1960, where he played a disillusioned and self-loathing tabloid columnist who spends his days and nights exploring Rome's high society. Mastroianni followed La dolce vita with another signature role, that of a film director who, amidst self-doubt and troubled love affairs, finds himself in a creative block while making a movie in Fellini's 8½. His prominent films include La dolce vita, La Notte, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Marriage Italian-Style, A Special Day, and Ready to Wear, opposite Sophia Loren. Mastroianni and Loren were one of the most successful and enduring screen couples of cinema history, paired up in 14 movies over twenty years.

Mastroianni, Dean Stockwell and Jack Lemmon are the only actors to have been twice awarded the Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival. Mastroianni won it in 1970 for Dramma della gelosia - tutti i particolari in cronaca and in 1987 for Dark Eyes.

Awards and recognition

  • 1962 – winner, Golden Globe Award for Best Actor
  • 1962 – nomination, Academy Award for Best Actor (Divorzio all'italiana)
  • 1963 – winner, British Film Academy Award for Best Foreign Actor (Divorzio all'italiana)
  • 1964 – winner, British Film Academy Award for Favourite Male in World Film and for Best Foreign Actor (Ieri, oggi, domani)
  • 1970 – winner, Cannes Film Festival award for Best Actor (Dramma della gelosia - tutti i particolari in cronaca)
  • 1977 – nomination, Academy Award for Best Actor (A Special Day)
  • 1987 – winner, Cannes Film Festival award for Best Actor (Dark Eyes)
  • 1987 – nomination, Academy Award for Best Actor (Dark Eyes)
  • 1989 – winner, Venice Film Festival Best Actor (Che ora è?)
  • 1993 – recipient, Honorary César
  • 1997 – recipient, David di Donatello Prize, Career Achievement

Article author: Zipora Galitski
Article tags: biography
The article is about these people:   Marcello Vincenzo Domenico Mastroianni

This information is published under GNU Free Document License (GFDL).
You should be logged in, in order to edit this article.


Please log in / register, to leave a comment

Welcome to JewAge!
Learn about the origins of your family