The 50 best Italian Actors and Actresses

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1.
Gian Maria Volontè
Born in Milan in 1933, he studies in Rome at the "National Dramatic Arts Academy" were reaches the degree in 1957. He starts working in teather and television, where he is soon noticed as one of the most promising actors of his generation. After a few short appearance in movies, he reaches notoriety with the character of Ramón Rojo in Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars...
 
2.
Marcello Mastroianni
Actor,
Marcello Mastroianni was born in Fontana Liri, Italy in 1924, but soon his family moved to Turin and then Rome. During WW2 he was sent to a German prison camp, but he managed to escape and hide in Venice. He debuted in films as an extra in Marionette, then started working for the Italian department of "Eagle Lion Films" in Rome and joined a drama club...
 
3.
Giulietta Masina
Born in San Giorgio di Piano, Giulietta Masina spent part of her teenage years living with a widowed aunt in Rome, where she cultivated a passion for the theater and studied for a degree in Philosophy. She began her career on the radio with the program "Terzoglio" (1942), about the adventures of newlyweds Cico and Pallina from scripts written by Federico Fellini...
 
4.
Silvana Mangano
Actress, Dune
Silvana Mangano was born on April 21, 1930 in Rome, Italy and was raised in poverty during World War II. She trained as a dancer for seven years and supported herself as a model. In 1946, at age 16, she won the Miss Rome beauty pageant and through this, she obtained role in a Maria Della Costa film...
 
5.
Giancarlo Giannini
Giancarlo Giannini is an Oscar-nominated Italian actor, director and multilingual dubber who made an international reputation for his leading roles in Italian films as well as for his mastery of a variety of languages and dialects. He was born August 1, 1942, in La Spezia, Italy. For ten years young Giannini lived and studied in Naples...
 
6.
Vittorio De Sica
Director, Bicycle Thieves
Vittorio De Sica grew up in Naples, and started out as an office clerk in order to raise money to support his poor family. He was increasingly drawn towards acting, and made his screen debut while still in his teens, joining a stage company in 1923. By the late 1920s he was a successful matinee idol of the Italian theatre...
 
9.
Ugo Tognazzi
Despite his many superb performances accumulated over a four-decade stretch (and I do mean many), this virile, mustachioed, stocky-framed Italian character star will be forever cherished if only for his one classic comedy role, that of slightly mincing gay cabaret owner Renato Baldi in La Cage aux Folles...
 
10.
Totò
'Antonio de Curtis Gagliardi Griffo Focas Comneno' was a descendant of the 'Comneno de Bizancio' and also one of the most popular Italian film stars in history. His genre was undoubtedly the comedy where he achieved world fame. From 1917 he was an actor of the companies of the "comedia dell'arte" and also poet in Neapolitan dialect...
 
11.
Vittorio Gassman
Actor, Sleepers
Vittorio Gassman studied theatre in his youth and was quite a good basketball player. He debuted on stage in 1943 and soon felt home in all classical theatre works. Since 1946 he also worked at the movies and his first big role there was the criminal in Bitter Rice. This fixed him to his main parts: The ambiguous gentleman inflicting pain and pleasure at the same time...
 
12.
Terence Hill
Actor, Don Matteo
Terence Hill was born as Mario Girotti on March 29, 1939 in Venice, Italy to a chemist. His mother was German, and as a child the family lived near Dresden, Saxony, Germany where they survived the Allied bombings of World War II. Italian film-maker Dino Risi discovered him at a swimming meet and he made his first film at the age of 12...
 
13.
Anna Magnani
Anna Magnani was born in Rome, Italy (not in Egypt, as some biographies claim), on March 7, 1908. She was the illegitimate child of Marina Magnani and an unknown father, often said to be from Alexandria, Egypt, but whom Anna herself claimed was from the Calabria region of Italy although she never knew his name...
 
16.
Sophia Loren
Actress, Two Women
Sophia Loren was born as Sofia Scicolone at the Clinica Regina Margherita in Rome, Italy, on September 20, 1934. Her father, Riccardo Scicolone, was married to another woman and refused to marry her mother, Romilda Villani, despite the fact that she was the mother of his two children (Sophia and her younger sister Maria Scicolone)...
 
17.
Franco Nero
Blue-eyed well-built Italian actor Franco Nero, once was a painting photographer, when he was discovered as an actor by director John Huston. Grew up in provincial northern Italian town in the family of a strict police sergeant, Nero got on the scene at six years old. Studied economics and trade in Milan University and...
 
18.
Isabella Rossellini
Actress, Blue Velvet
Isabella Rossellini, the Italian actress and model who has made her home in America since 1979 and holds dual Italian and American citizenship, was born cinema royalty when she made her debut on June 18, 1952 in Rome. She is the daughter of two legends, three-time Oscar-winning Swedish-born actress Ingrid Bergman and neo-realist master Italian director Roberto Rossellini...
 
20.
Alberto Sordi
One of Italy's most captivating and talented cinematic comedy stars, Italian veteran Alberto Sordi was known for satirizing his country's social mores in pungent black comedies, farcical tales and grim drama. He, along with peers Vittorio Gassman, Ugo Tognazzi and Nino Manfredi, arguably represent the finest of post-war Italian cinema history...
 
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23.
Francesca Bertini
Actress, 1900
Francesca Bertini was undoubtedly one of the first divas of cinema, a lady not only on screen but also in real life. She made her film debut in La dea del mare and after that producers fought for her services. In 1921 she married European nobleman and banker Alfred Cartier. She tried her hand at directing films as well as acting in them and turned out two well-received efforts...
 
24.
Claudia Cardinale
Like many other female Italian film stars, Claudia Cardinale's entry into the business was by way of a beauty pageant. She was 17 years old and studying at the Centro Sperimentale in Rome when she entered a beauty contest, which resulted in her getting a succession of small film roles. Her earthy interpretations of Sicilian women got her noticed by Italian producers...
 
25.
Aldo Fabrizi
Beloved, hugely popular Italian comic character actor/writer/director, in music halls and variety shows for much of his early career. Fabrizi entered films in 1942 and often wrote and directed his vehicles, winning international acclaim in the Roberto Rossellini's neorealist drama Rome, Open City, in which he played a priest who bravely defies the fascist regime...
 
26.
Valeria Golino
Actress, Rain Man
The second child of an Italian germanist and a Greek painter, Valeria Golino grew up in Naples until her parents parted. After three years in Athens with her mother and another three in Naples with her father, she began to work as a model. She left high school after her first movie and didn't study performing arts at all...
 
27.
Virna Lisi
Actress, Queen Margot
Italian goddess Virna Lisi was merely one of a plethora of European movie beauties who proved over the course of their long careers, that they were capable of more than just visual performances. Born in 1936 as Virna Pieralisi, she began her film career as a teenager in 1953. Cast more for her looks than talent at the onset...
 
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29.
Isa Miranda
Actress, Summertime
Isa Miranda was one of the most significant actresses in Europe from the 1930s-'50s. Her remarkable talent expressed itself both in cinema and theater. She reached international popularity in the 1930s, especially in France, Germany and Austria, and became the only international movie star produced by the fascist cinema...
 
30.
Stefania Sandrelli
She was born in Viareggio (Tuscany, Italy) on June 5th, 1946. She won a beauty contest when she was just 15 years old, which led to her first role in "Il federale" together with the great Italian actor Ugo Tognazzi. She was then cast by Germi for the Italian comedy "Divorzio all'Italiana", working with Marcello Mastroianni...
 
31.
Toni Servillo
Actor and director Toni Servillo was born in Afragola in 1959. In 1977 Servillo founded the Teatro Studio in Caserta for whom he directed 'Propaganda' (1979), 'Norma' (1982), 'Billy il bugiardo' (1983) and 'Guernica' (1985), amongst others. In 1986 he collaborated with the Falso Movimento group, interpreting 'Ritorno ad Alphaville' by Mario Martone and staging 'E...
 
32.
Monica Bellucci
Actress, Irreversible
Monica Anna Maria Bellucci was born on September 30, 1964 in the Italian village of Città di Castello, Umbria, the only child of Brunella Briganti and Pasquale Bellucci. She originally pursued a career in the legal profession. While attending the University of Perugia, she modeled on the side to earn money for school...
 
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35.
Pier Angeli
Anna Maria Pierangeli was born June 19, 1932, in Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy. Anna and her twin sister, Marisa Pavan, both had their eyes on become film stars, since that was one of the big Italian pastimes. Anna adopted her surname and split it in half, and it was as Pier Angeli that she would find fame...
 
36.
Alida Valli
Actress, The Third Man
Enigmatic, dark-haired foreign import Alida Valli was dubbed "The Next Garbo" but didn't live up to postwar expectations despite her cool, patrician beauty, remote allure and significant talent. Born in Pola, Italy (now Croatia), on May 3, 1921, the daughter of a Tridentine journalist and professor and an Istrian homemaker...
 
37.
Franco Franchi
With to Totò and Peppino De Filippo, Franco Franchi and Ciccio Ingrassia has been the best couple of the Italian comic cinema. Both sicilian, of Palermo, began on the roads of sicilian city, in the tradition of the ballad singer and the actors of the Comedy of the Art. Scenes, imitations, witticism...
 
38.
Ciccio Ingrassia
Actor, Amarcord
He met Franco Franchi in 1954, and they formed a memorable duo in over 130 films, but he showed his talent in many films of important Italian directors, Fellini, Comencini and Pasolini. His performance in Fellini's film Amarcord was memorable. His only son, Giampiero, is an appreciated actor of theatre and television.
 
40.
Rossano Brazzi
Rossano Brazzi was an Italian stage and film actor. He was married to Lydia Brazzi until her death, and to Isle Fischer, his second wife, until his death. His first break into films came in 1942, when Zarah Leander's film studio was casting for a leading man to play opposite Leander in the film Damals (At That Time, Le Foyer Perdu)...
 
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44.
Gina Lollobrigida
Gina Lollobrigida was born on July 4, 1927 in Subiaco, Italy. Destined to be called "The Most Beautiful Woman in the World", Gina possibly had St. Brigid as part of her surname. She was the daughter of a furniture manufacturer, and grew up in the pictorial mountain village. The young Gina did some modeling and...
 
45.
Nanni Moretti
Nanni Moretti was born on the 19th of August, 1953. He lives in Rome, where since he was a kid he devotes himself to his two passions: cinema and water-polo. In 1970 he also played in water-polo first division in Italy, and in the junior National team. In those years he was also very committed in politcs...
 
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49.
Raf Vallone
Raf Vallone was an internationally acclaimed Italian movie star known for his rugged good looks. The athletic Vallone, a former soccer player who often was compared to Burt Lancaster, was born Raffaele Vallone in 1916 in Tropea in Calabria, Italy, the son of a prominent lawyer and his aristocratic wife...