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Roberto Benigni Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (30) | Personal Quotes (7)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 27 October 1952Manciano La Misericordia, Castiglion Fiorentino, Tuscany, Italy
Birth NameRoberto Remigio Benigni
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Roberto Benigni was born on October 27, 1952 in Manciano La Misericordia, Castiglion Fiorentino, Tuscany, Italy as Roberto Remigio Benigni. He is an actor and writer, known for Life Is Beautiful (1997), The Monster (1994) and The Tiger and the Snow (2005). He has been married to Nicoletta Braschi since December 26, 1991.

Spouse (1)

Nicoletta Braschi (26 December 1991 - present)

Trivia (30)

After his movie Life Is Beautiful (1997) received seven Academy Award nominations, he met the Italian President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro and said, after shaking his hand: "Now I have the Oscar in my hand!".
When the Ulivo party won the parliamentary elections, Benigni jumped on the stage and kissed Walter Veltroni, one of the party's candidates.
His father Luigi Benigni (1918-2004), who worked as a farmer, carpenter and bricklayer, was a prisoner in the concentration camp Bergen-Belsen between 1943 and 1945. Roberto used his stories as the basis for his film Life Is Beautiful (1997). However, unlike Roberto's character in the film, Roberto's father was not of Jewish heritage.
His mother Isolina Papini (1918-2004) worked as a fabric inspector.
Sister: Bruna Benigni (textile worker), born 1945.
Sister: Albertina Benigni (flower shop owner), born 1947.
Sister: Anna Benigni (teacher's aide), born 1948.
Attended a seminary in Florence, planning to become a priest.
Left the seminary after two-thirds of Florence had been flooded by the Arno River (4 November 1966).
Graduated from Instituto Tecnico Commericale Datini di Prato.
He and Laurence Olivier are the only two actors to have directed themselves in Oscar winning performances.
The first actor to win a Best Actor Oscar for a non-English speaking role.
He is the sixth actor in history to win the Oscar for Best Actor in a comedy after Clark Gable in It Happened One Night (1934), James Stewart in The Philadelphia Story (1940), Lee Marvin in Cat Ballou (1965), Richard Dreyfuss in The Goodbye Girl (1977) and Jack Nicholson in As Good as It Gets (1997).
Benigni met wife Nicoletta Braschi on the set of You Disturb Me (1983).
The first actor to win a Worst Actor Razzie for a non-English speaking role.
He joins Sylvester Stallone, Prince, Kevin Costner, William Shatner, and Tom Green as being the only actors to direct themselves in performances that would "win" them a Razzie Award for Worst Actor.
When he "won" the 2003 Razzie Award for Worst Actor in Pinocchio (2002), Razzies.com declared his win "By a Nose!", as he'd just barely beaten fellow nominee Steven Seagal in the film Half Past Dead (2002) by a mere few votes.
Federico Fellini considered him a genius
Member of the jury at the Berlin International Film Festival 1990
Has his look-alike puppet in the French show Les guignols de l'info (1988).
Was awarded Doctor Honoris Causa by the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium (2 February 2007).
Winning the Best Foreign Language Film category at the The 70th Annual Academy Awards (1998), he famously climbed on the back of the seat for his procession to the stage and applauded the audience. The following year, while announcing the nominees for the Best Actress Award, Billy Crystal appeared behind him with a large net to restrain him.
Also a respected poet, known for his poesia estemporanea, and singer-songwriter.
After leading a crowd of thousand in Rome, protesting against Silvio Berlusconi's government's decision to cut state arts funding by 35 percent, he hijacked the opening credits of Italy's most watched news show, removed his shirt to drape it over the anchorman's shoulders and announced "Berlusconi had resigned!" the next day (15 September 2005).
Was a supporter of the Italian Communist Party (PCI).
Is one of five performers to win an Oscar playing a character that spoke mostly in a foreign language. The other are Sophia Loren, Robert De Niro, Marion Cotillard and Benicio Del Toro.
He was one of the most radical opponents to Silvio Berlusconi's government and policy in Italy.
Doing a one man show based on the Italian poet Dante Alighieri throughout Europe [2007]
Works in theater and prepares performances on stage. [1997]
Along with Orson Welles, Laurence Olivier, Woody Allen, Warren Beatty, Kenneth Branagh and Clint Eastwood, he is one of only seven men to receive Academy Award nominations for both Best Actor and Best Director for the same film: Welles for Citizen Kane (1941), Olivier for Hamlet (1948), Allen for Annie Hall (1977), Beatty for both Heaven Can Wait (1978) and Reds (1981), Branagh for Henry V (1989), Eastwood for Unforgiven (1992) and Benigni for Life Is Beautiful (1997).

Personal Quotes (7)

[on winning the Best Actor Academy Award for Life Is Beautiful (1997) after already accepting the Best Foreign Language Film award as its director] "Thank you. This is a terrible mistake, because I used up all my English!"
Charlie Chaplin used his ass better than any other actor. In all his films his ass is practically the protagonist. For a comic, the ass has incredible importance.
"I'm so happy that every organ in my body is moving in a very bad way."
  • said backstage at the Oscars after he won the Best Actor category.



On Stanley Kubrick: Stanley Kubrick is one of the geniuses of this century.
The first movie I saw - and I don't know if it influenced me - was Ben Hur. We watched it outside in a corn field, and it ran backwards. So the first movie I ever saw was Ben Hur, backwards.
[During his speech after winning the Oscar for Life is Beautiful] I would like to thank my parents in Vergaio, a little village in Italy. They gave me the biggest gift: poverty.
[introducing Sophia Loren at a life-time award celebration] When I hear the name Sophia, I jump and jump again because it's an explosion of life.. She is Italy and very Italian. When she moves, when she walks, all of Italy is walking. You can see Sicily, Tuscany, Lombardy move. Then Milan, Florence, Naples, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Colosseum, pizza, spaghetti, Toro, De Sica. She holds all these things and all these people inside

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