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Vittorio De Sica Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (14) | Personal Quotes (3)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 7 July 1901Sora, Lazio, Italy
Date of Death 13 November 1974Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, France
Height 5' 9¼" (1.76 m)

Mini Bio (1)

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, and repeated that achievement in Italian movies, mostly light comedies. He turned to directing in 1940, making comedies in a similar vein, but with his fifth film The Children Are Watching Us (1944), he revealed hitherto unsuspected depths and an extraordinarily sensitive touch with actors, especially children. It was also the first film he made with the writer Cesare Zavattini with whom he would subsequently make Shoeshine (1946) and Bicycle Thieves (1948), heartbreaking studies of poverty in postwar Italy which won special Oscars before the foreign film category was officially established. After the box-office disaster of Umberto D. (1952), a relentlessly bleak study of the problems of old age, he returned to directing lighter work, appearing in front of the camera more frequently. Although Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1963) won him another Oscar, it was generally accepted that his career as one of the great directors was over. However, just before he died he made The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1970), which won him yet another Oscar, and his final film A Brief Vacation (1973). He died following the removal of a cyst from his lungs.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Spouse (2)

María Mercader (6 April 1968 - 13 November 1974) (his death) (2 children)
Giuditta Rissone (10 April 1937 - 1968) (divorced) (1 child)

Trivia (14)

De Sica lived with his second wife, María Mercader, from 1942 on, but couldn't marry her until 1968 after acquiring French citizenship, which allowed him to finally divorce Giuditta Rissone, his first.
In addition to being famous as a great director, De Sica was renowned for his light earthy acting roles opposite Italy's most famous sex goddesses at the time: Gina Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren.
De Sica continued to act in films in order to finance his own projects.
He was a compulsive gambler
Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume One, 1890-1945". Pages 229-237. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1987.
His movies Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1963), Marriage Italian Style (1964), The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1970) were Oscar-nomiinated for "Best Foreign Language Film". Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1963) and The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1970) won. Bicycle Thieves (1948) and Shoeshine (1946) received special Honarary Awards for their high and oustanding quality.
Is portrayed by Edmund Purdom in Sophia Loren: Her Own Story (1980)
Supporter of the Italian Communist Party.
Directed Sophia Loren to an Oscar nomination twice, for Two Women (1960) and for Marriage Italian Style (1964). Loren won an Oscar for the first nomination.
Brother-in-law of Ramon Mercader, the murderer of Leon Trotsky.
The director of four Italian films that were honored with the Academy Award (two special awards for "Shoeshine" and "The Bicycle Thief", the Best Foreign Film Oscar for.
Father-in-law of Tilde Corsi and Silvia Verdone.
Grandfather of Andrea De Sica and Brando De Sica.

Personal Quotes (3)

"Bicycle Thieves" is a good picture. I like very much. But some concession to sentimentality. A little concession. "Umberto D" never. Nothing. Without compromise. But it was too early. Many pictures of mine this way. Now is a great success. Then, nothing. Oh, a little. The intelligentsia accept "Umberto D." But the audience -- no, nothing. Too early. Too early.
[on Sophia Loren] I consider Sophia a great -- a good actress and a great personality. Because she is a Neopolitan. Like me. We are the same people, the same origin. And we feel together the same. Yes, for me, I am very happy when I work with Sophia.
There is no crisis in cinema. There are negative periods. There are times when some films are received well and others aren't. The past teaches us that some films were received badly, while others go sailing on. There are two films doing very well right now in the Italian market: One is The Leopard (1963) ("The Lepoard"), which earns seven million lire a day, and the other is "Il diavolo" ("To Bed or Not to Bed (1964)"), starring (Alberto) Sordi, which earns 3 1/2 million. So there are films that are doing very well. What I notice is that producers have been known to make errors in judgment, which have caused them to be overly daring. For example, I've been told many millions were spent, somewhere around half a billion, for a film entrusted to a young person. We must make room for young people , but with half a billion we could have made eight of Bicycle Thieves (1948) ("The Bicycle Thief"). Experimental cinema should be inexpensive cinema. Half a billion lire should be entrusted to those professionals who we can be sure will bring home the half billion spent. We should be cautious with new initiatives. Producers should be cautious. As for television as a competitor, yes, there I see a danger. Let television do television, let them do documentaries, but cinema as such should be shown on screens, because there's no one more lazy than the public. When people don't have to leave their homes, they're very happy. A film shown in the home encourages the audience not to budge.

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