Edit
Tomas Milian Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (2) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (3) | Trivia (9) | Personal Quotes (9)

Overview (4)

Born in Havana, Cuba
Died in Miami, Florida, USA
Birth NameTomás Quintín Rodríguez Milián
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Tomas Milian, an American actor born in Cuba; was trained at the Actors Studio. He appeared in a few plays on Broadway, as well as in a show by Jean Cocteau in Spoleto. Mauro Bolognini noticed him and that was the starting point of a rich cinematographic career in Italy, where he played in all manner of genres. He interpreted a mad psychopath in The Ugly Ones (1966) (aka "Bounty Killer"), a role he would then improve and diversify into an impressive gallery of neurotic and sadistic killers, first in "spaghetti westerns" (many directed by Sergio Corbucci), and then in violent action and police thrillers (many directed by Umberto Lenzi). His films gradually evolved into action comedies, as he played the recurrent characters of thief "Er Monnezza" and cop Nico Giraldi (the latter being originally based on the lead character in Serpico (1973)), two typically Roman characters who enjoyed great popularity in the '70s and '80s.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Alain Morin (qv's & corrections by A. Nonymous)

Milian was born in Havana as the son of a Cuban general. His father was arrested and jailed: he later committed suicide on a New Year's evening. Milián then decided to leave Cuba and pursue his wishes of being an actor.He settled in the United States to study at New York's Actors Studio and later became an American citizen. In 1969, he became an naturalized Italian citizen. Milian is bisexual; prior to his marriage to actress Margherita Valletti, he had relationships with both men and women. After starting a career in the United States, he went to Italy in 1958 to take part to a theatre festival in Spoleto. He eventually decided to relocate to Italy, where he lived for over 25 years, becoming a very successful performer. His first film part in Italy was in the 1959 picture La notte brava. Although his voice was usually dubbed due to his accent, Milián performed his lines in Italian (or in English, depending on the film). He initially starred in arthouse movies and worked with directors such as Mauro Bolognini and Luchino Visconti. After five years of making what he deemed "intellectual" movies, Milián was unhappy with his contract with producer Franco Cristaldi and thought of going back to the United States. Needing money to start over, he took the opportunity to star as a bandit in a spaghetti western called The Bounty Killer. The film boosted his career, and ultimately resulted in his staying in Italy. He became a star of the spaghetti western genre,[8] where he often played Mexican bandits or revolutionaries, roles in which he spoke in his real voice. As the spaghetti westerns dwindled, Milián remained a star in many genre films, playing both villains and heroes in various polizieschi movies. He starred with Barbara Bouchet in the giallo Don't Torture a Duckling. He later turned to comedy, playing the recurrent characters of petty thief Monnezza and Serpico-like police officer Nico Giraldi in a variety of crime-comedy pictures. Although his voice was dubbed most of the time by Ferruccio Amendola, Milián wrote his own lines in Roman slang. Milián's inventive use of romanesco (Roman dialect) made him a cult performer in Italy. Bruno Corbucci, the director of many of these films commented, "At the cinemas as soon as Tomás Milián appeared on the screen, when he made a wisecrack and in the heaviest situations, then it was a pandemonium, it was like being at the stadium." As Milián used similar makeups and accents in portraying both characters, Monnezza and Nico were occasionally confused by Italian audiences, who sometimes referred erroneously to them both as Monnezza, or Er Monnezza (Da trash in slang), and still closely associate Milián with these performances. Milián also appeared in non-genre pictures, such as Bernardo Bertolucci's La Luna, for which he won a Nastro d'Argento for Best supporting Actor, and Michelangelo Antonioni's Identification of a Woman. As he grew older, Milián decided to go back to the United States. He appeared in Sidney Pollack's Havana, Steven Spielberg's Amistad, Steven Soderbergh's Traffic as well as Andy García's The Lost City, about Revolutionary Cuba. He has also played many roles on stage. In 2005, he portrayed Generalisimo Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina in the film version of Mario Vargas Llosa's novel The Feast of the Goat.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: en.wikipedia

Spouse (1)

Rita Valletti (1964 - 2012) (her death) (1 child)

Trade Mark (3)

Usually plays humorous and/or rebellious characters
Method acting
Use of body posture, costumes and hairstyles in creating character

Trivia (9)

His father was an army general under a Cuban dictatorship. In 1933 the dictatorship was overthrown and his father arrested. He committed suicide in 1945 in his home, with Tomas as an eyewitness.
He decided to become a movie actor after seeing James Dean in East of Eden (1955).
Discovered by director Mauro Bolognini after appearing on stage in Italy. He began in Italian features playing sensitive, spoiled bourgeoisie.
After the tremendous success of Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars (1964) starring Clint Eastwood, Milian grubbed up his own image and propelled himself to stardom in like fashion in such classic "spaghetti westerns" as The Ugly Ones (1966), La resa dei conti (1966) with Lee Van Cleef, Faccia a faccia (1967), Django Kill... If You Live, Shoot! (1967) and Corri uomo corri (1968).
In the 1970s he specialized in playing lone-wolf anti-heroes in giallos and crime features. He started an extremely successful series of tough, violent films as the small-time crook Er. Monnezza (three times) and police detective Nico Giraldi (12 times).
Returned to the US in the late '80s and played ethnic bad guys for the most part.
In most of his Italian comedies from the 1970s, his voice was dubbed by Ferruccio Amendola, who provided a strong Roman accent. However, Milian had real knowledge of Roman slang and generally wrote his own lines.
Father of Tomaso Milian Jr..
Studied method acting under Lee Strasberg.

Personal Quotes (9)

[on how he would play a character] I just believed it.
[on appearing in a play in University] I saw the play's poster with my name on it, and said, "What the hell am I doing here? I'm losing time."
People like and enjoy a superhero, a man bigger than life. Then there is the other type of actor--and that's me.
I'd get bored if I'd have to be good-looking all the time. I would prefer to work in a bank.
During my first year in Italy, I made mainly intellectual movies where I was bored to death.
What I want to do is to become the part--to leave Tomas Milian wherever he is and become the character.
[gesturing to torso] In here . . . in here, is everything, from A to Z. Okay? I could be . . . a good person, I could be an evil son of a bitch, I could be anything. I could be funny, I could be very dramatic, I can make you cry, if you want.
I don't like to intellectualize what I do. Because the intellect . . . it was ruining my instinct. And I live out of instinct.
[on his appearances in "political" spaghetti westerns] I didn't care, really, about politics. I was ignorant as Cuchillo [from La resa dei conti (1966) and Corri uomo corri (1968)] was. That's why I was so good at [that] stuff. The actors are being used, so . . . you don't have to be political, you have to be like [an] ideological whore.

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page