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Roberto Rossellini Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (4)  | Trivia (18)  | Personal Quotes (2)  | Salary (1)

Overview (3)

Born in Rome, Lazio, Italy
Died in Rome, Lazio, Italy  (heart attack)
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

The master filmmaker Roberto Rossellini, as one of the creators of neo-realism, is one of the most influential directors of all time. His neo-realist films influenced France's nouvelle vague movement in the 1950s and '60s that changed the face of international cinema. He also influenced American directors, including Martin Scorsese.

He was born into the world of film, making his debut in Rome on May 8, 1906, the son of Elettra (Bellan), a housewife, and Angiolo Giuseppe "Beppino" Rossellini, the man who opened Italy's first cinema. He was immersed in cinema from the beginning, growing up watching movies in his father's movie-house from the time that film was first quickening as an art form. Italy was one of the places were movie-making matured, and Italian film had a huge influence on D.W. Griffith and other international directors. Between the two world wars, Hollywood would soon dictate what constituted a "well-made" film, but Rossellini would be one of the Italian directors who once again put Italy at the forefront of international cinema after the Second World War.

His training in cinema was thorough and extensive and he became expert in many facets of film-making. (His brother Renzo Rossellini, also was involved in the industry, scoring films.) He did his apprenticeship as an assistant to Italian filmmakers, then got the chance to make his first film, a documentary, "Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune", in 1937. Due to his close ties to Benito Mussolini's second son, the critic and film producer Vittorio Mussolini, he flourished in fascist Italy's cinema. Once Il Duce was deposed, Rossellini produced his first classic film, the anti-fascist Rome, Open City (1945) ("Rome, Open City") in 1945, which won the Grand Prize at Cannes. Two other neo-realist classics soon followed, Paisan (1946) ("Paisan") and Germany Year Zero (1948) ("Germany in the Year Zero"). "Rome, Open City" screenwriters Sergio Amidei and Federico Fellini were nominated for a Best Writing, Screenplay Oscar in 1947, while Rossellini himself, along with Amidei, Fellini and two others were nominated for a screen-writing Oscar in 1950 for "Paisan".

"I do not want to make beautiful films, I want to make useful films," he said. Rossellini claimed, "I try to capture reality, nothing else." This led him to often cast non-professional actors, then tailor his scripts to their idiosyncrasies and life-stories to heighten the sense of realism.

With other practitioners of neo-realism, Vittorio De Sica and Luchino Visconti, film was changed forever. American director Elia Kazan credits neo-realism with his own evolution as a filmmaker, away from Hollywood's idea of the well-made film to the gritty realism of On the Waterfront (1954).

Rossellini had a celebrated, adulterous affair with Ingrid Bergman that was an international scandal. They became lovers on the set of Stromboli (1950) while both were married to other people and Bergman became pregnant. After they shed their spouses and married, producing three children, history repeated itself when Rossellini cheated on her with the Indian screenwriter Sonali Senroy DasGupta while he was in India at the request of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to held revitalize that country's film industry. It touched off another international scandal, and Nehru ousted him from the country. Rossellini later divorced Bergman to marry Das Gupta, legitimizing their child that had been born out-of-wedlock.

Rossellini continued to make films until nearly his death. His last film Il messia (1975) ("The Messiah"), a story of The Passion of Christ, was released in 1975.

Roberto Rossellini died of a heart attack in Rome on June 3, 1977. He was 71 years old.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Spouse (4)

Sonali Senroy DasGupta (1957 - 1977) ( his death) ( 1 child)
Ingrid Bergman (24 May 1950 - 7 November 1957) ( divorced) ( 3 children)
Marcella De Marchis (26 September 1936 - 1950) ( divorced) ( 2 children)
Assia Noris (1934 - 1936) ( annulled)

Trivia (18)

Born at 12:50pm-CET.
Father, with Ingrid Bergman, of daughters Isabella Rossellini and Isotta Rossellini and son Renato Roberto Rossellini.
Older brother of Renzo Rossellini.
Father of Renzo Rossellini.
Uncle of Franco Rossellini.
Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume One, 1890-1945". Pages 959-971. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1987.
President of jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1977.
He and Ingrid Bergman made 6 movies together: Europe '51 (1952), Joan of Arc at the Stake (1954), Fear (1954), We, the Women (1953), Stromboli (1950) and Journey to Italy (1954)
Is portrayed by Massimo Ghini in Celluloid (1996).
His children are: Renzo (b. August 24, 1941) and Marco (b. July 3, 1937 d. August 14, 1946 of peritonitis) with Marcella de Marchis; Renato Roberto Giusto Giuseppe "Robertino" "Robin" (b. February 2, 1950), Isabella Fiorella Elettra Giovanna (b. June 18, 1952), and Isotta Ingrid Frieda Giuliana (b. June 18, 1952) with Ingrid Bergman; Gil (b. October 23, 1956 d. October 3, 2008 from a bacterial infection) and Raffaella (b. 1958) with Sonali Das Gupta.
His son Gil was originally named Arjun Das Gupta. His name was changed to Gil Rossellini after his father adopted him.
Invented a remote control zoom allowing himself to direct while moving in and out within frame.
Hardly ever worked with a fixed script.
Was good friends with Federico Fellini, Vittorio De Sica and Luchino Visconti.
Planned to direct a mini-series on the life of Karl Marx titled "Lavorare per l'umanità" ("To Work for Humanity"), but he died before shootings began.
His father, Angiolo Giuseppe, was born in Rome from a family originally from Pisa, Tuscany. His mother, Elettra Bellan, was born in Rovigo, Veneto, from a family with very distant French ancestors.
His surname was originally Rosellini.
After Roberto Rossellini in 1992 has been named the Institute for Cinema and Television (CineTV) based in Rome, Italy founded in 1961 by Prof. Dora Besesti, Vaklav Vick and other movie professionals. Cine TV is now one of the main specialized secondary public schools of cinema, television, photography, ad graphic and visual forming set crews in Italy.

Personal Quotes (2)

I do not want to make beautiful films, I want to make useful films.
I try to capture reality, nothing else.

Salary (1)

Stromboli, terra di Dio (1950) $150,000

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