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Eduardo De Filippo
De Filippo with a model of the
Teatro San Carlino [it] (1955)
Born(1900-05-24)24 May 1900
Died31 October 1984(1984-10-31) (aged 84)
Rome, Italy
OccupationActor, playwright, screenwriter
Height1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
Spouse(s)Isabella Quarantotti (m. 1977) (d.2005)
Thea Prandi (1956–1959) (d.1961)
Dorothy Pennington (1928–1956)
ChildrenLuisa "Luisella" De Filippo (1950–1960)
Luca De Filippo
Angelica Ippolito (stepdaughter)
Parent(s)Luisa De Filippo
Eduardo Scarpetta
RelativesPeppino De Filippo (brother)
Titina De Filippo (sister)

Eduardo De Filippo (Italian: [eduˈardo de fiˈlippo]; 24 May 1900 – 31 October 1984), also known simply as Eduardo,[1] was an Italian actor, playwright, and screenwriter, best known for his Neapolitan works Filumena Marturano and Napoli Milionaria. Considered one of the most important Italian artists of the 20th century, De Filippo was the author of many theatrical dramas staged and directed by himself first and later awarded and played outside Italy. For his artistic merits and contributions to Italian culture, he was named senatore a vita by the President of the Italian Republic Sandro Pertini.


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De Filippo was born in Naples from the affair between playwright and actor Eduardo Scarpetta and theatre seamstress and costumier Luisa De Filippo. He was the second of three children born from the couple, the other two being Annunziata "Titina" and Giuseppe "Peppino". His father was actually married since 1876 to Rosa De Filippo, Luisa's paternal aunt. His father Eduardo had several other illegitimate children from various affairs (including actors Ernesto Murolo, Eduardo Passarelli and Pasquale De Filippo). He began acting at the age of five and in 1932 formed a theater company with his brother Peppino and sister Titina, called compagnia del Teatro Umoristico I De Filippo. Peppino left the troupe in 1944 and Titina departed by the early 1950s. After the war, in 1948 he bought the S. Ferdinando theatre in Naples, inaugurated in 1954. De Filippo starred in De Sica's L'oro di Napoli with Totò and Sophia Loren in 1954. In 1973, Franco Zeffirelli's production of De Filippo's 1959 play Sabato, domenica e lunedi (translated as Saturday, Sunday, Monday), starring Joan Plowright, Frank Finlay and Laurence Olivier, was presented at London's National Theatre and won the London drama critics' award.[2][3]

He was married three times. His first wife was Dorothy Pennington. From his second wife, the actress Thea Prandi, he had two children: Luisa "Luisella" and Luca. The couple divorced in 1959. His daughter Luisella died aged 10 in 1960, shortly before her mother's death in 1961. His third wife was writer and playwright Isabella Quarantotti. The actress Angelica Ippolito is his step-daughter, born to Isabella Quarantotti and her first husband, the scientist Felice Ippolito.

De Filippo died of kidney failure on October 31, 1984, in Rome, at the age of 84. His artistic legacy was inherited by his son Luca.




Totò and Eduardo De Filippo in Napoli Milionaria
Totò and Eduardo De Filippo in Napoli Milionaria


  1. ^ Name used only as actor; as actor and director he signed himself with both name and surname.
  2. ^ Cassell Dictionary of Italian Literature - Page 164
  3. ^ McGraw-Hill encyclopedia of world drama: an international ...: Volume 1 - Page 19