Marcello Mastroianni
Mastroianni in 1990
Marcello Vincenzo Domenico Mastroianni

(1924-09-28)28 September 1924
Fontana Liri, Lazio, Italy
Died19 December 1996(1996-12-19) (aged 72)
Paris, France
Years active1938–1996
(m. 1950; sep. 1964)
Partner(s)Faye Dunaway (1968–1970)
Catherine Deneuve (1970–1974)
Anna Maria Tatò (1976–1996, his death)
Children2, including Chiara
RelativesRuggero Mastroianni (brother)

Marcello Vincenzo Domenico Mastroianni[a] Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI (28 September 1924 – 19 December 1996) was an Italian film actor, regarded as one of his country's most iconic male performers of the 20th century. He played leading roles for many of Italy's top directors in a career spanning 147 films between 1939 and 1996, and garnered many international honours including two BAFTA Awards, two Best Actor awards at the Venice and Cannes film festivals, two Golden Globes, and three Academy Award nominations.

Born in the province of Frosinone and raised in Turin and Rome, Mastroianni made his film debut in 1939 at the age of 14, but did not seriously pursue acting until the 1950s, when he made his critical and commercial breakthrough in the caper comedy Big Deal on Madonna Street (1959). He became an international celebrity through his collaborations with director Federico Fellini, first as a disillusioned tabloid columnist in La Dolce Vita (1960), then as a creatively-stifled filmmaker in (1963). Excelling in both dramatic and comedic roles,[4] he formed a notable on-screen duo with actress and sex symbol Sophia Loren, co-starring with her in eight films between 1954 and 1994.

Despite international acclaim, Mastroianni largely shunned Hollywood, and remained a quintessentially Italian thespian for the majority of his career.[5] Nonetheless, he was the first actor to receive an Academy Award nomination for a non-English language performance, and was nominated for Best Actor three times – Divorce Italian Style (1961), A Special Day (1977), and Dark Eyes (1987). He was one of only three actors, the others being Jack Lemmon and Dean Stockwell, to win the prestigious Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actor twice. Mastroianni's contributions to Italian art and culture saw him receive multiple civil honours, including the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, the highest-ranking knighthood of the country.[6]

Early life

Mastroianni was born in Fontana Liri, a small village in the Apennines within the Lazio province of Frosinone, and grew up in Turin and Rome. He was the son of Ida (née Irolle) and Ottone Mastroianni. Both of his parents were from the nearby town of Arpino.[7] His father ran a carpentry shop.[8] Mastroianni was a nephew of sculptor Umberto Mastroianni.[9] During World War II, after the division into Axis and Allied Italy, he was interned in a loosely guarded German prison camp, from which he escaped to hide in Venice.[10]

His brother Ruggero Mastroianni was a film editor who worked on some of Marcello's films (City of Women, Ginger and Fred),[11] and appeared alongside Marcello in Scipione detto anche l'Africano, a spoof of the once popular Sword and Sandal film genre released in 1971.[12]

Acting career

Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg in the Trevi Fountain, Rome, during the shooting of La Dolce Vita (1960)

Mastroianni made his screen debut as an uncredited extra in Marionette (1939) when he was fourteen,[13] and made intermittent minor film appearances until landing his first big role in Atto d'accusa (1951).[14] Within a decade he became a major international celebrity, starring in Big Deal on Madonna Street (1958);[15] and in Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita (1960) playing a disillusioned and self-loathing tabloid columnist who spends his days and nights exploring Rome's decadent high society.[16] Mastroianni followed La Dolce Vita with another signature role, that of a film director who, amidst self-doubt and troubled love affairs, finds himself in a creative block while making a film in Fellini's (1963).[17]

His other prominent films include Days of Love (1954) with Marina Vlady; La Notte (1961) with Jeanne Moreau; Too Bad She's Bad (1954), Lucky to Be a Woman (1956), Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1963), Marriage Italian Style (1964), Sunflower (1970), The Priest's Wife (1971), A Special Day (1977) and Robert Altman's Prêt-à-Porter (1994) – all co-starring Sophia Loren; Luchino Visconti's White Nights (1957); Pietro Germi's Divorce Italian Style (1961); Family Diary (1962) with Jacques Perrin; A Very Private Affair (1962) with Brigitte Bardot; Mario Monicelli's Casanova 70 (1965); Diamonds for Breakfast (1968) with Rita Tushingham; The Pizza Triangle (1970) with Monica Vitti; Massacre in Rome (1973) with Richard Burton; The Sunday Woman (1975) with Jacqueline Bisset; Stay As You Are (1978) with Nastassja Kinski; Fellini's City of Women (1980) and Ginger and Fred (1986); Marco Bellocchio's Henry IV (1984); Macaroni (1985) with Jack Lemmon; Nikita Mikhalkov's Dark Eyes (1987) with Marthe Keller; Giuseppe Tornatore's Everybody's Fine (1990); Used People (1992) with Shirley MacLaine; and Agnès Varda's One Hundred and One Nights (1995).

He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor three times: for Divorce Italian Style, A Special Day and Dark Eyes.[18] Mastroianni, Dean Stockwell and Jack Lemmon are the only actors to have been twice awarded the Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival.[19] Mastroianni won it in 1970 for The Pizza Triangle and in 1987 for Dark Eyes.[20]

Mastroianni starred alongside his daughter, Chiara Mastroianni, in Raúl Ruiz's Three Lives and Only One Death in 1996.[21] For this performance he won the Silver Wave Award at the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival. His final film, Voyage to the Beginning of the World (1997), was released posthumously.[22]

Personal life

Mastroianni married Flora Carabella on 12 August 1950.[23] They had one daughter together, Barbara (1951–2018),[24] and informally separated in 1964 because of his affairs with younger women.[23][25] Mastroianni's first serious relationship after the separation was with Faye Dunaway, his co-star in A Place for Lovers (1968). Dunaway wanted to marry and have children, but Mastroianni, a Catholic, refused to divorce Carabella.[23] In 1970, after more than two years of waiting for Mastroianni to change his mind, Dunaway left him.[23] Mastroianni told a reporter for People magazine in 1987 that he never got over the breakup. "She was the woman I loved the most," he said. "I'll always be sorry to have lost her. I was whole with her for the first time in my life."[26] In her 1995 autobiography Looking for Gatsby, Dunaway wrote: "I wish to this day it had worked out."[27]

Mastroianni had a daughter, Chiara Mastroianni (born 28 May 1972), with French actress Catherine Deneuve, who was nearly 20 years his junior and lived with him for four years in the 1970s. During that time, the couple made four films together: It Only Happens to Others (1971), La cagna (1972), A Slightly Pregnant Man (1973) and Don't Touch the White Woman! (1974). After Mastroianni and Deneuve broke up, Carabella reportedly offered to adopt Chiara because her parents' busy careers kept them away so often. Deneuve would have none of it.[28]

Mastroianni's other lovers reportedly included actresses Anouk Aimée, Carole Mallory, Claudia Cardinale, Lauren Hutton and Ursula Andress.[23] By 1976, he became involved with Anna Maria Tatò, an author and filmmaker. They remained together until his death.[23]

He was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic in 1994.[29]


Mastroianni in 1991

Mastroianni died of pancreatic cancer on 19 December 1996 at the age of 72.[30] Both of his daughters, as well as Deneuve and Tatò, were at his bedside.[23] The Trevi Fountain in Rome, associated with his role in Fellini's La Dolce Vita, was symbolically turned-off and draped in black as a tribute.[31][32] A funeral was held at the Church of St. Sulpice in Paris on 20 December before his remains were transferred to Rome where a second ceremony took place at the city hall on 22 December before he was interred in his family vault in Verano Cemetery.[33][34]

At the 1997 Venice Film Festival, Chiara, Carabella and Deneuve tried to block the screening of Tatò's four-hour documentary, Marcello Mastroianni: I Remember. The festival refused and the film was shown.[35] The three women reportedly tried to do the same thing at Cannes. Tatò said Mastroianni had willed her all rights to his image.[35]



Year Title Role Notes
1939 Marionette Extra Uncredited
1942 Love Story
1944 I bambini ci guardano Uncredited
1948 I Miserabili Bit part
1949 Vertigine d'amore
1950 Domenica d'agosto Ercole Nardi
Contro la legge Marcello Curti
Vita da cani Carlo Danesi
Atto d'accusa Renato La Torre
Cuori sul mare Massimo Falchetti
1951 Passaporto per l'oriente Aldo Mazzetti
Last Meeting Michele Bonesi (voice) Dubbed Jean-Pierre Aumont
Parigi è sempre Parigi Marcello Venturi
1952 Le ragazze di Piazza di Spagna Marcello Sartori
L'eterna catena Walter Ronchi
Tragico ritorno Marco
Sensualità Carlo Santori
Penne nere Pietro Cossuti
Gli eroi della domenica Carlo Vagnetti
La muta di Portici Extra Uncredited
1953 Lulù Soletti
Il viale della speranza Mario
Non è mai troppo tardi Riccardo
Febbre di vivere Daniele Massa
La valigia dei sogni
1954 Cronache di poveri amanti Ugo
Tempi nostri Il marito di Maria Segment: "Il pupo"
Schiava del peccato Giulio Franchi
Giorni d'amore Pasquale Droppio
Casa Ricordi Gaetano Donizetti
Peccato che sia una canaglia Paolo
La principessa delle Canarie Hernán
1955 Tam tam mayumbe Alessandrini
La bella mugnaia Luca
1956 La fortuna di essere donna Corrado Betti
The Bigamist Mario De Santis
1957 Padri e figli Cesare
La ragazza della salina Piero
Il momento più bello Pietro Valeri
Le notti bianche Mario
Il medico e lo stregone Dr. Francesco Marchetti
1958 Un ettaro di cielo Severino Balestra
I soliti ignoti Tiberio
Racconti d'estate Marcello Mazzoni
Amore e guai Franco
1959 La Loi Enrico Tosso
Il nemico di mia moglie Marco Tornabuoni
Everyone's in Love Giovanni
Ferdinando I, re di Napoli Gennarino
1960 La Dolce Vita Marcello Rubini
Il bell'Antonio Antonio Magnano
Adua and Friends Piero Salvagni
1961 La notte Giovanni Pontano
L'assassino Alfredo Martelli
Fantasmi a Roma Reginaldo di Roviano / Federico di Roviano / Gino
Divorzio all'italiana Ferdinando "Fefè" Cefalù
1962 Vita privata Fabio Rinaldi
Cronaca familiare Enrico
1963 Guido Anselmi
I compagni Prof. Sinigaglia
Ieri, oggi, domani Carmine Sbaratti
1964 Matrimonio all'italiana Domenico Soriano
1965 Casanova 70 Maggiore Colombetti
La decima vittima Marcello Poletti
Oggi, domani e dopodomani Mario / Michele Profili / Mario Gasparri
1966 Io, io, io... e gli altri Peppino Marassi
Shoot Loud, Louder... I Don't Understand Alberto Saporito
1967 Lo straniero Arthur Meursault
Questi fantasmi The Ghost Uncredited
1968 Break Up Mario Fuggetta
Amanti Valerio
Diamonds for Breakfast Grand Duke Nikolay Vladimirovich Godunov
1970 The Pizza Triangle Oreste Nardi
I girasoli Antonio
Leo the Last Leo
Giochi particolari Sandro
The Priest's Wife Don Mario
1971 Scipio the African Scipio Africanus
Ça n'arrive qu'aux autres Marcello
Permette? Rocco Papaleo Rocco Papaleo
1972 La cagna Giorgio
What? Alex
Roma Himself Cameo appearance
1973 Mordi e fuggi Giulio Borsi
La Grande Bouffe Marcello
Niente di grave: suo marito è incinto Marco Mazetti
Rappresaglia Father Pietro Antonelli
L'idolo della città Nicolas Montei
1974 Touche pas à la femme blanche George A. Custer
Allonsanfàn Fulvio Imbriani
We All Loved Each Other So Much Himself
1975 La pupa del gangster Charlie Colletto
Per le antiche scale Professor Bonaccorsi
Divina creatura Michele Barra
La donna della domenica Commissioner Salvatore Santamaria
1976 Todo modo Don Gaetano
Goodnight, Ladies and Gentlemen Paolo T. Fiume
Lunatics and Lovers Marchese Luca Maria
1977 Una giornata particolare Gabriele
Mogliamante Luigi De Angelis
Doppio delitto Bruno Baldassarre
1978 Ciao maschio Luigi Nocello
Così come sei Giulio Marengo
Blood Feud Rosario Maria Spallone
1979 L'ingorgo – Una storia impossibile Marco Montefoschi
Giallo napoletano Raffaele Capece
1980 La terrazza Luigi
La città delle donne Snàporaz
1981 Fantasma d'amore Nino Monti
La pelle Curzio Malaparte
1982 La Nuit de Varennes Casanova, Chevalier de Seingalt
Oltre la porta Enrico Sommi
The Last Horror Film Himself Cameo appearance
1983 Storia di Piera Lorenzo
Gabriela, Cravo e Canela Nacib
Il generale dell'armata morta General Ariosto
1984 Enrico IV Enrico IV
1985 Le due vite di Mattia Pascal Mattia Pascal
Maccheroni Antonio Jasiello
Big Deal After 20 Years Tiberio
1986 Ginger e Fred Pippo Botticella (Fred)
O Melissokomos Spyros
1987 Oci ciornie Romano
Intervista Himself
1988 Miss Arizona Rozsnyai Sándor
1989 Splendor Jordan
Che ora è? Marcello
1990 Stanno tutti bene Matteo Scuro
Verso sera Prof. Bruschi
1991 To meteoro vima tou pelargou Missing Politician
Le voleur d'enfants Bigua
A Fine Romance Cesareo Grimaldi
1992 Used People Joe Meledandri
1993 Di questo non-si parla Ludovico D'Andrea
Un, deux, trois, soleil Constantin Laspada, le père
1994 Prêt-à-Porter Sergei (Sergio)
The True Life of Antonio H. Himself
1995 Les cent et une nuits de Simon Cinéma L'ami italien / The Italian Friend
Sostiene Pereira Pereira
Al di là delle nuvole The Man of All Vices
1996 Trois vies et une seule mort Mateo Strano / Georges Vickers / Butler / Luc Allamand
1997 Viagem ao Princípio do Mundo Manoel Released posthumously


Year Title Role Notes
1966 The Poppy Is Also a Flower Inspector Mosca Made-for-TV movie
1971 Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In Himself (guest) 2 episodes
1972 Correva l'anno di grazia 1870 Augusto Parenti Made-for-TV movie
1978 Le mani sporche Hoederer Miniseries
1988 Piazza Navona Himself 6 episodes
1994 A che punto è la notte Salvatore Santamaria Miniseries

Awards and nominations

Federico Fellini and Mastroianni in 1990



See also


  1. ^ Pronunciation: /mɑːrˈɛl ˌmæstrˈjɑːni, - ˌmɑːs-, -ˈjæn-, - ˌmæstrɔɪˈɑːni, - ˌmɑːs-/ mar-CHEL-oh MA(H)ST-roh-YA(H)N-ee, -⁠ MA(H)ST-roy-AH-nee,[1][2][3] Italian: [marˈtʃɛllo mastroˈjanni].


  1. ^ Jones, Daniel (2011). Roach, Peter; Setter, Jane; Esling, John (eds.). "Mastroianni". Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary (18th ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-15255-6.
  2. ^ "Mastroianni". Collins English Dictionary. HarperCollins. Retrieved 20 September 2022.
  3. ^ "Mastroianni". Unabridged (Online). n.d. Retrieved 20 September 2022.
  4. ^ d'Amico, Masolino (2003). "Commedia All'Italiana" [Italian Comedy]. Enciclopedia del Cinema (in Italian). Retrieved 2 October 2023.
  5. ^ "Marcello Mastroianni; Suave Italian Actor Became an International Star". Los Angeles Times. 20 December 1996. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  6. ^ "Actor dies at age 72". The News (Boca Raton, Florida). Associated Press. 20 December 1996. p. 4A. Retrieved 1 January 2010.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Costantini 1996, p. 5.
  8. ^ Rothe, Block & Moritz 1958, p. 261.
  9. ^ Hochkofler 2006, p. 9.
  10. ^ Dewey 1993, p. 29.
  11. ^ Sloman, Tony (5 October 1996). "Obituaries: Ruggero Mastroianni". The Independent. London. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  12. ^ Hochkofler 2006, p. 96.
  13. ^ Dewey 1993, p. 26.
  14. ^ Dewey 1993, p. 54.
  15. ^ Hochkofler 2001, p. 39.
  16. ^ Reich 2004, p. 24.
  17. ^ Reich 2004, p. 80.
  18. ^ Oliver, Myrna (20 December 1996). "Marcello Mastroianni; Suave Italian Actor Became an International Star". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 1 January 2010.
  19. ^ Finos, Arianna (19 December 2016). "Vent'anni senza Mastroianni, la bella vita di Marcello: il cinema, le donne, il cibo". la Repubblica (in Italian). Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  20. ^ Pepper, Curtis Bill (20 September 1987). "STILL MASTROIANNI". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved 1 January 2010.
  21. ^ Hochkofler 2001, p. 184.
  22. ^ Reich 2004, p. 165.
  23. ^ a b c d e f g Castro, Peter (13 January 1997). "Lover and Legend". People. Archived from the original on 17 May 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2023.
  24. ^ Anderson, Ariston (14 October 2018). "Costume Designer Barbara Mastroianni, Daughter of Marcello Mastroianni, Dies at 66". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  25. ^ Fusco, Maria Pia (21 April 1999). "E' morta Flora Mastroianni" [Flora Mastroianni has died]. La Repubblica (in Italian). p. 45. Retrieved 2 October 2023.
  26. ^ Darrach, Brad (7 December 1987). "Marcello Mastroianni". People. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  27. ^ Dunaway, Faye (10 November 1995). Looking for Gatsby: My Life. New York City: Simon & Schuster. p. 217. ISBN 978-0-6848-0841-3.
  28. ^ Sloan, Robin Adams (25 September 1976). "Mary Hemingway Keeps In Touch". Evening Independent. St. Petersburg, Florida. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  29. ^ "Sito web del Quirinale: dettaglio decorato". Quirinale (in Italian). Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  30. ^ "Marcello Mastroianni, known as 'Latin Lover,' dies". CNN. 19 December 1996. Retrieved 1 January 2010.
  31. ^ Natale, Richard (19 December 1996). "Mastroianni dead at 72". Variety. Retrieved 2 October 2023.
  32. ^ Wiegand 2003, p. 83.
  33. ^ Bohlen, Christine (20 December 1996). "Marcello Mastroianni, Self-Deprecating Charmer of Italian Film, Is Dead at 72". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 October 2023.
  34. ^ "Italy: Rome: Funeral of Actor Marcello Mastroianni". AP Archives. 22 December 1996. Retrieved 2 October 2023 – via YouTube.
  35. ^ a b "Family Feud". The Southeast Missourian. 30 August 1997. Retrieved 1 January 2010.

Works cited