.mw-parser-output .hidden-begin{box-sizing:border-box;width:100%;padding:5px;border:none;font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .hidden-title{font-weight:bold;line-height:1.6;text-align:left}.mw-parser-output .hidden-content{text-align:left}You can help expand this article with text translated from the corresponding article in Italian. (May 2023) Click [show] for important translation instructions. View a machine-translated version of the Italian article. Machine translation, like DeepL or Google Translate, is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into the English Wikipedia. Consider adding a topic to this template: there are already 3,021 articles in the main category, and specifying|topic= will aid in categorization. Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article. You must provide copyright attribution in the edit summary accompanying your translation by providing an interlanguage link to the source of your translation. A model attribution edit summary is Content in this edit is translated from the existing Italian Wikipedia article at [[:it:Massimo Troisi]]; see its history for attribution. You should also add the template ((Translated|it|Massimo Troisi)) to the talk page. For more guidance, see Wikipedia:Translation.
Massimo Troisi
Troisi in 1989
Born(1953-02-19)19 February 1953
Died4 June 1994(1994-06-04) (aged 41)
Ostia, Italy
  • Actor
  • screenwriter
  • film director
Years active1968–1994
Height1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)

Massimo Troisi (Italian pronunciation: [ˈmassimo troˈiːzi]; 19 February 1953 – 4 June 1994) was an Italian actor, cabaret performer, screenwriter, and film director. He is best known for his works in the films I'm Starting from Three (1981) and Il Postino: The Postman (1994), for which he was posthumously nominated for two Oscars. Nicknamed "the comedian of feelings",[1] he is considered one of the most important actors of Italian theater and cinema.[2]

Early years and TV star

Troisi was born into a large family in San Giorgio a Cremano, a town near Naples. His father Alfredo was a train engineer. Some of his family experiences were later told in his first films. After secondary school, Troisi wrote some poems inspired by his favourite author, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and, in 1969, started to play in a small local theatre together with some childhood friends (including Lello Arena and Enzo Decaro). The early death of his mother condemned Troisi to a harsh period of activity, which is said to have had a role in the development of his increasingly serious heart problems which were brought on during his teenage years from bouts of rheumatic fever. (In 1976 he had to visit the United States for a heart valve operation, the expenses for which were paid with the help of his friends.)

Troisi started his artistic career as a cabaret showman in 1972, as a member of the comic trio called "I Saraceni" ("The Saracens") and, later, "La Smorfia" (from the name of the "book of the numbers" traditionally used in Naples for lottery and tombola, but also meaning "the face", as in "to make a face"). His mates were De Caro and Arena. They gained national fame on the radio and increased it consistently from 1977 onwards eventually becoming TV stars with the shows Non Stop, La sberla (1978) and Luna Park (1979). Troisi soon gained the status of leader of the trio. He was noted for his use of facial mimicry and of apparently confused speech—in these he drew inspiration from such famous figures of Neapolitan comedy as Totò, and Eduardo and Peppino De Filippo.

Private life

He never married nor had sons.Troisi non si sposò mai e non lasciò figli.[3]


Troisi wrote, directed, and starred in his first film, Ricomincio da tre ("I Start Over from Three") in 1981. He achieved wide success and critical praise, establishing himself as one of the most talented new Italian directors of the 1980s. Like his second film, Ricomincio da tre is centered on the troublesome love life of a Neapolitan character, partly inspired by Troisi's youth, as well as featuring Lello Arena. Scusate il ritardo, similar to the preceding one, was released in 1983, and had Giuliana De Sio as co-star.

Troisi starred opposite Roberto Benigni in Non ci resta che piangere (1984), in which they play two friends who are accidentally transported back in time to the 15th century; there they meet Leonardo da Vinci and, upon realising which age they are in, travel to Spain to try to stop Christopher Columbus from discovering the Americas.

After some small acting roles, in 1987 Troisi directed Le vie del Signore sono finite, set during the Fascist era. The film won a Silver Ribbon for best screenplay. In the following years, he starred alongside Marcello Mastroianni, in Ettore Scola's Splendor (1989), Che ora è? (1989, who earned him and Mastroianni the Volpi Cup for Best Actor) and Il viaggio di Capitan Fracassa (1990). His last film as director (also as screenwriter and actor) was Pensavo fosse amore, invece era un calesse (1991), again centering on the everyday difficulties of love between a man and a woman (portrayed by Francesca Neri).

Il Postino and death

Troisi came to international fame through the success of Il Postino: The Postman, directed by Michael Radford. Troisi died in 1994 of a heart attack in his sister's house at Infernetto, Rome, twelve hours after the main filming on Il Postino had finished. It was reported that he postponed surgery to complete the film.[4]

He was posthumously nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actor and Best Writing for Il Postino, and was the sixth person to be posthumously nominated for an acting Academy Award. (Earlier posthumous nominations were Jeanne Eagels, James Dean [twice], Spencer Tracy, Peter Finch [won] and Sir Ralph Richardson.)

Pino Daniele worked on the soundtracks of most of his films. Eduardo De Filippo, the most prominent Italian dramatist of the 20th century with Luigi Pirandello, said he was "a comedian of the future, rooted in the past".





In popular culture

In 2023, a documentary film on Troisi, titled as Massimo Troisi: Somebody Down There Likes Me was made directed by Mario Martone. The film had its premiere at 73rd Berlin International Film Festival on 17 February 2023.[5][6]


  1. ^ Chiacchiari Federico; Salvi Demetrio, Massimo Troisi. Il comico dei sentimenti, Sentieri Selvaggi, 2011. ISBN 88-86883-01-3
  2. ^ Daniele Bova, “Ricomincio da Tre”, ecco a voi Massimo Troisi, L'Unità, 22 novembre 2015
  3. ^ "La vita privata di Massimo Troisi: Jo Champa, Clarissa Burt e l'ultima compagna Nathalie Caldonazzo". 17 February 2023.
  4. ^ Laurino, Maria (11 June 1995). "FILM; A Postman, a Poet, an Actor's Farewell". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
  5. ^ Abbatescianni, Davide (16 January 2023). "The Berlinale adds eight new titles to its Berlinale Special strand, announces full Berlinale Shorts line-up". Cineuropa. Retrieved 17 February 2023.
  6. ^ "Massimo Troisi: Somebody Down There Likes Me". Berlin International Film Festival. Retrieved 17 February 2023.