Michele Placido
Placido e Vincenti.jpg
Placido and his second wife Federica Vincenti
Born (1946-05-19) 19 May 1946 (age 76)
Alma materAccademia Nazionale di Arte Drammatica Silvio D'Amico
  • Actor
  • filmmaker
Years active1972–present
Height1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Political partyItalian Communist Party
(m. 1989; div. 1994)

Federica Vincenti
(m. 2012; div. 2017)
Children4, including Violante
RelativesGerardo Amato (1949-; brother)

Michele Placido (Italian: [miˈkɛːle ˈplaːtʃido]; born 19 May 1946) is an Italian actor, film director, and screenwriter. He began his career on stage, and first gained mainstream attention through a series of roles in films directed by the likes of Mario Monicelli and Marco Bellocchio, winning the Berlinale's Silver Bear for Best Actor for his performance in the 1979 film Ernesto. He is known internationally for portraying police inspector Corrado Cattani on the crime drama television series La piovra (1984–2001). Placido's directorial debut, Pummarò, was screened Un Certain Regard at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival. Three of his films have competed for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. He is a five-time Nastro d'Argento and four-time David di Donatello winner. In 2021, Placido was appointed President of the Teatro Comunale in Ferrara.[1]

Early life

Placido was born at Ascoli Satriano, into a poor family from Rionero in Vulture, Basilicata; he is a descendant of the known brigand Carmine Crocco.[2] Placido had a number of jobs since his youth. For a time, he worked as a police officer in Rome, and was involved in the Battle of Valle Giulia. He studied acting at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome, and with Silvio D'Amico at the Accademia Nazionale di Arte Drammatica.


Placido made his debut as an actor in the play Midsummer Night's Dream in 1969. Two years later he started film work under directors such as Luigi Comencini, Mario Monicelli, Salvatore Samperi, Damiano Damiani, Pasquale Squitieri, Francesco Rosi, Walerian Borowczyk, Marco Bellocchio, Paolo Cavara and Carlo Lizzani. His first success came with the role of soldier Paolo Passeri in Marcia trionfale (1976, directed by Bellocchio), for which he won a David di Donatello. Two years later he won the Silver Bear for Best Actor award at the 29th Berlin International Film Festival for his role of the homosexual worker in ironical melodrama Ernesto (1978, by Samperi).[3]

He appeared in several TV movies in the 1970s, but 1983 marked the beginning of his greatest television popularity when he played the lead as a police inspector investigating the Mafia in Damiano Damiani's TV series La piovra. He went on to play the same part in the subsequent three series, until his character's assassination. Afterwards he would appear as a law enforcement official in a number of other films and TV productions dealing with organized crime, including a semi-biographical movie about Giovanni Falcone, where he acted as the titular judge. In 2008, in a reversal of roles, he portrayed longtime Mafia boss Bernardo Provenzano in the TV movie L'ultimo padrino. A recognizable role to US audiences is that of an Italian businessman in the 1988 comedy Big Business.

Personal life

Until a divorce in 1994, he was married to actress Simonetta Stefanelli. Their daughter Violante Placido is also an actress.

In 2012, he married actress Federica Vincenti (born 8 November 1983) after over 10 years of dating. The couple divorced in December 2017.

Placido was a member of the Italian Communist Party until the 1980s. His nephew, Alessandro Onorato, has been the Councilor for Major Events, Sport and Tourism for Rome since 2013.[4][5]





  1. ^ Carlino, il Resto del (3 February 2021). "Michele Placido presidente del Teatro Comunale di Ferrara". il Resto del Carlino (in Italian). Retrieved 2 March 2022.
  2. ^ "Michele Placido interview". Retrieved 3 November 2008.
  3. ^ "Berlinale 1978: Prize Winners". berlinale.de. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
  4. ^ "Roma Capitale | Sito Istituzionale | Alessandro Onorato". www.comune.roma.it. Retrieved 2 March 2022.
  5. ^ "Comunali, Placido nella squadra di Marchini: «Lavorerei gratis»". Corriere della Sera (in Italian). 17 May 2016. Retrieved 2 March 2022.