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Paolo Villaggio in 2007

Paolo Villaggio (born 31 December 1932) is an Italian actor, writer, director and comedian, especially famous for his grotesque irony and satire.

Contents

Life

Born in Genoa in 1932, Villaggio lived his childhood in poverty due to World War II. Later he had many jobs, including one as clerk for the Italsider steel major. His experience in that large company, inspired him his most famous creation, the accountant Ugo Fantozzi. Maurizio Costanzo discovered his artistic potential and in 1967 he advised Villaggio to play in a cabaret in Rome. From there, Villaggio was hired for the TV programme Bontà loro, in which his variously aggressive, evil or obedient characters found their consecration.

Career

Accountant Ugo Fantozzi

Villaggio as Ugo Fantozzi.

After his television experience, he started writing for L'Espresso and L'Europeo, two popular magazines, short stories based on the character Accountant Ugo Fantozzi, a man with a weak character, dogged by misfortune and by the "mega-director" of the "mega-company" where Fantozzi works. In 1971 the publishing house Rizzoli released the book Fantozzi based on these stories, which gave Villaggio an international fame. The success of his best-sellers (he wrote three of them, all published by Rizzoli) gave him the opportunity to enter the film industry with success. Villaggio had already appeared in some movies (among them, Brancaleone alle crociate by Mario Monicelli in 1970), but only with Fantozzi, directed by Luciano Salce in 1975, did he rise to film stardom.

Aside from the huge Italian success of the books (which led to the movies being produced) the printed adventures of Fantozzi were translated and officially distributed across the Iron Curtain garnering very positive reviews and an impressive number of copies sold. The first book even received the Gogol Prize in Moscow. It's more than possible that while the official governments of the Eastern Bloc saw in the books the satire of the ills of Capitalism the readers identified their plight with Fantozzi's, feeling victimized by authoritarian, faceless societies. Many movies followed the first two; all in all nine were based on the accountant (one by Salce, 7 by Neri Parenti and 1 by Domenico Saverni); in others he played other characters, such as Giandomenico Fracchia (similar to Fantozzi as personality) and professor Krantz (a German mad scientist, aggressive, sadistic and overbearing, a deliberate inversion of the accountant's meek and timid demeanor).

Other films

Villaggio has played in numerous comedies. Director he worked with include: Federico Fellini (La voce della luna of 1990, together with Roberto Benigni), Lina Wertmuller (Io speriamo che me la cavo, 1992), Ermanno Olmi (Il segreto del bosco vecchio, 1993), Mario Monicelli (Cari fottutissimi amici, 1994) and Gabriele Salvatores (Denti, 2000). Among the cinema awards received by Villaggio are the David di Donatello del 1990, the Nastro d'Argento in 1992 and the Golden Lion for his entire career in 1996.

During his film career, Villaggio never ceased his activity as a writer, moving to Mondadori publishing house in 1994. He published Fantozzi saluta e se ne va (1994-1995; "Fantozzi Says Goodbye and Leaves"), Vita morte e miracoli di un pezzo di merda ("Life, Death and Miracles of a Piece of Shit", 2002), 7 grammi in 70 anni ("7 Grammes in 70 Years", 2003) and his last one Sono incazzato come una belva ("I'm Fucking Mad as a Beast") in 2004.

He is best known as a cinema actor and a writer, but he was also a good theatre actor: he played Arpagone in L'Avare of Molière in 1996. In the same year, he also led the satirical news bulletin Striscia la notizia (broadcast on Canale 5), together with Ezio Greggio. More recently, he participated in the television fiction Carabinieri, in which he played the role of a tramp who often helped the law enforcement into the solving cases. With his friend and fellow Genoan Fabrizio De André Villaggio wrote two songs, "Carlo Martello torna dalla battaglia di Poitiers" and "Il fannullone".

Filmography

  • Eat it (1968)
  • I Quattro del Pater Noster (1969)
  • Il terribile ispettore (1969)
  • Pensando a te (1969)
  • La torta in cielo (1970)
  • Brancaleone alle crociate (1970)
  • Senza famiglia, nullatenenti cercano affetto (1972)
  • Beati i ricchi (1972)
  • Che c'entriamo noi con la rivoluzione? (1973)
  • Non toccare la donna bianca (1974)
  • Vado, sistemo l'America e torno (1974)
  • La mazurka del barone, della santa e del fico fiorone (1974)
  • Alla mia cara mamma nel giorno del suo compleanno (1974)
  • Fantozzi (1975)
  • Di che segno sei? (1976)
  • Signore e signori, buonanotte (1976)
  • Quelle strane occasioni (1976)
  • Il secondo tragico Fantozzi (1976)
  • Il Belpaese (1977)
  • Dove vai in vacanza? (1977)
  • Tre tigri contro tre tigri (1977)
  • Il Signor Robinson (1977)
  • Io tigro, tu tigri, egli tigra (1978)
  • Professor Kranz tedesco di Germania (1978)
  • Dottor Jekyll e gentile signora (1979)
  • Rag. Arturo De Fanti, bancario precario (1979)
  • La locandiera (1980)
  • Mirandolina (1980)
  • Fantozzi contro tutti (1980, also director)
  • Fracchia la belva umana (1981)
  • Il turno (1981)
  • Pappa e Ciccia (1982)
  • Bonnie e Clyde all'italiana (1982)
  • Sogni mostruosamente proibiti (1983)
  • Fantozzi subisce ancora (1983)
  • A tu per tu (1984)
  • Sogni e bisogni (1984)
  • Superfantozzi (1985)
  • I pompieri (1985)
  • Fracchia contro Dracula (1985)
  • Scuola di ladri (1986)
  • Grandi Magazzini (1986)
  • Roba da ricchi (1987)
  • Rimini, Rimini (1987)
  • Scuola di ladri - seconda parte (1987)
  • Missione eroica. I pompieri 2 (1987)
  • Il volpone (1988)
  • Fantozzi va in pensione (1988)
  • Come è dura l'avventura (1988)
  • La voce della luna (1989)
  • Ho vinto la lotteria di Capodanno (1989)
  • Fantozzi alla riscossa (1990)
  • Le Comiche (1990)
  • Le Comiche 2 (1992)
  • Il segreto del bosco vecchio (1993)
  • Io speriamo che me la cavo (1993)
  • Fantozzi in paradiso (1993)
  • Cari fottutissimi amici (1994)
  • Le nuove comiche (1994)
  • Palla di neve (1995)
  • Io no spik inglish (1995)
  • Camerieri (1995)
  • Fantozzi - Il ritorno (1996)
  • Banzai (1997)
  • Un bugiardo in Paradiso (1998)
  • Per motivi di famiglia (1998)
  • Fantozzi 2000 - La clonazione (1999)
  • Azzurro (2000)
  • Denti (2000)
  • Hermano (2000)
  • I promessi sposi (2001)
  • Heidi (2001)
  • San Giovanni - L'apocalisse (2002)
  • Gas (2005)

Bibliography

  • Fantozzi (1971)
  • Come farsi una cultura mostruosa (1972)
  • Il secondo tragico libro di Fantozzi (1974)
  • Le lettere di Fantozzi (1976)
  • Fantozzi contro tutti (1979)
  • Fantozzi subisce ancora (1983)
  • Rag. Ugo Fantozzi: "Caro direttore ti scrivo...". Lettere del tragicomico ragioniere (1993)
  • Fantozzi saluta e se ne va: le ultime lettere del rag. Ugo Fantozzi (1994)
  • Vita morte e miracoli di un pezzo di merda (2002)
  • 7 grammi in 70 anni (2003)
  • Sono incazzato come una belva (2004)
  • Gli fantasmi (2006)
  • Storia della libertà di pensiero (2008)
  • Storie di donne straordinarie (2009)

External links








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