Cesare Danova

Active - 1949 - 1985  |   Born - Mar 1, 1926   |   Died - Mar 19, 1992   |   Genres - Drama, Crime, Comedy, Romance, Mystery

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Italian actor Cesare Danova came to prominence in such post-war European films as La Figlia del Capitano (1947) and Don Giovanni (1955), playing the title role in the latter film. In the American-made Man Who Understood Women (1959), Danova managed to be both funny and menacing as a murderous cuckolded husband. Few of his American films took full advantage of Danova's talents, tending to cast him as a "typical" hot-blooded Mediterranean, but there have been a few rewarding assignments along the way. As Appolodorus in the budget-busting Cleopatra (1963), Danova was one of the few actors whose part wasn't cut to nothing in order to favor the Elizabeth Taylor-Richard Burton combo. Danova was one of the stars of the TV pilot-cum-theatrical movie Chamber of Horrors (1966), and he enjoyed a season's worth of regular TV work as Actor (that was the character's name, not the designation) on the weekly Dirty Dozen rip-off Garrison's Gorillas (1967). In the '70s and '80s, Danova seemed to take turns with Anthony Quinn in portraying Onassis-like Greek tycoons and Mafia bosses; in the latter capacity Danova was hilarious as Carmine DePasto in National Lampoon's Animal House (1978). In the early years of the '80s, Danova could be seen as a regular on the ABC television daytime drama Ryan's Hope. Cesare Danova died suddenly during a 1992 meeting of the Motion Picture Academy's Foreign Film Committee.

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