Ciccio Ingrassia and his longtime partner Franco Franchi were the last surviving practitioners of the high-energy commedia all'italiana, and in their heyday were among Europe's most popular acts. They used to say they were "first united by hunger and then success," and started out working in outdoor Sicilian theaters until they were discovered by pop singer Domenico Modugno and then cast in small parts in Mario Mattoli's Appuntamento a Ischia (1960). The two had another small scene in a Vittorio De Sica film before they made their debut as the stars of L'Onorata Societa (1961). This and their subsequent films followed strict patterns and were variations of favorite variety show sketches; they often parodied other popular films. Like Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, and other popular comic duos, the two represented inseparable opposites. With his seedy aristocratic countenance, the almost painfully gaunt Ciccio was the straight man, always trying to retain a sense of dignity -- always edged with an underlying hysteria that eventually burst forth, in which case all concept of a straight man would fly straight out the window -- while coping with the crazy antics of the flamboyantly blue-collar and mustachioed Franco. Together Ciccio and Franco made over 100 films. Two of their films reached cult status in the early '70s, Ultimio tango a Zagarol (The Last Italian Tango) (1973) and Farfallon (1974). In 1973, Ciccio made a memorable solo appearance in Federico Fellini's Amacord as the crazed Uncle Teo. Ciccio also wrote, directed, and starred in two films, Paolo il Freddo (1974) and L'esorciccio (The Exorcist -- Italian Style) (1975). Franco retired in the mid-'80s, but Ciccio continued on with his career.