Luigi Pistilli

Active - 1947 - 1988  |   Born - Jul 19, 1929 in Grosseto, Toscana, Italia  |   Died - Apr 21, 1996   |   Genres - Thriller, Western, Drama, Crime, Horror

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

At one time Luigi Pistilli was one of Italy's most respected actors of stage, screen, and television. In theater, he was considered one of the country's best interpreters of Bertolt Brecht's plays; indeed, his most famous roles were in The Threepenny Opera and St. Joan of the Stockyards. Pistilli studied acting at Milan's Piccolo Teatro, graduating in 1955. He never completely severed his ties with the theater and often returned to appear in plays directed by Giorgio Strehler. Pistilli made his feature film debut with an uncredited role in Dark Passage (1947). He often appeared in such spaghetti Westerns as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) and For a Few Dollars More (1965). Pistilli's television career has included a regular role on the popular Mafia drama The Octopus. Pistilli committed suicide in his Milan home just before appearing in the final production of Terrace Rattigan's Tosca on April 21, 1996. The show had been harshly panned by critics and audiences and this apparently threw Pistilli into a deep depression. According to his suicide note, Pistilli had suffered even deeper despair after making some bitter public comments regarding the recent termination of a four-year off-stage relationship with singer/actress Milva, with whom he was co-starring in Tosca.

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Factsheet

  • Ha iniziato a recitare in teatro negli anni '50, guidato da Strehler. Prediligeva soprattutto i testi di Brecht.
  • Ha conosciuto il successo negli anni '60 grazie ad alcuni ruoli in vari film di Sergio Leone.
  • Nel 1990 i telespettatori de La Piovra 5 lo hanno ritrovato nelle vesti di un capomafia dai sentimenti paterni.
  • Ha lavorato anche come doppiatore, prestando la voce ad attori come Michael Gough, Noble Willingham, Richard Libertini e Tsutomu Yamazaki.
  • Ha recitato in teatro fino alla fine dei suoi giorni. 
  • È stato trovato morto impiccato in casa sua, a Milano, il giorno in cui era prevista una replica del suo ultimo spettacolo, un adattamento della Tosca, non salutato positivamente dalla critica. 
  • Ha lasciato un messaggio prima di morire, in cui chiede scusa alla cantante Milva, con cui aveva da poco concluso una relazione, per le dichiarazioni offensive nei suoi confronti, rilasciate durante un'intervista.
  • È sepolto a Cori, accanto alla tomba del figlio, anche lui morto suicida.