Adolfo Celi

Active - 1946 - 1991  |   Born - Jul 27, 1922   |   Died - Feb 19, 1986   |   Genres - Drama, Crime, Comedy, Action, Adventure

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Although not too well known outside his native Italy, white-haired, robust Adolfo Celi gained renown as a "renaissance" man of theater and films, doing triple duty as an actor, writer and director. His first film was 1946's Un Americano in Vacanza, after which he left Italy to spend nearly two decades working on the stage in Argentina and Brazil. He returned to films with the Brasilia-lensed That Man From Rio (1964), then achieved American fame as megavillain Largo in the 1965 James Bond flick Thunderball. Two years later, he appeared with Sean Connery's brother Neil in the Bond rip-off Operation Kid Brother (1967). Though he could speak several languages, Celi's accent was so pronounced that his voice was usually dubbed, never more noticeably than in the cult favorite King of Hearts (1966), in which he played a pompous British military officer. In addition to his acting credits, Adolfo Celi directed three South American films: Ciacara, Aliba, Tico Tico No Fuba.

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