Italian filmmaker and screenwriter Steno, born Stefano Vanzina in Rome, was a lawyer before enrolling in the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia. For a while, he was a writer and a cartoonist. In 1939, he began working as a script collaborator and an assistant director. Sten launched his directorial career following WWII. At first he worked in collaboration with Mario Monicelli on eight comedy films starring slapstick funnyman Toto, but in 1953, he began working alone. He is best remembered for his comedies. In 1972, Steno scored a box-office smash with the thriller La Polizia Ringrazia.