Onetime accountant Ugo Tognazzi became stagestruck while appearing in amateur theatricals in his hometown of Cremona. Entering films in 1950, Tognazzi became a star in the 1960s by virtue of his appearances in the cynical comedies of director Marco Ferreri. He threw caution (and his image) to the winds by playing an aging homosexual in the 1979 comedy La Cage Aux Folles, and as a result picked up thousands of new fans the world over. During his long career, Tognazzi also tried his hand at directing from time to time. In 1981, Tognazzi won the Cannes Best Actor award for his performance in Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man. Ugo Tongazzi was the father of actor/director Ricky Tognazzi.