Renato Salvatori

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Giuseppe Salvatori
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Ренато Сальватори, Renato Salvatori
Protestantu kapsēta Romā, Non- Catholic Cemetery, Roma, Cimitero acattolico di Roma

Renato Salvatori (1933-1988) was a popular, good-looking Italian actor of the 1950s and 1960s. His apex he reached as Simone in Visconti’s Rocco e i suoi fratelli/ Rocco and His Brothers (1960).

Renato Salvatori was born Giuseppe Salvatori in Seravezza, near Lucca, on 20 March 1933. When he was 18 and bay-watching at a small seaside resort near Forte dei Marmi, he was discovered by Italian film director Luciano Emmer who picked him for a part in Le ragazze di Piazza di Spagna (1952). His first lead Renato Salvatori had in Jolanda la figlia del corsaro nero (1952), directed by Mario Soldati. Salvatori’s popularity grew enormously thanks to his part of Salvatore in Dino Risi’s trilogy Poveri ma belli (1956), Belle ma povere (1957) and Poveri milionari (1958), also with Maurizio Arena and Marisa Allasio. He also knew public success with the two-part comedy La nonna Sabella (1957, again Risi) and La nipote Sabella (1958, by Giorgio Bianchi), next to Tina Pica, Peppino de Filippo and Sylva Koscina. Succes was even more with the comedy I soliti ignoti/Big Deal on Madonna Street/Le pigeon (1958)by Mario Monicelli about a gang clumsy burglars (Vittorio Gassman, Marcello Mastroianni, Salvatori and others), while Claudia Cardianel played Salvatori’s girlfriend. Its success propelled the sequel Audace colpo dei soliti ignoti/Hold up à la milanaise (1960) by Nanni Loy, again with Gassman and Cardinale.

Renato Salvatori was also good as dramatic actor in films such as I magliari//The Magliari (1959) by Francesco Rosi, set in Hamburg and with Alberto Sordi and Belinda Lee co-acting, in La ciociara (1960) by Vittorio De Sica and with Sophia Loren, and in Era notte a Roma/ Blackout in Rome (1960) by Roberto Rossellini and with Giovanna Ralli, but Salvatori’s fundamental part was that of Simone in Rocco e i suoi fratelli/Rocco and his Brothers (1960) by Luchino Visconti. Simone is the eldest brother of a fatherless migrant family from the South, who struggles to cope with modern city life in Milan. When Simone’s girlfriend, the prostitute Nadia (Annie Girardot), prefers his younger brother Rocco (Alain Delon) to him, he rapes her in front of his brother. Reduced to an outcast and ridiculed by his former friends after his boxing career has faltered - while that of Rocco is summiting - Simone takes revenge on Nadia. In real life, Salvatori and Girardot treated each other quite differently. Salvatori met her on the set of the film, they fell in love and married two years after. Salvatori also became close friends with Alain Delon. Other memorable performances of Salvatori’s film career were in Un giorno da leoni (Nanni Loy 1961), La banda Casaroli (1962) by Florestano Vancini and I compagni (Mario Monicelli 1963), or polemic and counter-cultural films such as Smog (1962)by Franco Rossi, also with Girardot, the science-fiction comedy Omicron (1964) by Ugo Gregoretti, and Una bella grinta (1965)by Giuliano Montaldo, films that wanted to give an Italian answer to the French Nouvelle Vague. Salvatori’s last important roles were in Queimada (1969) by Gillo Pontecorvo and starring Marlon Brando, and in La prima notte di quiete (1972) by Valerio Zurlini, again next to Salvatori’s friend Delon.

Salvatori also played major parts in the French films Le glaive et la balance (André Cayatte 1963) with Anthony Perkins and Jean-Claude Brialy, Les grands chemins (Christian Marquand 1963) with Robert Hossein and Anouk Aimée, L’harem (Marco Ferreri 1967) with Carol Baker, and Etat de siege (1972) by Costa-Gavras and starring Yves Montand, while he had small parts in Costa-Gavras’ Z (1969) and Henri Verneuil’s Le casse (1971). In 1969 he also acted in the Mexican film Los recuerdos del porvenir by Artur Ripstein. In the early 1970s Salvatori played in a few French police films which starred Alain Delon: Les granges brûlées (Jean Chapot 1973) also with Simone Signoret, Flic Story (Jacques Deray 1975) also with Jean-Louis Trintignant, Le gitan (José Giovanni 1975) also with Girardot, and Armagueddon (Alain Jessua 1977) also with Jean Yanne. In the same years Salvatori also played in Italian films about crime & politics such as Il sospetto (Francesco Maselli 1975) also with Gian Maria Volonté and Girardot, Cadaveri eccellenti (1976) by Francesco Rosi and with Lino Ventura, and Todo modo (1976) by Elio Petri and with Volonté; but also films on sexual politics such as La dernière femme (Marco Ferreri 1976). After the mid-1970s, however, Salvatori’s parts become much smaller, even of in films of authors such as Rosi, Ferreri, Salvatore Samperi, (Ernesto, 1979) and Bernardo Bertolucci (La luna, 1979, and La tragedia di un uomo ridicolo, 1981). Salvatori’s last major parts, instead, were in the erotic drama La cicala (Alberto Lattuada 1980), the comedy Asso (Castellano & Pipolo=Franco Castellano, Giuseppe Moccia 1981) with Adriano Celentano and Edwige Fenech, and the drama Oggetti smarriti (1980) by Giuseppe Bertolucci and with Mariangela Melato and Bruno Ganz.

Salvatori had one daughter with Girardot: Giulia, who became actress as well. In later years the couple separated but kept good relations. Salvatori had a son Nils from his second marriage with German photo model Danka Schroeder. In the 1970s Salvatori started to have drinking problems, possibly caused by his delusion over his shrinking career. In 1984 Salvatori entered politics while working for the external relations of the Ministry of Transport, but by now he was physically declining because of liver cirrhosis, which eventually killed him on 27 March 1988. Renatl Salvatori lies buried in Rome, cemetery of Campo Sestio.


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