Bud Spencer

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For the American sprinter, see Emerson Spencer.
"Pedersoli" redirects here. For the firearm company, see Davide Pedersoli.
Bud Spencer
Bud Spencer cropped 2009.jpg
Spencer in December 2009
Born Carlo Pedersoli
(1929-10-31) 31 October 1929 (age 84)
Naples,  Italy
Other names Bud Spencer
Occupation Writer, actor, former water polo player, singer, composer, jurist, pilot, lawyer, screenplaywriter, fashion designer, record producer
Years active 1951–present
Spouse(s) Maria Amato (1960–present)

Bud Spencer (born Carlo Pedersoli; 31 October 1929) is an Italian actor, filmmaker and a former professional swimmer. He is known for past roles in action-comedy films together with his long-time film partner Terence Hill. Growing from a successful swimmer in his youth, he got a degree in law, and has registered several patents. Spencer also became a certified commercial airline and helicopter pilot, and supports and funds many children's charities, including the Spencer Scholarship Fund.[1]

Bud Spencer and Terence Hill both appeared in, produced and directed over 20 films together and thus became and still remain best friends to this present day.

In a recent interview, Spencer commented: "Terence is like a brother to me, and like brothers we don't always agree, and he can be a pain in the neck sometimes." [laughs] "... our relationship I suppose is reflected in our movies, but he can always count on me as I can on him. We always enjoyed working together, probably why we made so many films together."

Biography[edit]

Spencer was born in Santa Lucia, a historical rione of the city of Naples.

From 1947 to 1949 he worked in the Italian consulate in Recife (Brazil),[2] where he learned fluent Portuguese. He changed his screen name in 1967, reportedly choosing to pay homage to Spencer Tracy as well as his favorite beer, Budweiser. Other sources report that he found it funny to call himself "bud" despite his weight and his imposing height at almost 6 ft 4 in (193 cm).[1]

Swimming and water polo career[edit]

A professional swimmer in his youth, Spencer was the first Italian to swim the 100 m freestyle in less than one minute. He achieved this on 19 September 1950, when he swam the 100 m in 59.5 s.[3]

In the 1951 Mediterranean Games, he won a silver medal in the same 100 m freestyle event.[4]

Spencer participated in the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland, reaching the semi-finals in the 100 m freestyle (58.8 s heats, 58.9 s semi final).[5] Four years later, in Melbourne, he also entered the semi-finals in the same category (58.5 s heat, 59.0 s semi final).[6]

As a water polo player, he won the Italian Championship in 1954, with S.S. Lazio. His swimming career ended abruptly in 1957.

On 17 January 2005 he was awarded with the Caimano d'oro (Gold Caiman) by the Italian Swimming Federation.[7]

On 24 January 2007, he received from the Italian Swimming Federation's president Paolo Barelli, swim and water polo coach diplomas.[8]

Acting career[edit]

Spencer's first movie role was that of a member of the Praetorian Guard in Quo Vadis, a film shot in Italy, in 1951.[1] During the 1950s and part of the 1960s, Spencer appeared in some Italian films but "his career was strictly minor league until the late 1960s."[1]

Spencer met his future film partner, Terence Hill, on the set of Hannibal in 1959. They went on to work together on over 20 films, including (named using their most common US titles):

  1. Hannibal (1959), as Carlo Pedersoli together with Mario Girotti
  2. God Forgives... I Don't! (1967), first time as Bud Spencer together with Terence Hill
  3. Ace High (1968)
  4. Boot Hill (1969)
  5. They Call Me Trinity (1970)
  6. Blackie the Pirate (1971)
  7. Trinity Is Still My Name (1971)
  8. All the Way, Boys (1972)
  9. Watch Out, We're Mad (1974)
  10. Two Missionaries (1975)
  11. Crime Busters (1976)
  12. Odds and Evens (1978)
  13. I'm For the Hippopotamus (1979)
  14. Who Finds a Friend Finds a Treasure (1981)
  15. Go For It! (1983)
  16. Double Trouble (1984)
  17. Miami Supercops (1985)
  18. Troublemakers (1994)

Films with Spencer alone include:

  1. The Five Man Army (1969)
  2. The Fifth Day of Peace (1969)
  3. It Can Be Done Amigo (1972)
  4. Flatfoot (1973)
  5. They Call Him Bulldozer (1978)
  6. The Sheriff and the Satellite Kid (1979)
  7. Everything Happens to Me (1980)
  8. Banana Joe (1982)
  9. Bomber (1982)
  10. Superfantagenio (1986)

Many of these have alternative titles, depending upon the country and distributor. Some have longer Italian versions that were edited for release abroad. These films gathered popularity for both actors, especially in Europe.[1]

The main dubber of Bud Spencer in Italy is Glauco Onorato who, with his characteristic voice, successfully enriched the character of Bud Spencer. Sergio Fiorentini dubbed Spencer in Troublemakers, To the Limit (1997) and the series of Detective Extralarge), (1991–93) while in the movie Everything Happens to Me the dubber is Ferruccio Amendola

Spencer also wrote the complete or partial screenplay for some of his movies. His feature film career slowed down after 1983, shifting more toward television. In the 1990s, he acted in the TV action-drama "Extralarge". His autobiography was published by Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf in 2011.

Personal life[edit]

Spencer married Maria Amato in 1960, with whom he had three children: Giuseppe (1961), Christine (1962) and Diamante (1972). After appearing in Più forte, ragazzi!, Spencer became a jet airplane and helicopter pilot.[1] He established Mistral Air in 1984, an air-mail company that also transports pilgrims, but later sold it to Poste Italiane to buy a textile mill that produced clothes for children.

Career in politics[edit]

In 2005, he entered politics, unsuccessfully standing as regional counselor in Lazio for the Forza Italia party. Spencer has stated: "In my life, I've done everything. There are only three things I haven't been – a ballet dancer, a jockey and a politician. Given that the first two jobs are out of the question, I'll throw myself into politics."[1] The opposition criticised him for engaging in "politica spettacolo" ("showbiz politics").[1]

Filmography[edit]

Title Date Role
Quo Vadis (as Carlo Pedersoli) 1951 Imperial Guard
Siluri umani (English title: Human Torpedoes) (as Carlo Pedersoli) 1954 Magrini
Un Eroe dei nostri tempi (English title: A Hero of Our Times) (as Carlo Pedersoli) 1955 Fernando
Il Cocco di mamma (English title: Mamma's Boy) (as Carlo Pedersoli) 1957 Oscar
A Farewell to Arms (as Carlo Pedersoli) 1957 Carabiniere
Annibale (English title: Hannibal) (as Carlo Pedersoli) 1960
Dio perdona... Io no! (English title: God Forgives... I Don't!) 1967 Hutch Bessy
Oggi a me... domani a te! (English title: Today We Kill, Tomorrow We Die) 1968 O'Bannion
Al di là della legge (English title: Beyond the Law) 1968 James Cooper
Ace High (Italian title: I Quattro dell'Ave Maria) 1968 Hutch Bessy
Dio è con noi (English title: The Fifth Day of Peace) 1969 Cpl. Jelinek
Un Esercito di cinque uomini (English title: The Five Man Army) 1969 Mesito
La Collina degli stivali (English title: Boot Hill) 1969 Hutch Bessy
Lo chiamavano Trinità (English title: They Call Me Trinity) 1970 Bambino
Il Corsaro nero (English title: Blackie the Pirate) 1971 Skull
...continuavano a chiamarlo Trinità (English title: Trinity Is Still My Name) 1971 Bambino
4 mosche di velluto grigio (English title: Four Flies on Grey Velvet) 1971 Godfrey "God"
Torino nera (English title: Black Turin) 1972 Rosario Rao
Più forte, ragazzi! (English title: All the Way Boys) 1972 Salud
Si può fare... amigo (English title: It Can be Done Amigo) 1972 Hiram Coburn
Una Ragione per vivere e una per morire (English title: A Reason to Live, a Reason to Die) 1972 Eli Sampson
Anche gli angeli mangiano fagioli (English title: Even Angels Eat Beans) 1973 Charlie Smith
Piedone lo sbirro (English title: Flatfoot) 1973 Inspector "Flatfoot" Rizzo
Porgi l'altra guancia (English title: Two Missionaries) 1974 Father/Padre Pedro
Altrimenti ci arrabbiamo (English title: Watch Out, We're Mad) 1974 Ben
Piedone a Hong Kong (English title: Flatfoot in Hong Kong) 1975 Inspector "Flatfoot" Rizzo
I due superpiedi quasi piatti (English title: Crime Busters) 1976 Wilbur Walsh
Il soldato di ventura (English title: Soldier of Fortune) 1976 Hector Fieramosca
Charleston 1977 Charleston
I due superpiedi quasi piatti (English title: Crime Busters) 1977 Wilbur Walsh
Piedone l'africano (English title: Flatfoot In Africa aka The Knock-Out Cop) 1978 Inspector "Flatfoot" Rizzo
Lo chiamavano Bulldozer (English title: They Called Him Bulldozer) 1978 Bulldozer
Pari e dispari (English title: Odds and Evens) 1978 Charlie Firpo
Uno sceriffo extraterrestre – poco extra e molto terrestre (English title: The Sheriff and the Satellite Kid) 1979 Sceriffo Scott (Sheriff Hall)
Piedone d'Egitto (English title: Flatfoot in Egypt) 1979 Inspector 'Flatfoot' Rizzo
Io sto con gli ippopotami (English title: I'm for the Hippopotamus) 1979 Tom
Chissà perché... capitano tutte a me (English title: Everything Happens to Me) 1980 Sheriff Hall
Occhio alla penna (English title: Buddy goes West) 1981 Buddy
Chi trova un amico, trova un tesoro (English title: Who Finds A Friend Finds a Treasure) 1981 Charlie O'Brien
Cane e gatto (English title: Cat and Dog) 1982 Sergeant Parker
Banana Joe 1982 Banana Joe
Bomber 1982 Bud Graziano
Nati con la camicia (English title: Go For It) 1983 Doug O'Riordan alias Mason
Double Trouble (Italian title: Non c'è due senza quattro) 1984 Greg Wonder/Antonio Coimbra de la Coronilla y Azevedo
Miami Supercops 1985 Steve Forest
Superfantagenio (USA title: Aladdin) 1986 Genie
Big Man (TV Series) 1988–1989 Jack Clementi
Extralarge (TV Series) 1990–1993 Jack "Extralarge" Costello
Un piede in paradiso (English title: Standing In Paradise aka Speaking of the Devil) 1991 John "Bull" Webster
Botte di Natale (English title: The Fight Before Christmas aka Troublemakers) 1994 Moses
Noi siamo angeli (English title: We are Angels) (Mini TV Series) 1997 Orso
Fuochi d'artificio (English title: Fireworks) 1997 The blind singer
Al limite (English title: To the Limit) 1997 Elorza
Hijos del viento (English title: Sons of the Wind) 2000 Quintero
Tre per sempre (English title: 3–4 Ever) 2002 Bops
Cantando dietro i paraventi (English title: Singing Behind Screens) 2003 Il vecchio capitano
Padre Speranza (English title: Father Hope) (TV) 2005 Padre Speranza
Mord ist mein Geschäft, Liebling (English title: Murder is my Business, Honey) 2009 Pepe
I delitti del cuoco (TV Series) 2010 Carlo Banci

Writer (1990s)[edit]

  • Banana Joe (1982)
  • Big Man
    • La Fanciulla che ride (1988) (TV)
    • Diva (1989) (TV)
    • Boomerang (1989) (TV)
  • Extralarge
    • Ninja Shadow (1993) (TV)
    • Diamonds (1993) (TV)

(in the 1980s, he was credited as Carlo Pedersoli)

Image gallery[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]