Franco Nero, August 2008
23 November 1941
San Prospero, Parma, Italy
|Spouse(s)||Vanessa Redgrave (2006–present)|
|Children||Carlo Gabriel Nero, Franquito|
Franco Nero (born 23 November 1941) is an Italian actor.
He is best known for his roles of the title character in Sergio Corbucci's Django (1966), Sir Lancelot in Joshua Logan's Camelot (1967), Horacio in Luis Buñuel's Tristana (1970), the title character in Enzo G. Castellari's Keoma (1976), Captain Nikolai Lescovar/Colonel von Ingorslebon in Guy Hamilton's Force 10 from Navarone (1978), Cole in Menahem Golan's Enter the Ninja (1981), his reprising role again as the title character in Nello Rosatti's Django 2 (1987), General Ramon Esperanza in Renny Harlin's Die Hard 2 (1990), Gianni Versace in Menahem Golan's The Versace Murder (1998), General Francini in Brian Trenchard-Smith's Megiddo: The Omega Code 2 (2001) and Lorenzo Bartolini in Gary Winick's Letters to Juliet (2010).
He also played the narrator in the film Rasputin (2010) directed by Louis Nero and voice the character of Uncle Topolino in the animated film Cars 2 (2011) directed by John Lasseter and co-directed by Brad Lewis. In 2012 Nero made a cameo appearance in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained.
Nero was born Francesco Sparanero in San Prospero Parmense (province of Parma, Emilia-Romagna), the son of a brigadiere (brigadier) in the Carabinieri, originally from San Severo. He grew up in Bedonia and in Milan. He studied briefly at the Economy and Trade faculty of the local university, before leaving to study at the Piccolo Teatro di Milano.
Nero's first film role was a small part in La ragazza in prestito (1964), and he had his first lead role in Sergio Corbucci's Django (1966) a spaghetti western and one of his best known films. In 1966 from Django he went on to appear in eight more films released that year including Texas, addio (1967) and Tempo di massacro.
In 1967, he appeared in Camelot as Lancelot, where he met his long time romantic partner, and later on in life his wife, Vanessa Redgrave. Following this he appeared in the mafia film Il giorno della civetta opposite Claudia Cardinale released in 1968.
A lack of proficiency in English tended to limit these roles, although he also appeared in other English language films including The Virgin and the Gypsy (1970), Force 10 from Navarone (1978), Enter the Ninja (1981) and Die Hard 2 (1990).
Although often typecast in films like Los amigos (1972) or Keoma (1976) he has attempted an impressive range of characters, such as Abel in John Huston's epic The Bible: In The Beginning (1966), the humiliated engineer out for revenge in Street Law, the gay lieutenant in Querelle (1982) and Serbian mediaeval hero in Banović Strahinja (1983). He has appeared in over 150 films, and has written, produced and starred in one: Jonathan degli orsi (1993).
More recently, he starred in Hungarian director Koltay Gábor (hu)'s Honfoglalás (Conquest) in 1996, in Li chiamarono... briganti! (1999) by Pasquale Squitieri and subsequently in Koltay's Sacra Corona (Holy Crown) in 2001.
In 2009 he played an eccentric author called "Mario Puzzo" in Mord ist mein Geschäft, Liebling ("Murder is my trade, darling", Italian title "Tesoro, sono un killer"). German critics found his performance was the best part of the film: "Having Franco Nero playing in this film is really a great joy - it is only regrettable that after his appearances there is still so much film left."
In 2010, Nero appeared in the film Letters to Juliet with Redgrave.
In 2011 he appeared on the season 13 premiere episode of Law and Order SVU. His character, though Italian, was based on Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
In 2012, he made a cameo in the film Django Unchained in one scene alongside Jamie Foxx, who plays Django in the film. In the scene Nero plays an Italian Mandingo Fighter manager. Nero then questions Foxx about his character's name and asks him to spell it. This references Nero's role as Django in the original Django film.
His romantic involvement with British actress Vanessa Redgrave began in 1967 when they met on the set of Camelot. In 1969, they had a son, Carlo Gabriel Redgrave Sparanero (known professionally as Carlo Gabriel Nero), a screenwriter and director. After separating for many years, during which they both had relationships with other people, they reunited and married on 31 December 2006. Carlo Nero directed Redgrave in the cinematic adaptation of Wallace Shawn's play The Fever.
- Io la conoscevo bene (1965)
- Wild, Wild Planet (1965)
- The Tramplers (1965)
- War of the Planets (1966)
- The Third Eye (1966)
- Massacre Time (1966)
- The Bible: In the Beginning (1966)
- Django (1966)
- Texas, Adios (1967)
- Camelot (1967)
- Pride and Vengeance (1968)
- The Mercenary (1968)
- The Day of the Owl (1968)
- The Fifth Day of Peace (1969)
- The Battle of Neretva (1969)
- A Quiet Place in the Country (1969)
- Detective Belli (1969)
- Dropout (1970)
- Vamos a matar, compañeros (1970)
- Tristana (1970)
- The Virgin and the Gypsy (1970)
- The Case Is Closed, Forget It (1971)
- Vacation (1971)
- The Fifth Cord (1971)
- Long Live Your Death (1971)
- Confessions of a Police Captain (1971)
- Deaf Smith & Johnny Ears (1972)
- The Matteotti Murder (1972)
- Pope Joan (1972)
- The Monk (1972)
- High Crime (1973)
- Zanna Bianca (1973)
- Street Law (1974)
- The Legend of Valentino (1975)
- The Flower in His Mouth (1975)
- Cipolla Colt (1975)
- How to Kill a Judge (1975)
- Last Days of Mussolini (1975)
- Death Rite (1976)
- Keoma (1976)
- 21 Hours at Munich (1976)
- Victory March (1976)
- Hitch-Hike (1977)
- Force 10 from Navarone (1978)
- The Pirate (1978)
- Sahara Cross (1978)
- The Shark Hunter (1979)
- Un dramma borghese (1979)
- The Visitor (1979)
- The Blue-Eyed Bandit (1980)
- Day of the Cobra (1980)
- The Man with Bogart's Face (1980)
- The Salamander (1981)
- Enter the Ninja (1981)
- Banovic Strahinja (1981)
- Grog (1982)
- Querelle (1982)
- Red Bells (1982)
- Wagner (1983)
- Red Bells II (1983)
- The Last Days of Pompeii (1984)
- The Repenter (1985)
- The Girl (1986)
- Django 2 (1987)
- Sweet Country (1987)
- Run for Your Life (1988)
- The Magistrate (1989)
- Young Toscanini (1990)
- I Promessi sposi (1990)
- Die Hard 2 (1990)
- Breath of Life (1990)
- Young Catherine (1991)
- Fratelli e sorelle (1992)
- Jonathan of the Bears (1993)
- Desideria e l'Anello del Drago (1994)
- Talk of Angels (1996)
- The Conquest (1996)
- The Innocent Sleep (1996)
- The Return of Sandokan (1996)
- Painted Lady (1997)
- David (1997 biblical telefilm) as Nathan
- Desert of Fire (1997)
- Bella Mafia (1997)
- The Versace Murder (1998)
- Megiddo: The Omega Code 2 (1999)
- Li chiamarono... briganti! (1999)
- Uninvited (1999)
- Mirka (2000)
- The Crusaders (2001)
- Forever Blues (also director, 2005)
- Bathory (2008)
- Mord ist mein Geschäft, Liebling (2009)
- Letters to Juliet (2010)
- Augustine: The Decline of the Roman Empire (2010)
- Cars 2 (voice, 2011)
- New Order (2012)
- Django Unchained (2012)
- 1985 - Will Change The World/Cambierà (Lovers, LVNP 802, 7" - with his son Carlo)
- (Italian) Franco Nero in MyMovies
- Franco Nero in The New York Times
- (Italian) Franco Nero in CinemaItaliano.info
- (Italian) Franco Nero in Cinemastore Italy
- (Italian) Francoo Nero Biography in Hollywood.com
- Ann Pearce. "He Lost His Guenevere, Vanessa Redgrave, but Franco Nero Found His Camelot Back in Italy". People.
- Redazione online (5 December 2011). "San Severo, cittadinanza a Franco Nero". Corriere del Mezzogiorno. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
- Franco Nero Interview from 1Kult.com (English subtitled)
- "Dass Franco Nero in diesem Film mitspielt, macht wirklich großen Spaß – schade nur, dass nach seinen Auftritten noch so viel Film übrig ist." Oliver Baumgarten. "Mord ist mein Geschäft, liebling". Filmzentrale. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
- Yuen, Jenny. "Italian Walk of Fame honours stars"
- "Vanessa Redgrave speaks about marriage to second 'husband' for the first time". Telegraph. 11 June 2010. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
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