Lino Ventura

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Lino Ventura
Lino ventura.JPG
from the trailer for Touchez pas au grisbi (1954)
Born Angiolino Giuseppe Pasquale Ventura
(1919-07-14)14 July 1919
Parma, Italy
Died 22 October 1987(1987-10-22) (aged 68)
Saint-Cloud, Hauts-de-Seine, France

Lino Ventura (14 July 1919 – 22 October 1987) was an Italian actor who starred in French movies.

Life and career[edit]

Born as Angiolino Giuseppe Pasquale Ventura in Parma, Italy to Giovanni Ventura and Luisa Borrini, "Lino" dropped out of school at the age of eight and later took on a variety of jobs. At one point Ventura was pursuing a prizefighting and professional wrestling career but had to end it because of an injury.

In 1953, totally by happenstance, one of his friends mentioned him to Jacques Becker who was looking for an Italian actor to play opposite Jean Gabin in a gangster movie called Touchez pas au grisbi. Becker offered him on the spot the role of Angelo, that Ventura refused at first but then accepted. He had such a presence in the movie that the whole profession took notice.

Ventura started to build up an acting career in similar hard-boiled gangster movies, often playing beside his friend Jean Gabin. Some of his most famous roles include the portrait of corrupt police chief Tiger Brown in 1963's The Threepenny Opera and mob boss Vito Genovese in The Valachi Papers.

Although he was Italian, he only made a handful of films in his native language, among them The Last Judgement (Il giudizio universale, 1961), Illustrious Corpses (Cadaveri eccellenti, 1976) and Cento Giorni a Palermo (1983), long used to seeing him dubbed into Italian from the original French release.

Ventura remained active until the year before his death from a heart attack in 1987 at the age of 68. Having a handicapped daughter himself, he created a charitable foundation, Perce-Neige (Snowdrop), in 1966, which supports handicapped people.

Throughout his career, he was one of the most popular actors of French cinema. He spoke French without any accent (if not a Parisian one, in the beginning) and spoke Italian with a slight French accent, having arrived in France at the age of 7 years. Forcibly incorporated into the Italian army during World War II, he deserted to remain faithful to the principles of France. But, although his wife and four children were French, he never wanted to give up Italian citizenship, out of respect for his parents.[1][2] Despite this, he was ranked 23rd of the 100 greatest Frenchmen, 17 years after his death.[3]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Director Notes
1953 Touchez Pas au Grisbi Angelo Fraiser Jacques Becker with Jean Gabin and Jeanne Moreau
1955 Razzia sur la chnouf Roger „the Catalan“ Henri Decoin with Jean Gabin
1956 La Loi des Rues Mario Ralph Habib with Louis de Funès
Crime et Châtiment Gustave Messonnier Georges Lampin with Jean Gabin, Marina Vlady, Raymond Pellegrin and Peter van Eyck
Action Immédiate Bérès Maurice Labro with Henri Vidal and Barbara Laage
1957 Le Feux aux Poudres Legentil Henri Decoin with Raymond Pellegrin and Peter van Eyck
Le Rouge est Mis Pepito Gilles Grangier with Jean Gabin and Annie Girardot
L'Étrange Monsieur Steve Denis Raymond Bailly with Jeanne Moreau and Philippe Lemaire
Trois Jours à Vivre Lino Ferrari Gilles Grangier with Daniel Gélin and Jeanne Moreau
Ces dames préfèrent le mambo Paulo Bernard Borderie with Eddie Constantine
Maigret Tend un Piège Inspector Torrence Jean Delannoy with Jean Gabin and Annie Girardot
Ascenseur pour l'Échafaud Inspector Cherrier Louis Malle with Jeanne Moreau
Montparnasse 19 Morel Jacques Becker with Gérard Philipe, Anouk Aimée and Lilli Palmer
1958 Le Gorille Vous Salue Bien Géo Paquet Bernard Borderie with Charles Vanel and Bella Darvi
Le Fauve est Laché Paul Lamiani Maurice Labro with Estella Blain and Paul Frankeur
Sursis pour un Vivant Borcher Victor Merenda with Henri Vidal and Dawn Addams
Douze Heures d'Horloge Albert Fourbieux Géza Radványi with Eva Bartok, Hannes Messemer and Gert Fröbe
Marie Octobre Carlo Bernardi Julien Duvivier with Danielle Darrieux
1959 Un Témoin dans la Ville Ancelin Edouard Molinaro with Franco Fabrizzi and Sandra Milo
125 Rue Montmartre Pascal Gilles Grangier with Andréa Parisi
Le Chemin des Écoliers Tiercelin Michel Boisrond with Françoise Arnoul, Bourvil and Alain Delon
1960 Classe Tous Risques Abel Davos Claude Sautet with Sandra Milo and Jean-Paul Belmondo
Les Mystères d'Angkor Biamonte William Dieterle with Martha Hyer and Carlos Thompson
La Fille dans la Vitrine Frederico Luciano Emmer with Marina Vlady
1961 Un taxi pour Tobrouk Theo Dumas Denys de la Patelliére with Charles Aznavour and Hardy Krüger
Les Lions Sont Lachés André Challenberg Henri Verneuil with Jean-Claude Brialy and Claudia Cardinale
Le Roi des Truands the gangster Duilio Coletti with Ernest Borgnine and Yvonne Sanson
Le Bateau d'Emile Émile Bouet Denys de la Patelliére with Annie Girardot, Michel Simon and Pierre Brasseur
Les Petits Matins the driver Jacqueline Audry with Agathe Aems and Gilbert Bécaud
Le Jugement Dernier Giovanna's father Vittorio de Sica with Fernandel and Georges Rivière
1962 Le Diable et les Dix Commandements Garigny Julien Duvivier with Charles Aznavour and Maurice Biraud
Die Dreigroschenoper Tiger Brown Wolfgang Staudte with Curd Jürgens, Hildegard Knef and Gert Fröbe
1963 Carmen 63 Vincenzo Carmine Gallone with Giovanna Ralli and Dante di Paolo
Les Tontons Flingueurs Fernand Naudin Georges Lautner with Sabine Sinjen and Horst Frank
1964 Llanto por un Bandito El Lutos Carlos Saura with Francisco Rabal and Lea Massari
Cent Milles Dollar au Soleil Hervé Marec Henri Verneuil with Gert Fröbe
Le Monocle Rit Jaune cameo appearance Georges Lautner with Paul Meurisse
Les Barbouzes Francis Lagneau Georges Lautner with Bernard Blier and Mireille Darc
1965 The Dictator's Guns (L'Arme à Gauche) Capt. Jacques Cournot Claude Sautet with Sylvia Koscina and Léo Gordon
La Métamorphose des Cloportes Alphonse Maréchal Pierre Granier-Deferre with Irina Demick, Pierre Brasseur and Charles Aznavour
Les Grandes Gueules Laurent Robert Enrico with Bourvil and Marie Dubois
Ne Nous Fâchons Pas Antoine Beretto Georges Lautner with Jean Lefebvre and Mireille Darc
1966 Avec la Peau des Autres Pascal Fabre Jacques Deray with Jean Bouise and Marilu Tolo
Le Deuxième Souffle Gustave Minda Jean-Pierre Melville with Paul Meurisse and Raymond Pellegrin
1967 Les aventuriers Roland Robert Enrico with Alain Delon and Joanna Shimkus
Le Rapace the protagonist José Giovanni with Rosa Furman and Xavier Marc
1968 Le Clan des Siciliens Inspector Le Goff Henri Verneuil with Jean Gabin and Alain Delon and Irina Demick
1969 L'Armée des Ombres Philippe Gerbier Jean-Pierre Melville with Simone Signoret
1970 Dernier Domicile Connu Chief inspector Marceau Leonetti José Giovanni with Marlène Jobert
Fantasia chez les Ploucs Sagamore Noonan Gérard Pirès with Mireille Darc and Jacques Dufilho
1971 Boulevard du Rhum Cornelius von Zeelinga Robert Enrico with Brigitte Bardot and Guy Marchand
1972 L'Aventure c'est l'Aventure Lino Massaro Claude Lelouch with Jacques Brel, Charles Denner and Charles Gérard
The Valachi Papers Vito Genovese Terence Young with Charles Bronson and Jill Ireland
Le Silencieux Clément Tibère with Lea Massari Claude Pinoteau
La Raison du Plus Fou cameo appearance François Reichenbach with Raymond Devos and Alice Sapritch
1973 La Bonne Année Simon Claude Lelouch with Françoise Fabian
Le Far West the prisoner Jacques Brel with Gabriel Jabbour and Danièle Evenou
L'Emmerdeur Ralf Milan Edouard Molinaro with Jacques Brel
1974 Les Durs Father Charlie Duccio Tessari with Isaac Hayes
La Gifle Jean Douléan Claude Pinoteau with Annie Girardot and Isabelle Adjani
1975 La Cage Julien Pierre Granier-Deferre with Ingrid Thulin
Adieu poulet Inspector Verjeat Pierre Granier-Deferre with Patrick Dewaere and Françoise Brion
1976 Cadaveri Excellenti Inspector Amerigo Rogas Francesco Rosi with Fernando Rey
1978 The Medusa Touch Brunel Director: Jack Gold with Richard Burton and Lee Remick
Un Papillon sur l'épaule Roland Fériaud Jacques Deray with Claudine Auger and Paul Crauchet
1979 L'Homme en Colère Romain Dupre Claude Pinoteau with Angie Dickinson and Laurent Malet
1980 Les Seducteurs François Quérole Edouard Molinaro with Catherine Salviat
1981 Garde à Vue Inspector Antoine Gallien Claude Miller with Michel Serrault and Romy Schneider
Espion Lève-toi Sébastien Grenier Yves Boisset with Michel Piccoli and Bruno Cremer
1982 Les Misérables Jean Valjean Robert Hossein with Michel Bouquet
Le Ruffian Aldo José Giovanni with Bernard Giraudeau and Claudia Cardinale
1983 Cento Giorni a Palermo General Carlo Dalla Chiesa Giuseppe Ferrara with Lino Troisi
1984 La 7ème Cible Bastien Grimaldi Claude Pinoteau with Lea Massari
1986 Vengeance / Sword of Gideon (TV) Papa Michael Anderson with Rod Steiger and Michael York
1987 La Rumba cameo appearance Roger Hanin with Roger Hanin and Michel Piccoli and Corinne Touzet

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Durant, Philippe (1989): Lino Ventura. Bergisch Gladbach: Lübbe. ISBN 3-404-61142-X
  • Durieux, Gilles (2001): Lino Ventura. Paris: Flammarion. ISBN 2-08-068113-3
  • Giovanni, José (2002): Mes Grandes Gueules. Fayard. ISBN 2-213-61262-5
  • Ventura, Clélia (2003): Lino ou la Gourmandise de la Vie. Paris: Robert Laffont. ISBN 2-221-09884-6
  • Ventura, Odette (1992): Lino. Paris: Robert Laffont. ISBN 2-7242-7179-3 (see also: External Links)
  • Ventura, Odette (1993): Lino. Weinheim; Berlin: Beltz Quadriga. ISBN 3-88679-217-X
  • Ventura, Odette (1997): Lino. Paris: Robert Laffont. ISBN 2-221-08646-5
  • Ventura, Odette (1997): Lino. Guanda "Biblioteca della Pilotta". ISBN
  • Zurhorst, Meinolf / Just, Lothar (1984). Lino Ventura: Seine Filme – Sein Leben. München: Heyne. ISBN 3-453-86065-9

External links[edit]