Luigi Pistilli

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Pistilli in For a Few Dollars More (1965)

Luigi Pistilli (19 July 1929 – 21 April 1996) was an Italian actor of stage, screen, and television. In theater, he was considered one of the country's best interpreters of Bertolt Brecht's plays in The Threepenny Opera and St Joan of the Stockyards.


Born in Grosseto, Pistilli studied acting at Milan's Piccolo Teatro, graduating in 1955. He never completely severed his ties with the theater and often returned to appear in plays directed by Giorgio Strehler. Pistilli made his feature film debut with an uncredited role in Dark Passage (1947).

He appeared in many spaghetti Westerns such as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) (as the priest brother of Eli Wallach's character Tuco) and in For a Few Dollars More (1965) as the cunning second-in-command Groggy (his first credited film role). He played the murderous Alberto in the Mario Bava giallo Twitch of the Death Nerve in 1971. He had a regular role on the popular Italian television Mafia drama The Octopus. He also appeared as the main villain in "Death Rides a Horse".

In 1972 he appeared in the giallo film Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key playing an alcoholic.

Pistilli committed suicide in his Milan home just before he was to appear in the final performance of Terence Rattigan's Tosca[citation needed] on 21 April 1996. The show had been harshly panned by critics and audiences and ultimately contributed to throw Pistilli into a deep depression. However, according to his suicide note, Pistilli had suffered a deep state of despair after making some bitter public comments regarding the recent termination of a four-year off-stage relationship with singer/actress Milva. In his note he apologized to her for the spiteful statements released in the published interview.

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