Paolo Villaggio

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Paolo Villaggio in 2007

Paolo Villaggio (Italian pronunciation: [ˈpaolo vilˈladdʒo]; 30 December 1932) is an Italian actor, voice actor, writer, director and comedian. He is noted for the characters he created with paradoxical and grotesque characteristics: Professor Kranz, the ultra-timid Giandomenico Fracchia, and the obsequious and meek accountant Ugo Fantozzi, perhaps the favourite character in Italian comedy. He has written several books, usually of satirical character. He has also acted in dramatic roles, and has appeared in several movies.

Life[edit]

Paolo Villaggio was born in Genoa, with a twin brother, Piero.[1] His father was Ettore Villaggio (1905–1992), a surveyor originally from Palermo. His mother, Maria, originally from Venice, was a language teacher (German).

Villaggio attended the classic school "Liceo ginnasio Andrea Doria"[2] and initially studied Law, but did not finish that study. His jobs included being a clerk for the Italsider steel works, which inspired his character "Il ragioniere Fantozzi Ugo", "the accountant Ugo Fantozzi". Maurizio Costanzo discovered his artistic potential and in 1967 he advised Villaggio to play in a cabaret in Rome. From there, Villaggio was hired for the TV programme Quelli della domenica (Those guys of Sunday), in which Fantozzi made his first appearance, introducing his characters the aggressive "Professor Kranz" and the hypocritical "Giandomenico Fracchia".[3]

He is an atheist.[4]

Career[edit]

Accountant Ugo Fantozzi[edit]

After his television experience, Villaggio started writing, for the magazines L'Espresso and L'Europeo, short stories featuring Fantozzi, a man with a weak character, dogged by misfortune and by the "mega-director" of the "mega-company" where he works. In 1971 the publishing house Rizzoli released the book Fantozzi, a collection of these stories, which sold over a million copies.[3] The first book received the Gogol Prize in Moscow and led to his 1975 appearance in the film Fantozzi, directed by Luciano Salce. The film's success led to a sequel, Il secondo tragico Fantozzi, with the same director in the following year, in which Fantozzi delivered his most famous line: "Per me ... La Corazzata Kotiomkin [sic] ... è una cagata pazzesca", or roughly "For me The Battleship Kotemkin [sic] is an unbelievable load of crap".[3]

Other films[edit]

Villaggio has played in numerous comedies. He has been directed by Federico Fellini (La voce della luna, 1990), with Roberto Benigni), Lina Wertmüller (Io speriamo che me la cavo, 1992), by Ermanno Olmi (Il segreto del bosco vecchio, 1993), by Mario Monicelli (Cari fottutissimi amici, 1994), and by Gabriele Salvatores (Denti, 2000). He has received several cinema awards, including the David di Donatello (1990), the Nastro d'Argento (1992) and the Golden Lion for his entire career (1996).

Villaggio continued writing while acting in films. He moved to the Mondadori publishing house in 1994. He published Fantozzi saluta e se ne va (1994–1995; "Fantozzi Says Goodbye and Leaves"), Vita morte e miracoli di un pezzo di merda ("Life, Death and Miracles of a Piece of Shit", 2002), 7 grammi in 70 anni ("7 Grammes in 70 Years", 2003) and his latest, Sono incazzato come una belva ("I'm Fucking Mad as a Beast") in 2004.

He also acted in stage plays, playing Arpagone in L'Avare of Molière in 1996. In 1996 he also led the satirical news bulletin Striscia la notizia (broadcast on Canale 5), together with Ezio Greggio. More recently, he participated in the television fiction Carabinieri, in which he played the role of a tramp who often helped the police to solve crimes. With fellow Genoan Fabrizio De André, Villaggio wrote two songs, "Carlo Martello torna dalla battaglia di Poitiers" and "Il fannullone" ("Charles Martel returning from the Battle of Poitiers" and "The Loafer", respectively).

Filmography[edit]

Theater[edit]

  • Avaro, directed by Giorgio Strehler (1996)
  • Delirio di un povero vecchio (2000–2001)
  • Vita, morte e miracoli (also directed)(2005–2008)
  • Serata d'addio, directed by Andrea Buscemi (2007–2008)
  • Il profumo delle lucciole (also directed)(2009–2011)
  • A ruota libera (also directed)(2010–2011)
  • La Corazzata Potëmkin (2012)

Bibliography[edit]

  • Fantozzi (1971)
  • Come farsi una cultura mostruosa (1972)
  • Il secondo tragico libro di Fantozzi (1974)
  • Le lettere di Fantozzi (1976)
  • Fantozzi contro tutti (1979)
  • Fantozzi subisce ancora (1983)
  • Rag. Ugo Fantozzi: "Caro direttore ti scrivo...". Lettere del tragicomico ragioniere (1993)
  • Fantozzi saluta e se ne va: le ultime lettere del rag. Ugo Fantozzi (1994)
  • Vita morte e miracoli di un pezzo di merda (The Paolo Villaggio autobiography)(2002)
  • 7 grammi in 70 anni (2003)
  • Sono incazzato come una belva (2004)
  • Gli fantasmi (2006)
  • Storia della libertà di pensiero (2008)
  • Storie di donne straordinarie (2009)
  • Fantozzi totale (2010)
  • Crociera Lo Cost (2010)

Awards[edit]

  • David di Donatello for Best Actor, La voce della luna (1990)
  • Leone d'Oro (for career) from the Festival del cinema di Venezia (1992)
  • Nastro d'Argento for Best Actor, Il segreto del bosco vecchio (1994)
  • Commendatore Ordine al Merito della Republica Italiana from Presidency of the Ministry Council (2 June 1995)
  • Pardo d'onore (for career) from the Festival internazionale del film di Locarno (2000)
  • David di Donatello (for career)(2009)
  • Premio Grock from Città di Imperia (2011)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Piero became a docent at the University of Pisa.
  2. ^ it:Liceo ginnasio Andrea Doria page on Italian-language Wikipedia
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp Mereghetti, Paolo (2003). Il Mereghetti: Dizionario dei Film 2004. Milano: Baldini Castoldi Dalai. ISBN 88-8490-419-6. 
  4. ^ Interview to Santippe.it

External links[edit]