18 February 1927
Corbola, Rovigo, Veneto, Italy
|Died||March 27, 2015(aged 88)|
He used mainly the stage name of Rik Battaglia although alternate names he used for his films were also Rick Austin, Riccardo Battaglia and Rick Battaglia. He would go on to appear in over 100 films from the 1955 to 1999. He went to sea at the age of 17 and worked on a freighter. He was discovered in a bar and producer Carlo Ponti hired him on the spot and signed to his first film in 1955's La donna del fiume, directed by Mario Soldati and opposite Sophia Loren. He played a cigarette smuggler who has a tempestuous love affair with a young and sexy Sophia Loren (Ponti's wife) in hot pants.
He then took two years of drama classes and subsequently appeared in a number of costume and sword and sandal films. He played supporting parts in the Peplums (Sandal and sword epics) La Gerusalemme liberata/The Mighty Crusaders (1958, Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia), and Annibale/Hannibal (1959, Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia, Edgar G. Ulmer). In Germany he appeared as a slave merchant in the Liane-sequel Jungle Girl and the Slaver (de) (1957, Hermann Leitner), and he was seen in the Hollywood adventure Raw Wind in Eden (1958, Richard Wilson). Rik Battaglia also played in Esther and the King (1960), La giornata balorda (1961, by Mauro Bolognini) and in the biblical epic Sodom and Gomorrah (1962, by Robert Aldrich). He appeared in several adventure films as Sandokan, la tigre di Mompracem (1963, Umberto Lenzi).
He became a regular in the Karl May films and, as a villain, in the Spaghetti western genre. Some of his roles include those in Old Shatterhand (1963), Die Pyramide des Sonnengottes (1965), Das Vermächtnis des Inka (1965), Black Jack (1968), Winnetou und sein Freund Old Firehand, Winnetou und Shatterhand im Tal der Toten (1968), White Fang (1973), Challenge to White Fang (1974) in and A Man Called Blade (1977). In 1971 he appeared in Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dynamite. He was also featured as Captain Smollett in Treasure Island (1972). In 1974 he appeared in the Agatha Christie adaptation Ten Little Indians and later in the Sergio Leone co-produced western Un genio, due compari, un pollo by Damiano Damiani. Battaglia took part also in as Suor Emanuelle (1977) and Il prefetto di ferro (1977). He retired from films in 1999 and his last big feature film was Buck ai confini del cielo (1991).
- Minotaur, the Wild Beast of Crete (1960)
- Don't Bother to Knock (1961)
- The Desperado Trail (1965)
- A Fistful of Dynamite (1971)
- The Call of the Wild (1972)