Francesco Clemente Giuseppe Sparanero
23 November 1941
|Occupation(s)||Actor, producer, director|
|Children||2, including Carlo|
Francesco Clemente Giuseppe Sparanero (born 23 November 1941), known professionally as Franco Nero, is an Italian actor, producer, and director. His breakthrough role was as the title character in the Spaghetti Western film Django (1966), which made him a pop culture icon and launched an international career that includes over 200 leading and supporting roles in a wide variety of films and television programmes.
During the 1960s and 1970s, Nero was actively involved in many popular Italian "genre trends", including poliziotteschi, gialli, and Spaghetti Westerns. His best-known films include The Bible: In the Beginning... (1966), Camelot (1967), The Day of the Owl (1968), The Mercenary (1968), Battle of Neretva (1969), Tristana (1970), Compañeros (1970), Confessions of a Police Captain (1971), The Fifth Cord (1971), High Crime (1973), Street Law (1974), Keoma (1976), Hitch-Hike (1977), Force 10 from Navarone (1978), Enter the Ninja (1981), Die Hard 2 (1990), Letters to Juliet (2010), Cars 2 (2011), and John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017).
Francesco Clemente Giuseppe Sparanero was born in San Prospero Parmense (Parma, Emilia-Romagna), the son of a commissioned officer in the Carabinieri. His parents were originally from San Severo (Foggia, Apulia). 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 Pelle viva (1962), 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, Adios (1966) and Massacre Time.
In 1967, he appeared in Camelot as Lancelot, where he met his longtime romantic partner, and later 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 (1973) 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 The Falcon (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'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 as a guest star on the season 13 premiere episode of Law and Order: SVU. His character, although Italian, was based on Dominique Strauss-Kahn. In the same year, he received a star on the Italian Walk of Fame in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
In 2012, Nero made a cameo appearance in the film Django Unchained in one scene alongside Jamie Foxx, who stars as Django Freeman in the film. Nero, playing the original Django, questions Foxx's Django about how his name is spelled, and asks him to spell it, referencing a scene from Nero's role as Django in the original Django film. Upon learning that their names are spelled the same way, Nero's Django says "I know" to Foxx's Django.
His romantic involvement with English actress Vanessa Redgrave began in 1966 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.
In 1983 he had a second son, Frank Sparanero (also known as Frankie Nero or Frank Nero Jr). Born in Rome, Nero began his acting career with Pupi Avati in 1996 at a film festival and then 1999 with the film Buck and the Magic Bracelet by Tonino Ricci. In addition to being an actor, he is also an artist, architect and photographer.
In December 1987, a paternity suit in a Court was filed against him in Colombia South America. where he was at that time doing a movie, after a brief romantic affair with Mauricia Mena, who claimed that he was the father of her little son Franquito.
|1975||The Legend of Valentino||Rudolph Valentino||Melville Shavelson||Television film|
|1976||21 Hours at Munich||Luttif Afif||William A. Graham||Television film|
|1978||The Pirate||Sheikh Baydr Al-Fay the Pirate||Ken Annakin||Television miniseries|
|1979||Le rose di Danzica||General Konrad van Der Berg||Alberto Bevilacqua||Television miniseries|
|1983||Wagner||Crespi||Tony Palmer||Television miniseries|
|Die Försterbuben||Andreas Boehme||Peter Patzak||Television film|
|1984||The Last Days of Pompeii||Arbaces||Peter R. Hunt||Television miniseries|
|1985||Un marinaio e mezzo||Nick||Tommaso Dazzi||Television film|
|The Hitchhiker||Dr. Peter Milne||Mai Zetterling||Television series|
Episode: "Murderous Feelings"
|1986||Un altare per la madre||Edith Bruck||Television film|
|1987||Il generale||Giuseppe Garibaldi||Luigi Magni||Television miniseries|
|1988||Windmills of the Gods||Ionescu||Lee Philips||Television miniseries|
|1989||The Magistrate||Paolo Pizzi||Kathy Mueller||Television miniseries|
|The Betrothed||Friar Cristoforo||Salvatore Nocita||Television miniseries|
|1990||Blaues Blut||Sandro Castellani||Sidney Hayers||Television series|
Episode: "Gegen die Uhr"
|Oggi ho vinto anch'io||Saverio Palluca||Lodovico Gasparini||Television film|
|1991||Young Catherine||Count Mikhail Vorontsov||Michael Anderson||Television miniseries|
|Julianus barát||Domenico||Gábor Koltay||Television miniseries|
|1992||Touch and Die||Aquani||Piernico Solinas||Television film|
|1993||Das Babylon Komplott||Chris Lang||Peter Patzak||Television film|
|Azzurro profondo||Luca Morinari||Filippo De Luigi||Television film|
|1994||Nemici intimi||Lorenzo Stradella||Piernico Solinas||Television film|
|The Dragon Ring||The Dragon King||Lamberto Bava||Television miniseries|
|1996||The Return of Sandokan||Yogi Azim||Enzo G. Castellari||Television miniseries|
|1997||David||Nathan||Robert Markowitz||Television film|
|Desert of Fire||Marcel Duvivier||Enzo G. Castellari||Television miniseries|
|Painted Lady||Robert Tassi||Julian Jarrold||Television miniseries|
|Nessuno escluso||Alfonso Martinez||Massimo Spano||Television film|
|Bella Mafia||Mario Domino||David Greene||Television film|
|1998||Il tesoro di Damasco||Andrea||José María Sánchez||Television film|
|2000||St. Paul||Gamaliel||Roger Young||Television miniseries|
|2001||La voce del sangue||Antonio Castaldi||Alessandro Di Robilant||Television film|
|The Crusaders||Ibn-Azul||Dominique Othenin-Girard||Television miniseries|
|2002||Die achte Todsünde: Toskana-Karussell||Giuseppe Mantaldo||Peter Patzak||Television film|
|2003||Herz ohne Krone||Bear's Trainer||Peter Patzak||Television film|
|Liebe, Lügen, Leidenschaften||Pietro Bellini||Marco Serafini||Television miniseries|
|Cattive inclinazioni||Vagrant||Pierfrancesco Campanella||Television film|
|2005||Summer Solstice||Lorenzo||Giles Foster||Television film|
|2006||The Holy Family||Zechariah||Raffaele Mertes||Television film|
|2007||Der Fürst und das Mädchen||Count Massimo di Romano||Karsten Wichniarz, Axel de Roche||Television series|
|Two Families||Morandi||Romano Scavolini||Television film|
|2008||Il sangue e la rosa||Umberto Mancini||Salvatore Samperi, Luciano Odorisio, Luigi Parisi||Television series|
Episode: "Prima puntata"
|Mein Herz in Chile||Carlos Sanchez||Jörg Grünler||Television film|
|A Night at the Grand Hotel||Ferran Moreno||Thorsten Näter||Television film|
|Rosamunde Pilcher's Four Seasons||Max Freeman||Giles Foster||Television miniseries|
|2010||Restless Heart: The Confessions of Saint Augustine||Augustine of Hippo||Christian Duguay||Television miniseries|
|2011||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Roberto Distasio||Michael Slovis||Television series|
Episode: "Scorched Earth"
|2017–18||Delicious||Joe Benelli||John Hardwick, Clare Kilner||Television series|
|2019||Christmas in Rome||Luigi Forlinghetti||Ernie Barbarash||Hallmark Channel movie|
|2011||Cars 2: The Video Game||Uncle Topolino||Voice|
- 1985 – Will Change The World/Cambierà (Lovers, LVNP 802, 7" – with his son Carlo)
- Lyman, Eric J. (1 January 2013). "Original 'Django' Franco Nero on His Iconic Character and the Film's Legacy (Q&A)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 6 August 2021.
- (in Italian) Franco Nero in MyMovies
- "Movies". The New York Times.
- (in Italian) Franco Nero in CinemaItaliano.info
- (in Italian) Franco Nero Archived 21 July 2012 at archive.today in Cinemastore Italy
- (in 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.
- Fusco, Maria Pia (22 January 2012). "Franco Nero straniero in patria". la Repubblica (in Italian). Retrieved 9 May 2018.
- O'Neill, Phelim (26 May 2011). "Franco Nero: No escaping Django". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
- Paolo Russo (16 November 2014). ""Io, Django e Fassbinder" Franco Nero, che grande attore". La Repubblica. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
- Lyman, Eric J. (1 January 2013). "Original 'Django' Franco Nero on His Iconic Character and the Film's Legacy (Q&A)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
- Roberts, Laura (11 June 2010). "Vanessa Redgrave speaks about marriage to second 'husband' for the first time". The Telegraph. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
- Lambert, Victoria (9 March 2017). "Franco Nero: 'As you get older, you want a quiet woman – not one who yells'". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
- La Magna, Franco (19 November 2019). "Dalla mafia arcaica de "Il giorno della civetta" all'apocalittico "Cadaveri eccellenti"". La Sicilia (in Italian). Retrieved 19 November 2019.
- Pulici, Davide (26 November 2015). "Intervista a Franco Nero: buon compleanno!". Nocturno (in Italian). Retrieved 9 May 2018.
- Franco Nero Interview from 1Kult.com Archived 30 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine (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.
- Alexander, Bryan (13 May 2010). "Letters to Juliet's Vanessa Redgrave". Time. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
- King, Susan (14 May 2010). "Vanessa Redgrave knows love delayed". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
- Stanhope, Kate (11 August 2011). "Exclusive: International Film Star Takes on Dominique Strauss-Kahn for Law & Order: SVU". TV Guide. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
- Yuen, Jenny (5 September 2011). "Italian Walk of Fame honours stars".
- Corliss, Richard (12 December 2012). "Django Unchained: Tarantino Frees the Slaves". Time. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
- System. "Franco Nero legge 'Il Pugile' di Gabriele Tinti". www.beniculturali.it.
- "Franco Nero Reads 'Songs of Stone' By Gabriele Tinti".
- N'Duka, Amanda (20 December 2019). "Rachel True, Sean Gunn Join 'Agnes'; Sherilyn Fenn, Franco Nero Topline 'Immortalist'; Cameron Douglas, Elisabeth Röhm In 'The Runner'". Deadline. Retrieved 22 December 2019.
- "Vanessa Redgrave speaks about marriage to second 'husband' for the first time". The Telegraph. 11 June 2010. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
- Rorke, Robert (10 June 2007). "MAGICAL REDGRAVE". New York Post. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
- "Jack O'Brian's Mainland". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Honolulu, Hawaii. 11 February 1970. p. 49.
- Jack O'Brian (8 September 1975). Goldie and Vanessa's Oldie. Lebanon Daily News
- Page Six (9 January 1986). Kiss & Tell. New Straits Times.
- "Guión". 1987.
- Lambert, Victoria (23 June 2017). "Original Django Franco Nero talks Vanessa Redgrave and playing the romantic lead at age 74". Stuff. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
- Middlekauff, Tracey (2009). "Fighting AIDS in Memory of Her Father". People. Archived from the original on 7 May 2009. Retrieved 21 March 2009.