Lamberto Maggiorani

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Lamberto Maggiorani
Lamberto Maggiorani in Ladri di Biciclette.
Born(1909-08-28)28 August 1909
Rome, Italy
Died22 April 1983(1983-04-22) (aged 73)
Rome, Italy
Years active1948–1970

Lamberto Maggiorani (28 August 1909 – 22 April 1983) was an Italian actor remembered for his portrayal of Antonio Ricci in the 1948 Vittorio De Sica film Bicycle Thieves.[1]

He was a factory worker (he worked as a turner) and non-professional actor at the time he was cast in this film.[2] He earned 600,000 lire ($1,000 US) for his performance, enabling him to buy new furniture and treat his family to a vacation; but when he returned to the factory he was laid off because business was slackening and management felt it would be fairer to terminate him instead of other impoverished co-workers since he was perceived to have "made millions" as a movie star.[3] He found occasional work as a bricklayer, but continued to try to get roles in movies, with little success; even de Sica was reluctant to employ him as anything other than an extra.[4] Pier Paolo Pasolini gave him a bit part in the film Mamma Roma (1962) due to his iconic status in Italian cinema.[4] Cesare Zavattini, the screenwriter for Bicycle Thieves, aware of Maggiorani's predicament, wrote a screenplay about him titled "Tu, Maggiorani", in an attempt to demonstrate the limits of neorealist film's capacity to change the world.[4]

Maggiorani died in Rome in 1983 at the San Giovanni hospital without ever regaining his first success as a film actor.


Year Title Role Notes
1948 Ladri di biciclette Antonio
1949 Twenty Years
1950 Women Without Names Anna's Fiancé
1951 A Tale of Five Cities
1951 Achtung! Banditi! Marco
1951 Anna Il malato ferito allo stomaco
1951 Salvate mia figlia
1952 Umberto D. Uncredited
1954 Via Padova 46 The Porter in Via Padova
1954 Vacation with a Gangster Il galeotto innocente N. 5823
1955 Don Camillo e l'on. Peppone
1956 Totò, Peppino e i... fuorilegge Un bandito
1961 Il giudizio universale Poor man
1962 Mamma Roma Un malato (Sick man)
1963 Mare matto L'uomo che paga l'ingaggio
1970 Ostia Padre di Monica (final film role)


  1. ^ AP. "Lamberto Maggiorani Dead; Starred in 'The Bicycle Thief'". Retrieved 2018-04-15.
  2. ^ "The Stolen Bicycle". TIME. January 16, 1950.
  3. ^ Inc, Time (23 Jan 1950). "Fame Mocks a Movie Star". Life: 56–60. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Gordon, Robert (2008). Bicycle Thieves (Ladri Di Biciclette). New York: Macmillan. p. 11. ISBN 1844572382. Retrieved 18 August 2015.

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