from the trailer for Touchez pas au grisbi (1954)
|Born||Angiolino Giuseppe Pasquale Ventura
14 July 1919
|Died||22 October 1987
Saint-Cloud, Hauts-de-Seine, France
Life and career
Born as Angiolino Giuseppe Pasquale Ventura in Parma, Italy to Giovanni Ventura and Luisa Borrini, who moved to France soon thereafter, "Lino" dropped out of school at the age of eight and later took on a variety of jobs. At one point Ventura was pursuing a prizefighting and professional wrestling career but had to end it because of an injury.
In 1953, totally by happenstance, one of his friends mentioned him to Jacques Becker who was looking for an Italian actor to play opposite Jean Gabin in a gangster movie called Touchez pas au grisbi. Becker offered him on the spot the role of Angelo, which Ventura refused at first but then accepted. He had such a presence in the movie that the whole profession took notice.
Ventura started to build up an acting career in similar hard-boiled gangster movies, often playing beside his friend Jean Gabin. Some of his most famous roles include the portrait of corrupt police chief Tiger Brown in 1963's The Threepenny Opera and mob boss Vito Genovese in The Valachi Papers.
Although he was Italian, he only made a handful of films in his native language, among them The Last Judgement (Il giudizio universale, 1961), Illustrious Corpses (Cadaveri eccellenti, 1976) and Cento Giorni a Palermo (1983), long used to seeing him dubbed into Italian from the original French release.
Ventura remained active until the year before his death from a heart attack in 1987 at the age of 68. Having a handicapped daughter himself, he created a charitable foundation, Perce-Neige (Snowdrop), in 1966, which supports handicapped people.
Throughout his career, he was one of the most popular actors of French cinema. He spoke French without any accent (if not a Parisian one, in the beginning) and spoke Italian with a slight French accent, having arrived in France at the age of 7 years. Forcibly incorporated into the Italian army during World War II, he deserted to remain faithful to the principles of France. But, although his wife and four children were French, he never wanted to give up Italian citizenship, out of respect for his parents. Despite this, he was ranked 23rd of the 100 greatest Frenchmen, 17 years after his death.
- "Vidéo Ina - Extrait interview Ventura, vidéo Extrait interview Ventura, vidéo Economie et société Vie sociale - Archives vidéos Economie et société Vie sociale". Ina.fr. 1987-10-24. Retrieved 2012-03-12.
- "Lino VENTURA : Biographie de Lino VENTURA". JeSuisMort.com. Retrieved 2012-03-12.
- "Les 100 plus grands Français de tous les temps". In-nocence.org. Retrieved 2012-03-12.
- Durant, Philippe (1989): Lino Ventura. Bergisch Gladbach: Lübbe. ISBN 3-404-61142-X
- Durieux, Gilles (2001): Lino Ventura. Paris: Flammarion. ISBN 2-08-068113-3
- Giovanni, José (2002): Mes Grandes Gueules. Fayard. ISBN 2-213-61262-5
- Ventura, Clélia (2003): Lino ou la Gourmandise de la Vie. Paris: Robert Laffont. ISBN 2-221-09884-6
- Ventura, Odette (1992): Lino. Paris: Robert Laffont. ISBN 2-7242-7179-3 (see also: External Links)
- Ventura, Odette (1993): Lino. Weinheim; Berlin: Beltz Quadriga. ISBN 3-88679-217-X
- Ventura, Odette (1997): Lino. Paris: Robert Laffont. ISBN 2-221-08646-5
- Ventura, Odette (1997): Lino. Guanda "Biblioteca della Pilotta". ISBN
- Zurhorst, Meinolf / Just, Lothar (1984). Lino Ventura: Seine Filme – Sein Leben. München: Heyne. ISBN 3-453-86065-9
- Lino Ventura at the Internet Movie Database
- http://tontonsflingueurs.actifforum.com/ French Site Lino Ventura
- Les Premières Rencontres Nationales – Art, Culture et Handicap – Bourges du 19 au 21 octobre 2003
- Rencontres – Art, Culture et Handicap – Lundi 20 octobre à Bourges
- Lino Ventura Foundation
- Lino Ventura at Find a Grave