Luigi Pistilli

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Luigi Pistilli
Luigi Pistilli (Death Ridess a Horse).jpg
Pistilli in Death Rides a Horse (1967)
Born19 July 1929
Died21 April 1996(1996-04-21) (aged 66)

Luigi Pistilli (19 July 1929 – 21 April 1996) was an Italian actor of stage, screen, and television.[1]

At one time Luigi Pistilli was one of Italy's most respected actors of stage, screen, and television. In theater, was considered one of the country's finest interpreters of Bertolt Brecht's plays in The Threepenny Opera and St Joan of the Stockyards.[1]

He is known to Italian horror movie buffs mainly for his three 1972 thrillers, Twitch of the Death Nerve, Iguana with the Tongue of Fire and Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key. Tragically, Pistilli committed suicide in 1996 at age 66.


Born in Grosseto, Pistilli studied acting at Milan's Piccolo Teatro, graduating in 1955. Although he went into acting in films, he never completely severed his ties with the theater and often returned to appear in plays directed by Giorgio Strehler.

He appeared in many spaghetti Westerns such as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) (as the priest brother of Eli Wallach's character Tuco) and in For a Few Dollars More (1965) as the cunning second-in-command Groggy (his first credited film role). He played the murderous Albert in the Mario Bava giallo Twitch of the Death Nerve (A Bay of Blood) in 1971. He had a regular role on the popular Italian television Mafia drama The Octopus. He also appeared as the main villain in Death Rides a Horse (1967).

After a role in the 1970 Charles Bronson thriller Cold Sweat, in 1972 he appeared in two giallo films Iguana With the Tongue of Fire and Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key (playing an alcoholic), and appeared as an exorcising priest in the 1974 cult horror film The Eerie Midnight Horror Show (aka The Sexorcist).

Pistilli committed suicide in his home in Milan just before he was scheduled to appear in the final performance of Terence Rattigan's Tosca on April 21, 1996.[1] The program was panned by critics and audiences, and that might have contributed to Pistilli's state of mind. However, according to his suicide note, Pistilli had suffered deep despair after making bitter public comments regarding the recent end of a four-year off-stage relationship with singer/actress Milva. In his note he apologized to her for the spiteful statements released in the published interview.[2]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Luigi Pistilli". The New York Times.
  2. ^ Antonio Dipollina (23 April 1996). "' MI UCCIDO PERCHE' TI HO OFFESA'". La Repubblica. p. 24. Retrieved 1 February 2015.

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