Ninetto Davoli

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Ninetto Davoli
Ninetto Davoli.jpg
Davoli in 2014 in Venice
Born (1948-10-11) 11 October 1948 (age 72)
Years active1964–present
Height1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)

Giovanni "Ninetto" Davoli (born 11 October 1948) is an Italian actor who became known through his roles in several of Pier Paolo Pasolini's films.


Davoli was born in San Pietro a Maida, Calabria. He was discovered by poet, novelist and film director Pier Paolo Pasolini, who had begun a relationship with Davoli, then a 15-year-old boy, in 1963. Pasolini considered him to be "the great love of his life", and he later cast him in his 1966 film Uccellacci e uccellini (literally Bad Birds and Little Birds but translated in English as The Hawks and the Sparrows), co-starred with celebrated comic Totò, Pasolini became the youth's mentor and friend. "Even though their sexual relations lasted only a few years, Ninetto continued to live with Pasolini and was his constant companion, as well as appearing in six more of his films."[1]

First cast in a non-speaking role in the film Il vangelo secondo Matteo (The Gospel According to St. Matthew, 1964), Davoli played mostly comical-naïve roles in several more of Pasolini's films, the last of which was Il fiore delle Mille e una Notte (A Thousand and One Nights/Arabian Nights, 1974).

The Trilogy of Life was made at a harsh junction in the lives of Davoli and Pasolini. It was during the filming of The Canterbury Tales that Davoli left Pasolini to marry a woman. Behind the scenes, this ruined Pasolini's mood and he began composing nihilistic and angry poetry.[2] For his next film Arabian Nights Pasolini did with Davoli what he had never done in a previous film, he showed Davoli's naked genitalia on screen. It is in this film that Davoli's character Aziz is a very selfish and unfeeling man whose rejection of a woman causes her death and which results in his own castration on screen. Pasolini's own hurt feelings are very evident here in what is for the most part a lighthearted fantasy film.

After Pasolini's death in 1975, Davoli turned increasingly to television productions.

In May 2015 Davoli was announced as recipient of a special Nastro d'Argento Career Award.[3]

Selected filmography[edit]



  • Le avventure di Calandrino e Buffalmaco (1975, TV Mini-Series)
  • Addavenì quel giorno e quella notte (1979, TV Mini-Series) - Er Samurai
  • Sogni e bisogni (1985, TV Mini-Series) - Er Caramella
  • La romana (1988, TV Mini-Series)
  • L'altro enigma (1988, TV Movie) - Il barbone
  • Il vigile urbano (1989)
  • L'avvocato porta (1997) - Remondino
  • La banda (2000, TV Movie)
  • Vite a prendere (2004, TV Movie) - Enrico Feroci


  • Siciliano, Enzo (1982). Pasolini: A Biography. New York: Random House. p. 167.
  1. ^ Ireland, Doug (4 August 2005). "Restoring Pasolini". LA Weekly. LA Weekly, LP. Retrieved 29 August 2010.
  2. ^ The Secret Humiliation of Chaucer documentary
  3. ^ Maria Pia Fusco (30 May 2015). "L'omaggio a Davoli con il premio alla carriera "Ma io non sono un attore"". La Repubblica. Retrieved 3 June 2015.

External links[edit]