Castelnuovo in 1968
28 October 1936
Francesco "Nino" Castelnuovo (born 28 October 1936) is an Italian actor of film, stage and television.
Castelnuovo appeared as Guy Foucher in the French-language musical film The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964) and as D'Agostino in the romantic-drama The English Patient (1996). His other films include the drama Rocco and His Brothers (1960), the sexploitation Camille 2000 (1969), the black-comedy L'emmerdeur (A Pain in the ..., 1973), the giallo film Il prato macchiato di rosso (1973), and the spaghetti-westerns Massacre Time (1966) and The Five Man Army (1969).
Castelnuovo was born in Lecco, Lombardy into a humble family. After being a house painter, a mechanic and a workman, at a young age he moved to Milan where he started working as a sales agent, and at the same time he enrolled in the acting school of the Piccolo Teatro in Milan.
He landed a small part in the crime mystery film Un maledetto imbroglio (The Facts of Murder, 1959), directed by Pietro Germi, and played supporting roles in films, including the dramas The Hunchback of Rome, directed by Carlo Lizzani; and Rocco and His Brothers, directed by Luchino Visconti; both were released in 1960.
When the American television show, Disneyland, traveled to Italy in 1962, he appeared alongside Annette Funicello in two episodes of the mini-movie, Escapade in Florence, singing, playing the guitar, and adding the Italian verses to the jovial tarantella "Dream Boy".
Castelnuovo's international breakthrough role arrived with The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964), directed by Jacques Demy and an entirely sung-through film, in which he played opposite Catherine Deneuve. Nominated for the American Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, the film gained the attention of both film critics and the public, and won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in February of that same year.
After some box-office failures – Un mondo nuovo (1966), directed by Vittorio De Sica; and his American film debut in the Western The Reward, directed by Serge Bourguignon – he gained fame as an actor in Italy, thanks to the role of Renzo in the RAI television mini-series I promessi sposi (1967).
He also starred alongside an international cast of Peter Graves, James Daly, and Bud Spencer in The Five Man Army (1969), directed by Don Taylor, as a Mexican revolutionary; and as Armand in Camille 2000 (1969), directed by Radley Metzger.
Since then, Castelnuovo has been featured primarily on television serials around Europe, where he has portrayed numerous parts. He appeared as the athletically-sound spokesman for the corn-oil company Cuore (Italian for "Heart") from 1977 to 1982.
Castelnuovo also appeared briefly as D'Agostino in the Academy Award-winning best-picture film The English Patient (1996). He has continued to be active on the Italian theatre stage as well. In 2002, he starred in a production of the 1931 comedy play The Front Page (Italian title, Prima Pagina), written by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur.
He appeared as Kenny Butler in the 2016 The Legacy Run, the prequel movie of the first ever sport-investigative series Sport Crime with sport personalities Daniela Scalia, Luca Tramontin and other sport stars like NHL Marco Baron, Olympic hockey Flavien Conne, waterpolo Ivan Asic and boxing world champion Stefania Bianchini.
- Enrico Lancia; Roberto Chiti; Roberto Poppi. Dizionario del cinema italiano: Gli attori. Gremese Editore, 2003. ISBN 8884402131.
- F. Cappa; Piero Gelli; Marco Mattarozzi. Dizionario dello spettacolo del '900. Dalai editore, 1998. ISBN 8880892959.
- Joan Crosby (9 June 1969). "Disney's Florence Escapade' Concludes". Pittsburgh Press.
- Roberto Chiti; Roberto Poppi; Enrico Lancia; Mario Pecorari. Dizionario del cinema italiano. I film. Gremese Editore, 1992. ISBN 8876055932.
- Valentina Grazzini (1 February 2003). "Prima pagina! Nino Castelnuovo a tu per tu con la commedia americana". L'Unità. Archived from the original on 13 August 2013. Retrieved 13 August 2013.
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