Nino Castelnuovo

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Nino Castelnuovo
Nino Castelnuovo 1967.jpg
Castelnuovo in 1967
Francesco Castelnuovo

(1936-10-28)28 October 1936[1]
Died6 September 2021(2021-09-06) (aged 84)
Rome, Italy
Years active1957–2021

Francesco "Nino" Castelnuovo (28 October 1936 – 6 September 2021)[2] was an Italian actor of film, stage and television, best known for his starring role as Guy Foucher in the French musical film The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964).[3]

Castelnuovo's other films include Rocco and His Brothers (1960), Camille 2000 (1969), L'emmerdeur (1973), Il prato macchiato di rosso (1973), Massacre Time (1966), The Five Man Army (1969), and The English Patient (1996).

Early life[edit]

Castelnuovo was born the youngest of three boys in Lecco, Lombardy as the son of maid Emilia Paola (née Sala) and button factory employee Camillo Castelnuovo.[3] He had two older brothers, Pierantonio (b. 1930; d. 1976) and Clemente. After being a house painter, a mechanic and a workman, 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.[1] He became a father for the first time to his son Lorenzo when he married Danila Trebbi (b. 1955), an Italian actress.


In 1957, Castelnuovo debuted as a mime in the RAI children's television show Zurli il mago del giovedì.[1][4]

He landed a small part in Un maledetto imbroglio (The Facts of Murder, 1959), directed by Pietro Germi, and played supporting roles in films, including The Hunchback of Rome, directed by Carlo Lizzani, and Rocco and His Brothers, directed by Luchino Visconti; both were released in 1960.[1]

When the American television show Disneyland traveled to Italy in 1962, he appeared with 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".[5]

Castelnuovo's breakthrough role arrived with The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964), directed by Jacques Demy, in which he played opposite Catherine Deneuve.[3] 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 the same year.[1]

Castelnuovo in 1968

After the box-office failures Un mondo nuovo (1966), directed by Vittorio De Sica, and The Reward, directed by Serge Bourguignon,[1] – he gained notice as an actor in Italy because of his role of Renzo in the television mini-series I promessi sposi (1967).[1][4]

He also starred alongside an international cast 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.[6]

From then on, Castelnuovo was featured primarily on television serials around Europe, where he portrayed numerous parts.[1] He appeared as the athletically sound spokesman for the corn-oil company Cuore from 1977 to 1982.[1]

Castelnuovo also appeared briefly as D'Agostino in The English Patient (1996), and he continued to be active on the Italian theatre stage. In 2002, he starred in a production of the 1931 comedy play The Front Page (Italian title, Prima Pagina).[7]

He appeared as Kenny Butler in the 2016 The Legacy Run with sport personalities Daniela Scalia, Luca Tramontin, Marco Baron, Flavien Conne, Ivan Asic, and Stefania Bianchini.


Castelnuovo died on 6 September 2021 in Rome at the age of 84.

Selected filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1956 The Virtuous Bigamist Minor rôle Uncredited
1959 The Facts of Murder L'Elettricista
1960 The Angel Wore Red Capt. Trinidad Uncredited
Rocco and His Brothers Nino Rossi
La garçonnière Vincenzo
Everybody Go Home Codegato
The Hunchback of Rome Cencio
1961 Laura nuda Franco - Laura's husband
A Day for Lionhearts Danilo
Day by Day, Desperately Gabriele Dominici
1962 Escapade in Florence Bruno
1963 The Shortest Day Corteggiatore Uncredited
The Eye of the Needle Nicola Badalà
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg Guy Foucher
1964 Una sporca faccenda
The Cavern Mario Scognamiglio
1965 The Double Bed L'amant Segment 2 "Le monstre"
The Reward Luis
Made in Italy Dr. Gavino Piras Segment "2 'Il Lavoro', episode 2")
1966 Un monde nouveau Carlo
Andremo in città Ivan, un partigiano
Massacre Time Jason 'Junior' Scott
Les Créatures Jean Modet
1967 On My Way to the Crusades, I Met a Girl Who... Marculfo
1968 Red Roses for the Fuhrer Vincent
1969 Salvare la faccia Mario
Mercanti di vergini
Love and Anger The Director Segment "L'amore"
The Five Man Army Luis Dominguez
Camille 2000 Armand Duval
Diary of a Telephone Operator Piero
1970 The Divorce Piero
1971 Bella di giorno moglie di notte Giorgio
1972 Colpo grosso... grossissimo... anzi probabile Sandro
1973 Il prato macchiato di rosso A UNESCO agent
L'emmerdeur Bellhop
Gott schützt die Liebenden Emilio Trenti
1974 Un amour de pluie Giovanni
1975 Strip Nude for Your Killer Carlo
Amore mio spogliati... che poi ti spiego! Giuliano
That Malicious Age Napoleone
1975 La collegiale Marco
1979 Star Odyssey Lt. Oliver 'Hollywood' Carrera
1996 The English Patient D'Agostino
2003 Senza la parola fine
2010 Il sottile fascino del peccato Padre di Giada
2016 The Legacy Run Kenny Butler


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Enrico Lancia; Roberto Chiti; Roberto Poppi. Dizionario del cinema italiano: Gli attori. Gremese Editore, 2003. ISBN 8884402131.
  2. ^ "Nino Castelnuovo è morto a 84 anni: Fu Renzo ne I promessi sposi in tv, poi lo spot in cui salta la staccionata". 7 September 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Gilbey, Ryan (19 September 2021). "Nino Castelnuovo obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
  4. ^ a b F. Cappa; Piero Gelli; Marco Mattarozzi (1998). Dizionario dello spettacolo del '900. Dalai editore, 1998. ISBN 8880892959.
  5. ^ Joan Crosby (9 June 1969). "Disney's Florence Escapade' Concludes". Pittsburgh Press.
  6. ^ Roberto Chiti; Roberto Poppi; Enrico Lancia; Mario Pecorari (1991). Dizionario del cinema italiano. I film. Gremese Editore, 1992. ISBN 8876055932.
  7. ^ 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.

External links[edit]