18 February 1927
Corbola, Rovigo, Veneto, Italy
|Died||27 March 2015
Corbola, Veneto, Italy
He used mainly the stage name of Rik Battaglia although alternate names he used for his films were also Rick Austin, Riccardo Battaglia and Rick Battaglia. He would go on to appear in over 100 films from the 1955 to 1999. He went to sea at the age of 17 and worked on a freighter. He was discovered in a bar and producer Carlo Ponti hired him on the spot and signed to his first film in 1955's La donna del fiume, directed by Mario Soldati and opposite Sophia Loren. He played a cigarette smuggler who has a tempestuous love affair with a young and sexy Sophia Loren (Ponti's wife) in hot pants.
He then took two years of drama classes and subsequently appeared in a number of costume and sword and sandal films. He played supporting parts in the Peplums (Sandal and sword epics) The Mighty Crusaders (1958, Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia), and Hannibal (1959, Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia, Edgar G. Ulmer). In Germany he appeared as a slave merchant in the Liane-sequel Jungle Girl and the Slaver (1957, Hermann Leitner), and he was seen in the Hollywood adventure Raw Wind in Eden (1958, Richard Wilson). Rik Battaglia also played in Esther and the King (1960), From a Roman Balcony (1960, by Mauro Bolognini) and in the biblical epic Sodom and Gomorrah (1962, by Robert Aldrich). He appeared in several adventure films as Sandokan, la tigre di Mompracem (1963, Umberto Lenzi), and horror films such as Nightmare Castle (1965, Mario Caiano).
He became a regular in the Karl May films, and in Spaghetti westerns and adventure films. Some of these included Old Shatterhand (1963), Die Pyramide des Sonnengottes (1965), Das Vermächtnis des Inka (1965), Black Jack (1968), Winnetou und sein Freund Old Firehand, Winnetou und Shatterhand im Tal der Toten (1968), Duck, You Sucker! (1971), The Call of the Wild (1972), White Fang (1973), Challenge to White Fang (1974) and A Man Called Blade (1977). His other films included 'Tis Pity She's a Whore (1971), Treasure Island (1972, as Captain Smollett), the Agatha Christie adaptation Ten Little Indians (1974), the Sergio Leone co-produced western A Genius, Two Partners and a Dupe (1975), and Vincente Minnelli's A Matter of Time (1976). Battaglia also appeared in Deported Women of the SS Special Section (1976), Suor Emanuelle (1977), Il prefetto di ferro (1977), Return of the 38 Gang (1977), Zappatore (1980) and Don Bosco (1988). His last feature film was Buck ai confini del cielo (1991) and he retired from films in 1999.