Terence Hill

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Terence Hill
Terence Hill 2010.JPG
Born Mario Girotti
(1939-03-29) 29 March 1939 (age 76)
Venice, Veneto, Italy
Occupation Actor
Years active 1951–present
Spouse(s) Lori Hill (1967-present; two children)

Terence Hill (born Mario Girotti, 29 March 1939) is an actor of Italian and German descent who began as a child actor and went on to multiple starring roles in action and other Italian films, many with longtime film partner and friend Bud Spencer. At one time among Italy's highest paid actors,[when?] Hill's most widely seen films include comic and standard Westerns all´Italiana ("Italian style Westerns," colloquially, "spaghetti westerns"), some based on popular novels by German author Karl May about the American West. Of these, the most famous are Lo chiamavano Trinità (They Call Me Trinity, 1971) and Il mio nome è Nessuno (My Name Is Nobody, 1973), co-starring Henry Fonda. His film "Django, Prepare the coffin," shot in 1968 by director Ferdinando Baldi, and co-starring Horst Frank and George Eastman, was featured at the 64a La Biennale di Venezia (64th Venice Film Festival) in 2007. Hill, whose stage name was the product of a publicity stunt by film producers, also went on to a successful television career in Italy, including the long running lead and title role of Don Matteo (2000-), about an inspirational parish priest who assists the Carabinieri in solving crimes local to his community, a role for which Hill received an international "Outstanding Actor of the Year" award at the Festival de Télévision de Monte-Carlo 42e (42nd Monte Carlo Television Festival).

Early life and career[edit]

Hill was born in Venice, Italy on March 29, 1939.[1] Hill's mother, Hildegard Girotti (née Thieme), was a German, from Dresden; his father, Girolamo Girotti, was Italian, and a chemist by occupation.[2][full citation needed]

Hill lived in the small town of Lommatzsch, Germany during his childhood years, including during the end of the second world war, 1943-1945 , and survived the Dresden Bombing.[citation needed] He was discovered by Italian filmmaker Dino Risi at a swimming meet at the age of 12, and became a child actor, appearing in Vacanze col Gangster (Holiday with the Gangster, 1951).[1] His early roles also included Gli sbandati (The Abandoned, 1955).

Career as an adult[edit]

At one time among Italy's highest paid actors,[when?][1] Hill's most widely seen films include comic and standard Westerns all´ Italiana ("Italian style Westerns,"[3] also known as "spaghetti westerns"), some based on popular novels by German author Karl May about the American West.

After 27 movies in Italy Hill secured a major film role in Luchino Visconti's The Leopard (Il Gattopardo, 1963).[citation needed] In 1964, he returned to Germany and there appeared in a series of Heimatfilmen, adventure and western films, made after novels by German author Karl May.[citation needed] In 1967, he returned to Italy to act in God Forgives... I Don't! (Dio perdona... Io no!, 1968). His film "Django, Prepare the coffin" was also shot in 1968, by director Ferdinando Baldi; it co-starred Horst Frank and George Eastman (and would be featured, much later, at the 64a La Biennale di Venezia (64th Venice Film Festival, in 2007).[3]

Hill changed his name from Mario Girotti to Terence Hill the same year, a name made up as a publicity stunt by the film producers; he had to choose from a list of twenty names and picked the one with his mother's initials.[citation needed] In a question and answer session, he dismissed as a journalist's invention the rumor that it might have been taken from the Roman playwright Terence and his wife's surname.[4][self-published source?] (His wife's maiden name was Zwicklbauer.[citation needed]) In the following years, he starred in many action and Spaghetti Westerns, together with longtime colleague and friend Bud Spencer.[citation needed] The pair made a large number of Italian Westerns and other films together, and were notable for their comedy films, successful not only in Italy, but also abroad.[citation needed] Many of these have alternate titles, depending upon the country and distributor. Possibly their most famous film is the 1971 western Lo chiamavano Trinità (They Call Me Trinity) and the 1972 sequel Continuavano a chiamarlo Trinità (Trinity Is STILL My Name!).[citation needed] Hill has stated in interviews that Il mio nome è Nessuno (My Name Is Nobody, 1973), in which he co-starred with Henry Fonda, is his personal favorite of all his films.[citation needed]

His first American films were Mr. Billion and March or Die (both 1977), after which he divided his time between Italy and the US.[citation needed] Hill later went on to a successful television career in Italy; in 2000, he landed the leading role in the Italian television series Don Matteo, about an inspirational parish priest who assists the Carabinieri in solving crimes local to his community.[citation needed] This role earned Hill an international "Outstanding Actor of the Year" award at the Festival de Télévision de Monte-Carlo 42e (42nd Monte Carlo Television Festival), alongside ones for the series, and for producer Alessandro Jacchia at that festival.[5][better source needed]

In the summer of 2010 Hill filmed another successful Italian television series for the Italian state TV channel Rai Uno, this time entitled Un passo dal cielo (One step from heaven), playing a local chief of the foresters in the region of Alto Adige, the Italian Tyrol, with a second similarly successful season filmed in 2012.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Hill was married to Lori Hill née Zwicklbauer.[citation needed] Hill had an adoptive son, Ross, who was killed in an accident in Stockbridge, Massachusetts in 1990 while the actor was preparing to film Lucky Luke on the Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe.[citation needed]

Filmography[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Sandra Brennan, 2015, "Movies & TV: Terence Hill (Alternate Name: Mario Girotti)," The New York Times (online), see [5], accessed 11 May 2015.
  • Paola Naldi, 2007, "Il nuovo cinema cerca gloria," at La Repubblica [Bologna] (online), August 29, 2007, see [6] and [7], accessed 11 May 2015.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Sandra Brennan, 2015, "Movies & TV: Terence Hill (Alternate Name: Mario Girotti)," The New York Times (online), see [1], accessed 11 May 2015.
  2. ^ Wilske, Dirk (2005). "Der Italowestern - von der Gewalt zum Humor: Filmanalysen ausgewählter Beispiele". Google Books. [full citation needed]
  3. ^ a b Paola Naldi, 2007, "Il nuovo cinema cerca gloria," at La Repubblica [Bologna] (online), August 29, 2007, see [2] and [3], accessed 11 May 2015. Quote: "Per il resto l´istituzione diretta da Gianluca Farinelli, impegnatissima a Bologna con la rassegna dedicata a Chaplin, sarà presente alla manifestazione semplicemente come prestatrice (attività che svolge tutto l´anno) facendo arrivare sul grande schermo veneziano due pellicole per la rassegna "Western all´Italiana": «Preparati la bara», girato nel 1968 da Ferdinando Baldi, con Terence Hill, Horst Frank, George Eastman, José Torres; «I sette del Texas», anno 1964, di Joaquin Luis Romero Marchent."
  4. ^ "Fatta da voi... L'intervista di Terence con le vostre domande!!!". Terence Hill Fans [sic] Club web site (in Italian).  Question 29.[self-published source?]
  5. ^ Jeri Jacquin, 2014, "Don Matteo: Season 7 & 8 from MHz International Mystery, " at Imperial Beach Patch (online), October 8, 2014, see [4], accessed 11 May 2015.[better source needed]

External links[edit]