Terence Hill

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Terence Hill
Hill in 2018
Mario Girotti

(1939-03-29) 29 March 1939 (age 85)
  • Italy
  • United States
  • Germany
  • Actor
  • film director
  • screenwriter
  • film producer
Years active1951–present
Lori Zwicklbauer
(m. 1967)
Websitewww.terencehill.com Edit this at Wikidata

Terence Hill (born Mario Girotti; 29 March 1939) is an Italian actor, film director, screenwriter and producer.[1] He began his career as a child actor and gained international fame for starring roles in action and comedy films, many with longtime film partner and friend Bud Spencer. During the height of his popularity, Hill was among Italy's highest-paid actors.[2]

His most widely seen films include comic and standard spaghetti Westerns, some based on popular novels by German author Karl May about the Wild West. Of these, the most famous are Lo chiamavano Trinità (They Call Me Trinity, 1970); …continuavano a chiamarlo Trinità (Trinity Is Still My Name, 1971), the highest grossing Italian film to date; and Il mio nome è Nessuno (My Name Is Nobody, 1973), co-starring Henry Fonda. Hill, whose stage name was the product of a publicity stunt by film producers, also went on to a successful television career in Italy, playing the title character in the long-running Rai 1 series Don Matteo from 2000 until 2021.

Early life[edit]

Hill was born on 29 March 1939 in Venice, Italy.[2] Hill's mother, Hildegard Girotti (née Thieme), was German, from Dresden; his father, Girolamo Girotti, was Italian, and a chemist by occupation.[3]

During his childhood, Hill lived in the small town of Lommatzsch, Saxony. He was there up to the end of World War II, and survived the Bombing of Dresden.[4]


Child actor[edit]

He was discovered by Italian filmmaker Dino Risi at a swimming meet at the age of 12, and he became a child actor, appearing in Risi's Vacation with a Gangster (1951) as Gianni the orphan gang leader. "They were looking for a boy gang leader and they found me," he later said.[5]

He had small roles in Voice of Silence (1953) with Jean Marais, Too Young for Love (1953), and It Happened in the Park (1953).

He was in Golden Vein (1954) with Märta Torén and Richard Basehart, The Abandoned (1955) and Folgore Division (1955).

Leading man[edit]

Girotti had his first lead in Guaglione (1956). He could also be seen in Mamma sconosciuta (1956), I vagabondi delle stelle (1956), La grande strada azzurra (1956) with Yves Montand and Alida Valli, and Lazzarella (1957).[6]

Girotti did Anna of Brooklyn (1958) with Gina Lollobrigida, The Sword and the Cross (1958) with Yvonne de Carlo (playing Lazarus of Bethany), and a TV version of The Picture of Dorian Gray (1958).[7]

He had support parts in Il padrone delle ferriere (1959) with Virna Lisi, Juke box - Urli d'amore (1959), and Hannibal (1959) with Victor Mature and Carlo Pedersoli, who would later become known as Bud Spencer. Girotti had the lead roles in Spavaldi e innamorati (1959) and Cerasella (1959), a teen comedy.

It was back to support roles with Carthage in Flames (1960), Un militare e mezzo (1960), and The Story of Joseph and His Brethren (1961) with Geoffrey Horne and Robert Morley, directed by Irving Rapper.[8]

Girotti had support parts in The Wonders of Aladdin (1961) with Donald O'Connor and directed by Henry Levin and Mario Bava, Pecado de amor (1961), Seven Seas to Calais (1962) with Rod Taylor, and The Shortest Day (1963).[7][9]

Girotti secured a substantial supporting role in Luchino Visconti's film epic The Leopard (1963) alongside Burt Lancaster and Alain Delon, in which he unsuccessfully tries to court the daughter of Lancaster's character. During this time he studied classical literature for three years at an Italian university.[5]


In 1964, he returned to Germany and there appeared in a series of Heimatfilme, adventure and Western films, based on novels by German author Karl May.[10] These included Last of the Renegades (1964) with Lex Barker; three films with Stewart Granger, Amongst Vultures (1964), The Oil Prince (1965) and Old Surehand (1965); Shots in 3/4 Time (1965); Duel at Sundown (1965) with Peter Van Eyck; Call of the Forest (1965), an Austrian movie; Die Nibelungen, Teil 1 - Siegfried (1965) and Die Nibelungen, Teil 2 - Kriemhilds Rache (1967).

In 1967, he returned to Italy to make Io non protesto, io amo (1967), co starring Caterina Caselli.

Bud Spencer[edit]

Terence Hill (right) with Bud Spencer in They Call Me Trinity

Girotti then appeared alongside Bud Spencer (then known as Carlo Pedersoli) in Giuseppe Colizzi's spaghetti Western God Forgives... I Don't! (1967). At the time cast and crew in Westerns frequently adopted American names to give the film a better chance of selling in non-Italian speaking countries; Girotti changed his name to "Terence Hill". He picked the name from a list of 20 he was given, the story about using his wife's name was a publicity idea.[11] The film was a huge hit – the most popular film of the year in Italy – and established him as a star.

Hill in Django, Prepare a Coffin (1968)

Hill followed it with a musicarello, The Crazy Kids of the War (1967) with Rita Pavone, then did a Western, Django, Prepare a Coffin (1968) for director Ferdinando Baldi, a sequel to Django (1966) with Hill playing the role done by Franco Nero in the original; it co-starred Horst Frank and George Eastman (and would be featured, much later, at the 64th Venice Film Festival, in 2007).[12]

Hill was a leading man in a musical Western Crazy Westerners (1968), again with Rita Pavone, then was reunited with Spencer in Ace High (1968), a sequel to God Forgives with a cast including several American actors such as Eli Wallach. Hill did The Tough and the Mighty (1968), a biopic of Graziano Mesina, then a second sequel to God Forgives, Boot Hill (1969), co-starring Spencer and Woody Strode.[5]

Hill did The Wind's Fierce (1970) then had a huge hit with Spencer with the comedy Western They Call Me Trinity (1971). Hill did a swashbuckler, Blackie the Pirate (1971), in which Spencer had a small role; they reteamed properly for a Trinity sequel, Trinity Is Still My Name (1972). It was even more popular than the original and had a successful release in the USA.[7]

Hill did a modern-day crime drama The Hassled Hooker (1972) and a comedy Western without Spencer, Man of the East (1972). He and Spencer did ... All the Way, Boys! (1972), their first non-Western though it was still a comic adventure film.

International films[edit]

Hill has stated in interviews that My Name Is Nobody (1973), in which he co-starred with Henry Fonda,[13] is his personal favorite of all his films.[13] The film was based on an idea by Sergio Leone.

Hill and Bud Spencer in Watch Out, We're Mad! (1974)

Hill again starred with Spencer in Watch Out, We're Mad (1974) and Two Missionaries (1974) then without him in the spaghetti Western A Genius, Two Partners and a Dupe (1975). He moved from Italy to live in the US and settled in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, in the Berkshires.[7]

Dino De Laurentiis cast Hill in his first English-language film, Mr. Billion (1977), directed by Jonathan Kaplan for 20th Century Fox, co-starring Valerie Perrine and Jackie Gleason. It was a box office flop.[14][15]

After returning to Italy for Crime Busters (1977) with Spencer, Hill then made another English-language movie, March or Die (1977), an $8 million French Foreign Legion tale for Lew Grade, co starring Gene Hackman and Catherine Deneuve. It was a box office disappointment.[16][5]

Despite his fluency in Italian and English, Hill was usually dubbed by other actors in both languages. In the Italian versions of his films, various actors provided his voice until the late 1960s, where he was primarily dubbed by Sergio Graziani; he was voiced by Pino Locchi from 1970 to 1983, and by Michele Gammino from 1983 to 1996. For English dubs, Lloyd Battista dubbed him in six films, including the "Cat Stevens and Hutch Bessy" trilogy, while Roger Browne dubbed him in most of his early 1970s films (They Call Me Trinity to A Genius, Two Partners and a Dupe); from Mr. Billion onward, Hill dubbed his own English voice.[17][18]

Hill and Spencer starred in Odds and Evens (1978), I'm for the Hippopotamus (1979), Who Finds a Friend Finds a Treasure (1981), and Go for It (1983). Without Spencer, Hill made Org (1979), which he also produced, and Super Fuzz (1980).[19]


Hill did The World of Don Camillo (1984), which he also produced and directed. He teamed with Spencer for Double Trouble (1984), and Miami Supercops (1985), then did They Call Me Renegade (1987), based on a story by Hill.


Hill turned director for Lucky Luke (1991) in which he starred and that was shot in the United States; it led to a TV series of the same name.[20][21]

He reunited with Spencer one last time for Troublemakers (1994) which Hill also directed. He did Virtual Weapon (1997) with Marvelous Marvin Hagler.

In 2000, he landed the leading role in the Italian television series Don Matteo (2000–present), about an inspirational parish priest who assists the Carabinieri in solving crimes local to his community. This role earned Hill an international "Outstanding Actor of the Year" award at the 42nd Monte Carlo Television Festival, alongside ones for the series, and for producer Alessandro Jacchia at that festival.[22]

During the series' run he appeared in TV movies L'uomo che sognava con le aquile (2009), Riding the Dark (2009), Doc West (2009), and Triggerman (2009); he co-directed the last two.

In the summer of 2010, Hill filmed another Italian television series for the Italian state television channel Rai Uno, this time entitled Un passo dal cielo (One Step from Heaven), playing a local chief of the state foresters in the region of Alto Adige, with a second season filmed in 2012.

Hill directed the 2018 film My Name Is Thomas, which he also appeared in.[23] The same year, the co-op beat 'em up videogame Bud Spencer & Terence Hill: Slaps and Beans was released.[24][25]

Personal life[edit]

Hill is married to Lori Hill (née Zwicklbauer) and they have had two sons together; Jess (born 1969) and Ross (born 1973).[26] Ross was killed in a car accident in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, US in 1990, while Hill was preparing to film Lucky Luke (1991) on the Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe, New Mexico, US.[27]

He holds American citizenship,[28] and in November 2022, he also attained a German citizenship by descent from the German consulate-general in Los Angeles without requiring a naturalization test.[29]



Year Title Role Notes
1951 Vacation with a Gangster Gianni
1953 Il viale della speranza
1953 La voce del silenzio Boy at the barrier
1953 Un Amore per te
1953 Villa Borghese Un compagno di scuola di Anna Maria Uncredited
1954 Vacanze col gangster Gianni
1955 La vena d'oro Corrado
1955 Gli sbandati Wounded Estray
1955 Divisione Folgore Paratrooper Delavigne
1956 Guaglione Franco Danieli
1956 Mamma sconosciuta Gianni Martini
1956 I vagabondi delle stelle Franco
1957 Lazzarella Luciano Pico
1957 La grande strada azzurra Renato
1958 Anna di Brooklyn Ciccillo – Don Luigi's nephew
1958 La spada e la croce Lazzaro
1959 Primo Amore
1959 Il padrone delle ferriere Octave de Beaulieu
1959 Juke box urli d'amore Othello
1959 Annibale Quintilius
1959 Spavaldi e innamorati Paolo
1959 Cerasella Bruno
1960 Cartagine in fiamme Tsour
1960 Un militare e mezzo Giorgio Strazzonelli
1961 Giuseppe venduto dai fratelli Benjamin
1961 The Wonders of Aladdin Prince Moluk
1961 Pecado de amor Ángel Vega
1962 Il Dominatore dei sette mari Babington
1962 Il giorno più corto Soldato austriaco
1963 Il Gattopardo Count Cavriaghi
1964 Winnetou - 2. Teil Lt. Robert Merril
1964 Unter Geiern Baker Jr.
1965 Shots in Threequarter Time Enrico
1965 The Oil Prince Richard Forsythe
1965 Call of the Forest Marcello Scalzi
1965 Duell vor Sonnenuntergang Larry McGow
1965 Ruf der Wälder Marcello Scalzi
1965 Old Surehand Toby
1966 Die Nibelungen, Teil 1: Siegfried Giselher
1967 Io non protesto, io amo Gabriele
1967 Dio perdona... io no! Cat Stevens
1967 La Feldmarescialla Prof. Giuliano Fineschi
1968 Preparati la bara! Django
1968 Little Rita nel West Black Star
1968 I quattro dell'Ave Maria Cat Stevens
1969 Barbagia Graziano Cassitta
1969 La collina degli stivali Cat Stevens
1970 La collera del vento Marco
1970 Lo Chiamavano Trinità... Trinity
1971 Il corsaro nero Blackie
1971 McCabe & Mrs. Miller Townsperson Uncredited
1971 ...continuavano a chiamarlo Trinità Trinity
1972 Il vero e il falso Marco Manin
1972 E poi lo chiamarono il magnifico Sir Thomas Fitzpatrick Phillip Moore
1972 ...Più forte ragazzi! Plata
1973 Il mio nome è Nessuno Nessuno
1974 Porgi l'altra guancia Father / Padre J.
1974 ...altrimenti ci arrabbiamo! Kid
1975 Un genio, due compari, un pollo Joe Thanks / Nessuno
1977 Mr. Billion Guido Falcone
1977 I due superpiedi quasi piatti Matt Kirby
1977 March or Die Marco Segrain
1978 Pari e dispari Johnny Firpo
1979 Org Zohommm!!! Also producer
1979 Io sto con gli ippopotami Slim
1980 Poliziotto superpiù Policeman Dave Speed
1981 Chi trova un amico, trova un tesoro Alan
1983 Nati con la camicia Rosco Frazer / Steinberg
1983 Don Camillo Don Camillo Also director and producer
1984 Non c'è due senza quattro Eliot Vance / Bastiano Coimbra de la Coronilla y Azevedo
1985 I poliziotti dell'8ª strada Doug Bennet / Officer Jay Donell English title: Miami Supercops
1987 Renegade – Un osso troppo duro Luke Also writer
1991 Lucky Luke Lucky Luke Also director
1994 Botte di Natale Travis Also director
1997 Virtual Weapon Skims
2018 My Name Is Thomas Thomas Also director and writer


Year Title Role Notes
1958 Il Novelliere: Il ritratto di Dorian Gray Television film
1992 Lucky Luke Lucky Luke 8 episodes
2006 L'uomo che sognava con le aquile Rocco Ventura Television film
2009 L'uomo che cavalcava nel buio Rocco Television film
2009 Doc West Doc West Television film
2009 Triggerman Doc West Television film
2000–2022 Don Matteo Don Matteo 260 episodes
2011–2015 Un passo dal cielo Pietro 41 episodes

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2017 Slaps and Beans Terence Hill With Bud Spencer; for PS4 and PC

Music Video[edit]

Year Artist Song Role Notes
2019 Fabio Rovazzi Senza pensieri Terence Hill Feat.Loredana Bertè & J-Ax


  1. ^ Sandra Brennan (2016). "Terence Hill". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016.
  2. ^ a b Brennan, Sandra (2014). "Terence Hill". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on 26 December 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  3. ^ Wilske, Dirk (2005). Der Italowestern – von der Gewalt zum Humor: Filmanalysen ausgewählter Beispiele. GRIN Verlag. ISBN 9783638837422.[full citation needed]
  4. ^ Badtke, Thomas (11 April 2012). "Terence Hill – exklusiv und beeindruckend". N-TV.de. Retrieved 24 January 2017.(German)
  5. ^ a b c d Mills, Bart (16 January 1977). "Movies: 'March or Die' a Dusty Venture for Terence Hill". Los Angeles Times. p. t36.
  6. ^ As a Comrade, He Could Have Been A Contender: [Review] Holden, Stephen. New York Times 6 June 2001: E.1.
  7. ^ a b c d First American Film for Hill Thomas, Bob. Los Angeles Times 3 September 1976: f16
  8. ^ CARTHAGE IN FLAMES "(Cartagine in Fiamme)" Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 27, Iss. 312, (1 January 1960): 169.
  9. ^ 'ALADDIN' PERFECT FOR CHILD AUDIENCE Stinson, Charles. Los Angeles Times 16 December 1961: B6.
  10. ^ "Terence Hill wird 80: Mit Backpfeifen und Bud Spencer zum Erfolg". Stuttgarter Nachrichten (in German). 29 March 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2019.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "This & That | Terence Hill Official Website". en.terencehill.com. Retrieved 11 September 2023.
  12. ^ Paola Naldi (2007). "Il nuovo cinema cerca gloria," at La Repubblica [Bologna]. 29 August 2007. bologna.repubblica.it Archived 26 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 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 abara», 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."
  13. ^ a b Canby, Vincent (18 July 1974). "Il Mio nome e Nessuno (1974) 'My Name Is Nobody,' Puts Fabled West on Film:The Cast". The New York Times.
  14. ^ Jonathan Kaplan on Mr. Billion at Trailers From Hell
  15. ^ Terence Hill Makes American Film Debut in 'Mr. Billion' Los Angeles Times 7 March 1977: e7.
  16. ^ "Terence Hill - the Spaghetti Western Database".
  17. ^ Battista, Lloyd, Anthony, Tony. Get Mean (Blu-ray). Blue Underground. Event occurs at 19:00.
  18. ^ "Terence Hill". Bud Spencer/Terence Hill Database. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  19. ^ SUPER FUZZ' AND BORGNINE: [Review] MITGANG, HERBERT. New York Times 17 May 1982: C.14.
  20. ^ Video – Lucky Luke directed by Terence Hill Kermode, Mark. Sight and Sound; London Vol. 4, Iss. 1, (Jan 1994): 61.
  21. ^ In the U.S., Silenzio on the Set By ANDY MEISLERLOS ANGELES. New York Times 2 August 1992: H25.
  22. ^ Jeri Jacquin (8 October 2014). patch.com "Don Matteo: Season 7 & 8 from MHz International Mystery". Imperial Beach Patch. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  23. ^ "'Il mio nome è Thomas': Terence Hill torna al cinema, un cowboy on the road". La Repubblica (in Italian). GEDI Gruppo Editoriale S.p.A. 17 March 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  24. ^ McFerran, Damien (25 July 2018). "Bud Spencer & Terence Hill Arrive On Switch With Slaps And Beans In Tow". Nintendo Life. Gamer Network. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  25. ^ Lopes, Gonçalo (30 July 2018). "Bud Spencer & Terence Hill – Slaps and Beans Review (Switch eShop)". Nintendo Life. Gamer Network. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  26. ^ Lüdeke, Ulf (2012). Terence Hill: Die exklusive Biografie (in German). Riva Verlag. p. 156. ISBN 978-3-86883-203-7.
  27. ^ "E' morto a 16 anni anni Ross Hill" (in Italian). 13 February 1990. Retrieved 2 December 2022.
  28. ^ "Terence Hill: "Donald Trump? A lui darei tanti schiaffoni"".
  29. ^ "Terence Hill nimmt deutsche Staatsbürgerschaft an" [Terence Hill Attains German Citizenship]. Der Spiegel. 11 November 2022.

External links[edit]