Vittorio Gassman

Vittorio Gassman ( born September 1, 1922 in Genoa, † June 29, 2000 in Rome) was one of the greatest Italian actors of the postwar era. He also worked as a director.


Gassman was the son of the German civil engineer Heinrich Gassmann and its coming from Pisa wife Luisa Ambron. For his stage name Gassman passed the second " n" of his family name.

After the completion of the " Accademia Nazionale di Arte Drammatica " Gassman gave his stage debut in 1943 in Milan. There were other stage performances and collaboration with the theater group to Luchino Visconti.

The breakthrough as a film actor succeeded him in 1948 as a small criminal Silvana Mangano in Bitter Rice lover (directed by Giuseppe De Santis ). After a first, rather unsuccessful trip to the American film industry 1953/54, Gassman returned to Italy. There he played in the American- Italian large-scale production War and Peace (1956 ) on the side of Henry Fonda and Audrey Hepburn. With films directed by Dino Risi as Love with sharp curves ( 1962) or Scent of a Woman (1974 ), he achieved great success. For the latter he received the Best Actor Award at the International Film Festival of Cannes 1975. Love with sharp curves is the prototype of the road movie and the idea is for the U.S. film Easy Rider (1969 ) have supplied. Also Scent of a Woman found in 1992 as a remake with Al Pacino in the lead role into the American film history. Gassman himself was in the late 70s, early 80s to see again in U.S. productions, among other things, directed by Robert Altman.

Beginning of the 80s founded Gassman drama school " Bottega teatrale " and published the biography "Un grande avvenire dietro le spalle ". In 1990 the novel " Memorie del sottoscala ". Gassman 1997 was awarded the prestigious Prince of Asturias Award.

Vittorio Gassman died on 29 June 2000 in Rome of a heart attack. Gassman was married, among others, the American actress Shelley Winters. In his native Italy, he was regarded as a grandiose Shakespearean actor. Due to its exceptional acting skills, he was often referred to by critics as the " Italian Laurence Olivier ".

Filmography (selection)

As a performer,

As a screenwriter and director