At Italy On This Day you will read about events and festivals, about important moments in history, and about the people who have made Italy the country it is today, and where they came from. Italy is a country rich in art and music, fashion and design, food and wine, sporting achievement and political diversity. Italy On This Day provides fascinating insights to help you enjoy it all the more.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Franco Nero – actor

The film Camelot sparked long love affair with English actress


Franco Nero made his name playing in the Spaghetti Western Django
Franco Nero made his name playing in
the Spaghetti Western Django
Francesco Clemente Giuseppe Sparanero, better known by his stage name Franco Nero, was born on this day in 1941 in San Prospero Parmense.

Nero became well-known for playing the title role in Sergio Corbucci’s Spaghetti Western film Django in 1966 and then reprising the role in Nello Rossati’s film Django Strikes Again in 1987.

The actor has had a long-standing relationship with British actress Vanessa Redgrave, which began in the 1960s during the filming of the musical comedy-drama Camelot. They had a son, Carlo Gabriel Redgrave Sparanero in 1969. Now known as Carlo Gabriel Nero, their son is a screenwriter and director.

Franco Nero was the son of a Carabinieri Officer, who was originally from San Severo, a city in the province of Foggia in Apulia.

He grew up in Bedonia in Emilia-Romagna and then in Milan, where he studied briefly at the Economy and Trade Faculty of the University. He left there to study at the Piccolo Teatro in Milan.

Nero’s first film role was a small part in Giuseppe Fina's Pelle Viva in 1962. After his success in Django, he played the part of Lancelot in Camelot, opposite Vanessa Redgrave as Guinevere, in 1967.

Nero with his and Vanessa Redgrave's son Carlo, in 1979
Nero with his and Vanessa Redgrave's
son Carlo, in 1979
He then appeared in Damiano Damiani's Mafia film, Il giorno della civetta, opposite Claudia Cardinale in 1968.

Nero has appeared in more than 150 films during the last 55 years. He wrote, produced and starred in the film Jonathan degli orsi in 1993.

Nero was apart from Vanessa Redgrave for many years, during which they both had relationships with other people. He walked her late daughter, Natasha Richardson, down the aisle when she married actor Liam Neeson in 1994. Natasha’s father, Tony Richardson, had died in 1991.

Carlo Nero directed his mother in the cinematic adaptation of Wallace Shawn’s play The Fever in 2004.

Franco Nero and Vanessa Redgrave were reunited and were married on 31 December 2006.

Travel tip:

San Prospero Parmense, where Franco Nero was born, is a small hamlet in the province of Parma in Emilia-Romagna, located about six kilometres from the city of Parma. The Church of San Prospero in Via Emilio Lepido dates back to at least 980 and the Baroque Villa Mattei, accessible from Viale Dall’Aglio, was built in 1682 by the noble Mariani family.

Croce Monte Bue
Croce Monte Bue
Travel tip:

Bedonia, where Franco Nero lived as a child, is a city in Emilia-Romagna but it is close to the region of Liguria and its colourful buildings show Ligurian influence. North of the town on top of the Pelpi mountain is a huge cross, the Croce Monte Bue. This area became a pilgrimage site after a miracle of the Virgin Mary occurred there more than 100 years ago.



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