Franco Nero turns 80, from Django to conquer the world

Over 200 films and fiction titles for a career spanning 60 years

Franco Nero, one of the most prolific and best known Italian actors at the international level, turns 80 on 23 November. Over 150 films for cinema, almost 50 dramas and fiction for TV with the greatest directors in Europe and North America.

Born in San Prospero Parmense, a fraction of the municipality of Parma, on 23 November 1941, the son of a marshal of the Carabinieri originally from San Severo (in the province of Foggia), Franco Nero, pseudonym of Francesco Clemente Giuseppe Sparanero, already established himself little more than twenty years old. His blue eyes and physical prowess helped him to pierce the video and after the first roles in the early 60s, in 1966 a double turning point arrives: Sergio Corbucci wants him for ‘Django’, destined to become a milestone of the western all ‘Italian (so much so that Quentin Tarantino will want the actor for a cameo in’ Django Unchained ‘of 2012), and John Huston chooses him to play Abel in the blockbuster’ The Bible ‘.

For Nero, the doors of international cinema are opening up, but also of the best Italian productions. Another key title is ‘Camelot’ by the American Joshua Logan. On the set of this film, in fact, Nero meets Vanessa Redgrave, with whom he will have a love story (destined to be renewed in old age with a marriage celebrated only in 2006) but also a great cinematographic partnership, which will lead them to shoot together a series of film, starting with ‘A quiet place in the countryside’ directed by Elio Petri in 1968 and winner of the Silver Bear in Berlin in 1969, which will give Nero a new important international success.

The actor has starred in numerous films belonging to the Italian political detective genre (Il Giorno della Civetta, 1968; Il delitto Matteotti, 1973; Triumphal March, 1976; etc.). Among his most celebrated films ‘Querelle de Brest’ (1982) by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, ‘The young Toscanini’ (1988) by Franco Zeffirelli, ‘Diceria dell’untore’ (1990) by Beppe Cino, ‘Fratelli e sorelle’ ( 1992) by Pupi Avati, ‘Jonathan degli orsi’ (1994) which he also wrote and produced.

From Giuliano Montaldo to Luis Bunuel, from Carlo Lizzani to Tinto Brass, from Claude Chabrol to Marco Bellocchio, from Pappi Corsicato to Quentin Tarantino, Nero has worked with the most important directors on very different genres and atmospheres over a career span of almost sixty years. .

The actor had three children: Carlo Gabriel Nero, born in London in 1969 from the union with Vanessa Redgrave; Frank Sparanero or Frankie Nero born in 1983 but recognized many years later; Francesco “Franquito” Sparanero in 1987, had by Mauricia Mena, an Afro-Colombian woman he met in Cartagena while shooting a film.