After graduating from university with a degree in journalism, Ezio began his career in entertainment in 1979 with a TV variety show called La Sberla (A Slap in the Face). La Sberla lasted two seasons and the comedy acts and skits he performed led to his break out part as the lead in the comedy skit show, Drive In. Drive In had a five year run and was very successful. It led to Ezio's first big role in cinema. It was a film called Yuppies and it became a cult film for the new Italian comedy of the time. That film led to a sequel the following year. Yuppies 2 became Number 1 at the Italian box office.
Other films for Italian TV and cinema followed: MonteCarlo Grand Casino, Watch Out for Perestroika, Christmas Vacation 90, Christmas Vacation 91, and Unhappy and Content, for which Ezio received critical acclaim for his portrayal of a blind man who escapes from his convalescent hospital.
In the meantime, Ezio's television career continued to blossom. Each year he had lead parts in various comedy series, but in 1988 he and writer Antonio Ricci, hit upon an idea about making fun of various current news events. The satirical, Striscia La Notizia (Unofficial News) was born. By using hidden cameras and tongue in cheek investigative reporting of current news events, the show combined Ezio's humorous and witty commentary with zany sound effects, eye catching dancing girls and colorful cartoon caricatures. Striscia became a smash hit. The show is currently in its 12th year and consistently averages 12 million viewers per night and ratings of over 30%. It goes out live five nights a week and is taped for the sixth night. Ezio has won two Cat Awards, Italy's highest honor for television programming for his work on the show.
As his success in television grew, Ezio continued his work in cinema. In 1993, he set out on one of his biggest challenges. He wrote, produced, directed and acted in the movie, Silence of the Hams which starred Billy Zane and Dom DeLuise. Silence was shot in Los Angeles, California and was successfully released internationally in over 40 countries. He followed that with starring roles in the Italian films, Italian Miracle and Savages. In 1996 he appeared in Mel Brook's Dracula, Dead and Loving It. By 1997, time allowed Ezio to tackle another film of his own for the U.S. and international markets. He wrote, produced, directed, and starred in the comedy, The Good, Bad Guy. It too was filmed in Los Angeles and was released throughout the world. In 1998, Ezio went in front of the cameras for television starring as Officer Arturo Colombo of Capri in the very successful miniseries called The 50's. Soon after wrapping that show, he was back at the helm again with his third film as a director, the madcap comedy, Screw Loose. Ezio starred in that film with his friend, Mel Brooks. Ezio also wrote and produced the film. World rights for Screw Loose were soon sold to Columbia Tristar. Following the success of the miniseries the year before, 1999 saw Ezio reprising his starring role as Officer Colombo in The 60's. Later that same year, Ezio teamed up with another friend, Leslie Neilson, with a major role in the upcoming comedy 2001, A Space Travesty.
In addition to his work in TV and cinema, Ezio has written three books which have sold over 800,000 copies in the Italian language.
Ezio Greggio Facts
|April 7, 1954 (69)
|Silence of the Hams