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Roberto Benigni

Roberto Benigni is an actor, comedian, screenwriter and director of film, theatre and television. His 1997 film LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL, which he co-wrote, directed and starred in, was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and won Best Foreign Language Film, Best Music, and Best Actor. The film received dozens of prestigious prizes around the world, including the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes, a People's Choice at Toronto, a BAFTA (Best Actor), a Cesar, a Goya, a European Film Award, SAG Award, nine David di Donatello Awards (including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Screenplay), among many others. LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL is one of the most successful foreign language films ever released in the U.S.

Benigni first became known in this country appearing in Jim Jarmusch's DOWN BY LAW in 1986. He would go on to collaborate with Jarmusch in NIGHT ON EARTH and COFFEE & CIGARETTES.

Born in Manciano La Misericordia (Castiglion Fiorentino), Benigni moved to Rome in 1972, where he worked in experimental theatre before achieving fame on two outrageous TV series, Onda Libera, and L'altra domenica. He made his debut as a writer/director/star in 1983 with YOU UPSET ME, followed by NOTHING LEFT TO DO BUT CRY, THE LITTLE DEVIL (with Walter Matthau), JOHNNY STECCHINO, THE MONSTER, PINOCCHIO and THE TIGER AND THE SNOW. As an actor he appeared in SEEKING ASYLUM, Bernardo Bertolucci's LUNA, TIGERS IN LIPSTICK, IL MINESTRONE, Federico Fellini's LA VOCE DELLA LUNA, Blake Edwards' SON OF THE PINK PANTHER, and Claude Zidi's ASTERIX & OBELIX VS. CAESAR.

During 2006 and 2007, Benigni toured Italy with his one-man show TuttoDante (Everything about Dante), which mixes recitations of Dante's Divine Comedy with off-the-cuff humor. In 2009 he toured the United States with TuttoDante. In addition to all of his film awards, Benigni has received numerous honorary degrees from universities around the world.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2012.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Roberto Benigni Facts

OccupationActor, Director, Screenwriter
BirthdayOctober 27, 1952 (71)
BirthplaceMisericordia, Italy
Height5' 5" (1m65)  How tall is Roberto Benigni compared to you?
Awards1999 Academy Awards: Best Actor (for Life Is Beautiful)
1999 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Best Male Actor in a Leading Role (for Life Is Beautiful)
1999 BAFTA Awards: Actor in a Leading Role (for La Vita E Bella)

Selected Filmography

Life Is Beautiful
To Rome With Love
Coffee & Cigarettes
Night on Earth
Down By Law
Son Of The Pink Panther
The Pink Panther Ultimate Collection
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