Enzo Cerusico

Enzo Cerusico (22 October 1937 1 July 1991) was an Italian film actor. He appeared in 55 films between 1951 and 1984.

Enzo Cerusico
Born(1937-10-22)22 October 1937
Rome, Italy
Died1 July 1991(1991-07-01) (aged 53)
Rome, Italy
Years active1951-1984

Career in the United States

Cerusico's first role on American television was in a 1966 episode of I Spy filmed in Rome. Producer Sheldon Leonard held a casting call for an English-speaking actor to play the kid brother of the female Italian guest star. Cerusico spoke no English but with a friend's help he memorized one line — "I studied English in the school since four years" — and managed to bluff his way into an interview with Leonard.[1]

Leonard realized Cerusico wasn't fluent in English but he thought the young man possessed "Jean Paul Belmondo's jaunty virility and the swaggering charm of Maurice Chevalier." Leonard chose Cerusico for the I Spy guest role and Cerusico learned his lines phonetically and delivered them by rote.[1]

Cerusico later played the title character in My Friend Tony, an hour-long crime drama that aired on NBC in 1969.[2]

Personal life

Cerusico's family had hoped he would follow tradition and become a physician. But during his teen years, Cerusico realized he wouldn't be a good doctor and decided he "didn't want to be one among many, a mediocre."[1]

While living in Los Angeles during filming of My Friend Tony, Enzo and Tiziana learned English by reading Ernest Hemingway's short stories and watching Walter Cronkite's evening newscasts. The couple used an audio tape recorder to record the CBS Evening News each night and replayed the tape three times, Enzo said: "First for the separate words, then for the sentences and finally to find out what the news was." Publicity materials released in 1969 for My Friend Tony gave the 32-year-old Cerusico's age as 25.[1]

Cerusico was married twice and had two daughters from with his first wife. He is interred in Cimitero Flaminio in Rome.[3]

Selected filmography


  1. Goodwin, Fritz. (1969, May 31-June 6). The operation was a failure ... but the patient survived. TV Guide.
  2. Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earl (29 June 2009). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows. New York: Ballantine Books. p. 941. ISBN 978-0307483201.
  3. "Enzo Cerusico". Find A Grave. 9 November 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
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