Enzo Fiermonte

Enzo Fiermonte (17 July 1908 – 22 March 1993), sometimes credited as William Bird, was an Italian actor and boxer.

Enzo Fiermonte
Vincenzo Fiermonte

(1908-07-17)17 July 1908
Died22 March 1993(1993-03-22) (aged 84)
Other namesWilliam Bird
OccupationActor, Boxer
Years active1941-1979
Spouse(s)Tosca Manetti
(div. 1933)
Madeleine Astor
(m. 1933; div. 1938)
ChildrenJohn Fiermonte
Parent(s)Donato and Lucrezia Fiermonte

Early life

Vincenzo "Enzo" Fiermonte was born on 17 July 1908 in Casamassima, a rural village near Bari, in southern Italy to Donato and Lucrezia Fiermonte.[1]


From 1925 to 1934, he was a professional boxer, with a lifetime record of 47 wins (11 by knockout), 17 losses (10 by knockout), and 2 draws. On June 22, 1943, he announced his permanent retirement from boxing.[2]

In 1937, he entered his Maserati in the Vanderbilt Cup auto race in Westbury, New York, but was not allowed to participate because he had no formal auto racing experience.

Acting career

In 1940, he starred as a boxer in Dino De Laurentiis' first film, L'ultimo Combattimento (The Last Fight), directed by Pietro Ballerini.[3] Between the 1940s and the 1980s, he had acting roles in at least 116 films.

Personal life

Fiermonte was married to Tosca Manetti. In June 1933, Fiermonte's wife announced that he was seeking a divorce so he could wed Madeleine Talmage Force (1893–1940), the former wife of John Jacob Astor IV, who died aboard the RMS Titanic.[4]

Fiermonte married Madeleine on 27 November 1933 in New York City, shortly after her divorce from her second husband, William Dick, on 21 July 1933. In 1935, they bought the former Dixie Plantation, a 600 acre estate in Charleston, South Carolina overlooking the Stono River.[5]

They were divorced on 11 June 1938. He was only four years older than his stepson during the marriage, John Jacob Astor VI. In 1944, he allegedly got engaged in Italy to Princess Giulia von Rio, but they never married.

Fiermonte died in March 1993 in Mentana, Italy.[6]

Selected filmography


  1. Memola, Giovanni (2016). L'avventurosa vita di Enzo Fiermonte, pugile attore. Bari: Edizioni dal Sud. ISBN 978-88-7553-216-1.
  2. "FIERMONTE OUT 'FOREVER.' | Announces Permanent Retirement From Boxing Activities". The New York Times. 23 June 1934. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  3. Moliterno, Gino (October 12, 2009). The A to Z of Italian Cinema. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 9780810870598. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  4. "LINKS MRS. DICK AND BOXER; | Fiermonte Says He Plans to Wed Former Mrs. Astor". The New York Times. 17 June 1933. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  5. "FIERMONTE BUYS ESTATE; Husband of Former Mrs. Astor Gets Southern Plantation". The New York Times. 1 December 1935. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  6. B, Tom (17 July 2013). ".Westerns...All'Italiana!: Remembering Enzo Fiermonte". .Westerns...All'Italiana!. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
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