Lou Castel

Lou Castel (born Ulv Quarzell; 28 May 1943) is a Swedish actor who became known through his work in Italian films.[1]

Lou Castel
Ulv Quarzell

(1943-05-28) 28 May 1943
Years active1963-present

Life and career

The son of a Swedish father and an Irish mother, Castel was born Ulv Quarzell in Bogotá, Colombia, where his father was working as a diplomat. He and his twin brother grew up in Cartagena.[1]

When Castel was 6, his parents separated. He followed his mother to Europe and went to school in London, then in Stockholm. He subsequently went to live in Rome where his mother was working in the local film industry. A militant communist Castel's mother also introduced her son to politics.[1]

Interested in acting from an early age, he attended the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, but was quickly kicked out. His first movie role was an uncredited extra in The Leopard (1963). Two years later, he gained international fame for his performance in Fists in the Pocket, in which he played the epileptic Alessandro, who murders his mother and his brother. His career in Italy included arthouse pictures, but also spaghetti westerns and also softcore erotica.[1] He later played Jeff, the temperamental bisexual film director in Beware of a Holy Whore (1971), directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Fassbinder himself portrayed the film's line producer.

While living in Italy, Castel became involved in a maoist organization. As Italy was going through the Years of Lead period, he was eventually considered an indesirable alien. In 1972, he was deported to Sweden where he no longer had any acquaintances. He eventually bounced back and appeared in films directed by Wim Wenders and Claude Chabrol.[1]

Castel settled in France in the early 1990s.[1] Though the quality of the films he acted in were quite disparate, ranging from arthouse films to cheap exploitation, Castel always chose roles that reflected his militant leftist beliefs.

He has a son from the actress Marcella Michelangeli.[1]

Selected filmography

Year Title Role Director Notes
1963 Il Gattopardo Party Guest Luchino Visconti Uncredited
1965 Fists in the Pocket Alessandro Marco Bellocchio
1966 Francis of Assisi Francis of Assisi Liliana Cavani TV movie
1967 A Bullet for the General Bill 'Niño' Tate Damiano Damiani
Requiescant Requiescant Carlo Lizzani
1968 The Protagonists Taddeu Marcello Fondato
Come Play with Me Alvise Salvatore Samperi
Galileo Friar, Young monk of the Vatican Liliana Cavani
Lucrezia Cesare Borgia Osvaldo Civirani
La prova generale Romano Scavolini
1969 Orgasmo Peter Donovan Umberto Lenzi
1970 Con quale amore, con quanto amore Ernesto Pasquale Festa Campanile
Bocche cucite Carmelo La Manna Pino Tosini
Matalo! Ray Cesare Canevari
1971 Beware of a Holy Whore Jeff, the director Rainer Werner Fassbinder
1972 Nel nome del padre Salvatore Marco Bellocchio
Who Killed the Prosecutor and Why? Carlo Giuseppe Vari
1973 The Scarlet Letter Rev. Dimmesdale Wim Wenders
1974 Nada D'Arey Claude Chabrol
Gangsterfilmen Simon Lars G. Thelestam
Output Gorski Michael Fengler
1975 Faccia di spia The torturer Giuseppe Ferrara
1976 Pure as a Lily Luciano Franco Rossi
The Cassandra Crossing Swedish terrorist George P. Cosmatos
Caro Michele Osvaldo Mario Monicelli
1977 Change of Sex Durán Vicente Aranda
Pigs Have Wings Marcello Paolo Pietrangeli
The American Friend Rodolphe Wim Wenders
Les Enfants du placard Nicola Benoît Jacquot
Italia: Ultimo atto? Marco Massimo Pirri
Mr. Mean Huberto Fred Williamson
1978 Violanta Silver Daniel Schmid
Flesh Color Psychiatrist François Weyergans
Killer Nun Peter Giulio Berruti
1980 Ombre Renato Giorgio Cavedon [2][3]
1982 Gli occhi, la bocca Giovanni Pallidissimi / Pippo Pallidissimi Marco Bellocchio
1983 Trauma Le Maitre Gabi Kubach
1984 Love Is the Beginning of All Terror Traugott Helke Sander
1985 Treasure Island Doctor / Father Raúl Ruiz
Fraulein André Michael Haneke TV movie
1986 Hôtel du Paradis Tramp Jana Boková
Nanou Italian activist Conny Templeman
1987 Man on Fire Violente Élie Chouraqui
Rorret Joseph Rorret Fulvio Wetzl
1989 What Time Is It? Fisherman Ettore Scola
1991 Fuga da Kayenta McDonaldson Fabrizio De Angelis
Year of the Gun Lou John Frankenheimer
1992 Acquitted for Having Committed the Deed Hartman Alberto Sordi
1993 La Naissance de l'amour Paul Philippe Garrel
1996 Irma Vep José Mirano Olivier Assayas
1998 Louise (Take 2) Louise's Father Siegfried
2001 Clément François Emmanuelle Bercot
2007 Heartbeat Detector Arie Neumann Nicolas Klotz
Medea Miracle Creo Tonino De Bernardi
2012 La Lapidation de Saint Etienne Étienne Pere Vilà Barceló
2013 Gare du Nord Ali Claire Simon
2013 The Nun Baron de Lasson Guillaume Nicloux




  • Curti, Roberto (2019). Italian Gothic Horror Films, 1980-1989. McFarland. ISBN 1476672431.
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