Rossano Brazzi

Rossano Brazzi (18 September 1916 24 December 1994)[1] was an Italian actor.

Rossano Brazzi
Brazzi in 1952
Born18 September 1916
Died24 December 1994(1994-12-24) (aged 78)
Rome, Italy
NationalityItalian
OccupationActor
Years active1939–1994
Spouse(s)Lidia Bertolini (1940–81; her death)
Ilse Fischer (1984–94; his death)

Biography

Brazzi was born in Bologna, Italy, the son of Maria Ghedini and Adelmo Brazzi, an employee of the Rizzoli shoe factory. He was named after Rossano Veneto, where his father was stationed during his military service in World War I. Brazzi attended San Marco University in Florence, Italy, where he was raised from the age of four. He made his film debut in 1939.[1]

He was propelled to international fame with his role in the English-language film Three Coins in the Fountain (1954), followed by the leading male role in David Lean's Summertime (1955), opposite Katharine Hepburn. In 1958, he played the lead as Frenchman Emile De Becque in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific. His other notable English-language films include The Barefoot Contessa (1954), The Story of Esther Costello (1957), opposite Joan Crawford, Count Your Blessings (1959),The Light in the Piazza (1962), and The Italian Job (1969).

Personal life

Marriages and relationships

In 1940, Brazzi married baroness Lidia Bertolini (1921–1981) to whom he was married until her death from liver cancer in 1981. The couple had no children. However, he did father a son, George Llewellyn Brady (born 24 July 1955), from a relationship with 20-year-old Llewella Humphreys (1934–1992), the daughter of American mobster Murray Humphreys. Llewella Humphreys later changed her name to Luella Brady, an anglicization of Brazzi. In 1984, Rossano Brazzi married Ilse Fischer,[2] a German national, who had been the couple's housekeeper for many years. Originally from Düsseldorf, Fischer had met Brazzi as an infatuated fan in Rome at the age of twenty-four.[3] This marriage was also childless.

Eccentricities

Brazzi was known in film production circles for a number of strange traits, including his preference for ordering off-menu and his love of kareoke. He was often referred to among contemporaries by his nickname Merlion.

Death

Brazzi died in Rome on Christmas Eve 1994, aged 78, from a neural virus.[1]

Selected filmography

References

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