A Year: Day to Day Men: 28th of September, Solar Year 2018

Amber Waves of Grain

September 28, 1924 was the birthdate of Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni.

Marcello Mastoianni made his uncredited screen debut as an extra in the 1939 Italian comedy “Marionette”. He made several more minor film appearances and landed his first big role in the 1951 “Atto d’Accusa”, playing Renato La Torre in the melodrama. Within a decade, he became a major international celebrity, starring in “Big Deal on Madonna Street” and in Federico Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita” opposite Anita Ekberg. In “La Dolce Vita”, Mastroianni played a self-loathing and disillusioned tabloid columnist who spends his days and nights. exploring Rome’s high society.

After “La Dolce Vita”, Mastroianni starred in another Fellini film “8 1/2”. He played the signature role of a film director who, in the midst of self-doubt and troubled love affairs, finds himself in a creative block in his effort to direct an epic science-fiction move. Between 1954 and 1995, Mastroianni starred in twenty seven films including “La Notte” with Jeanne Moreau; “Marriage Italian-Style”; Robert Altman’s “Ready to Wear” with Sophia Loren; “The Pizza Triangle” with Monica Vitti”; Fellini’s “City of Women” and “Ginger and Fred”; and Nikita Mikhalkov’s “Dark Eyes” with Marthe Keller.

Marcello Mastroianni was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor three times; for “Divorce Italian Style”, “A Special Day”, and “Dark Eyes”. He is one of only three actors to have been twice awarded the Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival. Mastroianni won it in 1970 for “The Pizza Triangle” and in 1987 for his role of Romano in “Dark Eyes”. His final film was “Voyage to the Beginning of the World”, a Portuguese- French drama film, released in 1997  after his death.

Mastroianni died of pancreatic cancer in December of 1996 at the age of seventy-two. The Trevi Fountain in Rome, associated with his role in Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita”, was symbolically turned off and draped in black as a tribute. At the 1997 Venice Film Festival, his lover Anna Maria Tatò, an author and filmmaker, screened her four-hour documentary entitled “Marcello Mastroianni: I Remember”. His honors included British Film Academy Awards, Best Actor awards at the Cannes Film Festival, and two Golden Globe Awards.

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