Giancarlo Giannini biography
Date of Birth: August 1, 1942
Born in Spezia, Italy, Giancarlo Giannini spent his youth in Naples. He attended the National Academy of Dramatic Art in 1961 and made his debut onstage the following year as Puck in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, followed by performances in The Dream, Memories of a Lady Friend, and Romeo and Juliet.
Giannini started working with director Lina Wertmuller when he landed a role in her play, Two and Two are No Longer Four. Following the play, the two would have a long lasting working relationship as Lina used him in a series of starring roles that cast him as dull-witted, naive, pompous, and/or slovenly characters. Some of the more notable films she cast him in were Love and Anarchy (1973); her first internationally acclaimed feature, The Seduction of Mimi (1974), playing an innocent stooge duped into an assassination plot; Swept Away(1975) and Seven Beauties (1976). In this last film, he played Pasqualino, a concentration camp inmate who suffers humiliation and degradation in a desperate effort to survive. It earned Giannini an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.
Efforts to broaden his appeal to Anglo audiences resulted in a few box office flops, including American Dreamer (1984), Fever Pitch(1985) and Blood Red (1989).
Giannini was back in form though as the hapless nephew of scheming Vittorio Gassman in The Sleazy Uncle (1991), and as a deadpan police inspector in Once Upon a Crime (1992). He was also charming in the otherwise forgettable Francis Ford Coppola-directed sequence of New York Stories (1989) and played Rene Mathis in the Bond film, Casino Royale (2006).
In 1999, Giannini received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Los Angeles Italian Film Awards. He started off the new millennium playing Emperor Shaddam in the television mini series Dune, and had major roles in The Silence of the Lambs sequel Hannibal, and Roman Coppola's C.Q. (both 2001).
In 2002 he won a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Milan Film Festival. Giannini has two sons with his ex-wife, Livia. He is currently married to Eurilla del Bono, with whom he also has two children.