Alberto Sordi

Last updated

Alberto Sordi
Alberto Sordi (1962).tif
Sordi in 1962
Born(1920-06-15)15 June 1920
Rome, Kingdom of Italy
Died24 February 2003(2003-02-24) (aged 82)
Rome, Italy
Other namesAlbertone
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • director
  • singer
  • screenwriter
Years active1937–1998

Alberto Sordi Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI (15 June 1920 – 24 February 2003) was an Italian actor, comedian, director, singer, and screenwriter. [1] [2]


Early life

Born in Rome to a schoolteacher and a musician and the last of five children, Sordi was named in honour of an older sibling, who died several days after his birth. Sordi enrolled in Milan's dramatic arts academy but was kicked out because of his thick Roman accent. In the meantime, he studied to be a bass opera singer. His vocal distinctiveness would become his trademark. [3]


Cinema and television

In a career that spanned seven decades, Sordi [4] established himself as an icon [5] of Italian cinema with his representative skills at both comedy and light drama. His movie career began in the late 1930s with bit parts and secondary characters in wartime movies. Early roles included Fellini's The White Sheik in 1952, Fellini's I vitelloni (1953), a movie about young slackers, in which he plays a weak immature loafer and a starring role in The Bachelor as a single man trying to find love.[ citation needed ] Sordi frequently appeared in Italian historical comedies. [6]

In 1959, he appeared in Monicelli's Great War , considered by many critics and film historians to be one of the best Italian comedies. The Hollywood Foreign Press recognized his abilities when he was awarded a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Actor in a Musical or Comedy for To Bed or Not to Bed (1963). Sordi acted alongside Britain's David Niven in the World War II comedy The Best of Enemies . In 1965, he was in another highly regarded comedy, I complessi (Complexes).[ citation needed ]

In 1969, he was a juror at the 6th Moscow International Film Festival. [7] In 1984, he directed and co-scripted Tutti dentro (Off to jail, everybody), in which he played a judge who has warrants for corruption served on ministers and businessmen. [8] In 1985, he was a member of the jury at the 35th Berlin International Film Festival. [9]


Sordi was also a prominent voice actor and dubber. [10] Prior to the war he began working as a dubber for the Italian versions of many Laurel and Hardy shorts and movies, voicing Oliver Hardy after winning an MGM contest for the Italian voice nearest to that of Oliver Hardy. [11] Sordi provided the voice of Hardy in more than forty Laurel and Hardy films from 1939 to 1951, paired with Mauro Zambuto, who voiced Stan Laurel. He also appeared as a voice actor in other Italian-language versions and Italian films. [12]

Sordi provided voice-overs for such actors as Bruce Bennett, Anthony Quinn, John Ireland, Robert Mitchum, Pedro Armendáriz and Frank Faylen. He also dubbed Italian actors such as Franco Fabrizi, Marcello Mastroianni and Enzo Fiermonte for English-speaking audiences. His own voice was dubbed over by Gualtiero De Angelis in Cuori nella tormenta and Carlo Romano in Bullet for Stefano . Sordi ceased his career as a dubber in 1956.[ citation needed ]

Personal life

Sordi was discreet about his private life. Despite never marrying or having children, Sordi was in several relationships, including a nine-year romance with actress Andreina Pagnani. [13]

Sordi was raised Roman Catholic.

Sordi was also a big supporter of AS Roma football team. This was something he expressed a fondness of in some of his films.


Sordi won seven David di Donatello, Italy's most prestigious film award, holding the record of David di Donatello as best actor, and four awards for his works from the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists. He also received a Golden Lion for lifetime achievement at the Venice Film Festival in 1995, and The Golden Globe Award [14] for his performance as an Italian labourer stranded in Sweden in To Bed or Not to Bed . In 2000, the City of Rome made him honorary mayor for a day to celebrate his eightieth birthday.[ citation needed ]

At the 22nd Berlin International Film Festival, he won the Silver Bear for Best Actor award for Detenuto in attesa di giudizio . [15] At the 13th Moscow International Film Festival he won a Special Prize for I Know That You Know That I Know . [16]

Sordi received honorary citizenship from Kansas City, Missouri for his references to the city in the 1954 film, Un americano a Roma . [17] [18]

Illness and death

In 2001, Sordi was diagnosed with lung cancer. He died of pneumonia and bronchitis at his house in Rome on 24 February 2003. A crowd in excess of a million gathered to pay their last respects at his funeral by the Basilica of St. John Lateran. [19]


Sordi in Under the Sun of Rome (1948) SottoilsolediRoma-1948-Sordi.png
Sordi in Under the Sun of Rome (1948)
Sordi and Lea Padovani in Il seduttore (1954) Alberto Sordi and Lea Padovani 1954.jpg
Sordi and Lea Padovani in Il seduttore (1954)



Dubbing roles


Live action



Composer and singer

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vittorio De Sica</span> Italian film director and actor (1901–1974)

Vittorio De Sica was an Italian film director and actor, a leading figure in the neorealist movement.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mario Monicelli</span> Italian film director and screenwriter

Mario Alberto Ettore Monicelli was an Italian film director and screenwriter and one of the masters of the Commedia all'Italiana. He was nominated six times for an Oscar, and was awarded the Golden Lion for his career.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Renato Terra</span> Italian actor (1922–2010)

Renato Terra had a career working in film as an actor, and has appeared in over 80 movies. In 1977 he retired to become a poet.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Valeria Moriconi</span> Italian actress

Valeria Moriconi was an Italian actress who appeared both in movies and on stage.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Walter Chiari</span> Italian actor

Walter Annicchiarico, known as Walter Chiari[ˈvalter ˈkjaːri], was an Italian stage and screen actor, mostly in comedy roles.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Enzo Petito</span> Italian actor

Enzo Petito was an Italian film and stage character actor. A theatre actor under Eduardo De Filippo in the 1950s in the Teatro San Ferdinando of Naples, with whom he was professionally closely associated, Petito also appeared in several of his films, often co-starring Eduardo or/and brother, Peppino De Filippo, brothers who are considered to be amongst the greatest Italian actors of the 20th century. Petito played minor roles in some memorable commedia all'Italiana movies directed by the likes of Dino Risi and Mario Monicelli in the late 1950s and early 1960s, often appearing alongside actors such as Nino Manfredi, Alberto Sordi, Peppino De Filippo, Anna Maria Ferrero, and Totò.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ninetto Davoli</span> Italian actor

Giovanni "Ninetto" Davoli is an Italian actor who became known through his roles in several of Pier Paolo Pasolini's films.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Luigi Comencini</span> Italian film director

Luigi Comencini was an Italian film director. Together with Dino Risi, Ettore Scola and Mario Monicelli, he was considered among the masters of the commedia all'italiana genre.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Aldo Fabrizi</span> Italian actor, director

Aldo Fabrizi was an Italian actor, director, screenwriter and comedian, best known for the role of the heroic priest in Roberto Rossellini's Rome, Open City and as partner of Totò in a number of successful comedies.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Franco Fabrizi</span> Italian actor

Franco Fabrizi was an Italian actor.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Paolo Stoppa</span> Italian actor (1906–1988)

Paolo StoppaKnight Grand Cross was an Italian actor.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Furio Scarpelli</span>

Furio Scarpelli, also called Scarpelli, was an Italian screenwriter, famous for his collaboration on numerous Commedia all'italiana films with Agenore Incrocci, forming the duo Age & Scarpelli.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Andrea Checchi</span> Italian actor

Andrea Checchi was a prolific Italian film actor.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lauro Gazzolo</span> Italian actor

Lauro Gazzolo was an Italian actor and voice actor.

<i>Be Sick... Its Free</i> 1968 film

Be Sick... It's Free is a 1968 Italian comedy film directed by Luigi Zampa and starring Alberto Sordi. A sequel was made titled Il Prof. Dott. Guido Tersilli, primario della clinica Villa Celeste, convenzionata con le mutue.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Giovanni Grasso</span> Italian actor

Giovanni Grasso was an Italian stage and film actor. He appeared in more than 80 films between 1910 and 1955. He was born and died in Catania, Sicily, Italy. Born into a family of marionettists, he was cousin and namesake of Giovanni Grasso, a respected stage actor specialized in the Sicilian language repertoire, so he assumed at the beginning of his career the stage name "Giovanni Grasso Junior" to stand out. He was mainly active on stage, often acting together with his wife, Virginia Balestrieri.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Carlo Croccolo</span> Italian actor (1927–2019)

Carlo Croccolo was an Italian actor, voice actor, director and screenwriter.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pietro Tordi</span> Italian actor

Pietro Tordi was an Italian film actor. He appeared in 100 films between 1942 and 1988. He was born in Florence, Italy.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Anita Durante</span> Italian actress

Anita Durante was an Italian actress.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ignazio Balsamo</span> Italian actor

Ignazio Balsamo was an Italian film and stage actor.


  1. "Alberto Sordi's dubbing contributions". Retrieved 22 June 2019.
  2. informatici, Segretariato generale della Presidenza della Repubblica – Servizio sistemi. "Il sito ufficiale della Presidenza della Repubblica" . Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  3. "Alberto Sordi". MYmovies. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  4. Burton, Richard (23 October 2012). The Richard Burton Diaries. ISBN   978-0300180107 . Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  5. "Alberto Sordi comic icon of Italian cinema" . . 26 February 2003. Archived from the original on 4 April 2018. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  6. José Pagliardini (2002). "Alberto Sordi patriote. L'Histoire par le rire, histoire d'en rire ?". Italies (in French). DOAJ. 6 (6): 415–428. doi: 10.4000/italies.1627 . ISSN   1275-7519. OCLC   8081002838.
  7. "6th Moscow International Film Festival (1969)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2012.
  8. "Italian actor Alberto Sordi" . Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  9. "Berlinale: Juries". Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  10. Cronologia fondamentale dell'epoca d'oro del doppiaggio italiano Dagli albori agli anni 1970 (in Italian)
  11. "Alberto Sordi, Italy's movie legend or Albertone Nazionale". 26 February 2013.
  12. "ALBERTO SORDI - 15/06/1920 - 24/02/2003" (in Italian). Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  13. "ALBERTO SORDI E ANDREINA PAGNANI: CHI ERA LA COMPAGNA DELL'ATTORE" (in Italian). 25 March 2020. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  14. "Alberto Sordi and Golden Globe Awards" . Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  15. "Berlinale 1972: Prize Winners". Retrieved 16 March 2010.
  16. "13th Moscow International Film Festival (1983)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 7 November 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  17. (in Italian) Biography of Alberto Sordi. See "1951–1960" Archived 11 August 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  18. Alberto Sordi on Roma Virtuale website; accessed 14 July 2020.(in Italian)
  19. La Repubblica/spettacoli_e_cultura: Per Albertone 250mila in piazza San Giovanni