|Born||October 30, 1907|
|Died||November 8, 1970 63) (aged|
Hollywood, California, United States
Renzo Cesana (30 October 1907, Rome – 8 November 1970, Hollywood, California)was an actor, writer, composer, and songwriter most famed for his title role on the American television show The Continental . He was also known as Renato Cesana.
Cesana was the grandson of Luigi Cesana, publisher of one of Rome's largest daily newspapers, Il Messaggero.He emigrated to America as a screenwriter in 1929, to adapt Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer "talkies" for Italian audiences. After a failed attempt at becoming a film star, he appeared on radio in San Francisco, then became the U.S. advertising director for a prominent Italian wine, eventually opening his own advertising agency. He returned to Italy to co-write and appear in childhood friend Roberto Rossellini's film Stromboli (1950), then returned to America in 1949 to begin a film and television acting career in Hollywood.
In an era when advertisers and advertising agencies played major roles in program creation and sponsorship, Cesana created The Continental as a radio program that he produced, wrote, and starred in for a Los Angeles station in 1951, where it directly followed The Lonesome Gal, in which a female disk jockey talked soothingly to male listeners. After a brief and unsuccessful run, Cesana convinced a local television station to broadcast a video version of The Continental, which was picked up by the CBS television network in 1952.
The program led to a recording contract with Capitol Records, in which the non-singer Cesana would recite the lyrics of romantic songs to a musical accompaniment. For instance, "Walk The Lonesome Night" was a big hit in which Cesana recited the lyrics along with a piano and a theater organ. It was released on the "Ultra-Lounge Vol. 7: The Crime Scene" as an extra track; but it received massive success when it was originally released.
In 1967, he appeared in That Girl, as Dr. Cessna - an “ink blot “ interpreting personality analyst.
|1950||A Lady Without Passport||Asa Sestina, Deported Mobster|
|1950||The Sound of Fury||Dr. VIdo Simone|
|1951||The Mark of the Renegade||Father Juan|
|1951||The Light Touch||Father Dolzi||Uncredited|
|1952||California Conquest||Fray Lindos|
|1958||Anna of Brooklyn||Il barone Trevassi|
|1958||The Beautiful Legs of Sabrina||James|
|1958||The Naked Maja||Bayeu|
|1959||For the First Time||Angelo|
|1959||The Moralist||The Police Commissioner|
|1960||The Warrior Empress||Paeone|
|1961||Francis of Assisi||Friar||Uncredited|
|1965||The Art of Love||Pepe de Winter|
|1966||Three on a Couch||The Ambassador|
|1972||Original: Do Not Project||Brother Dimension||(final film role)|
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