Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Marymount - International School Rome

Italy remembers Massimo Troisi on the 70th anniversary of his birth

Il Postino star would have turned 70 today.

Italy is remembering the late Italian actor and director Massimo Troisi on Sunday 19 February on what would have been the 70th birthday of the cinema icon.

Troisi remains a hugely popular figure in Italy almost three decades after he died of a heart attack, aged 41, at his sister's house near Rome on 4 June 1994.

Troisi's death came just 12 hours after he had finished filming Il Postino (The Postman), a critically acclaimed film for which the actor was posthumously nominated for two Oscars.

Born into a large family in San Giorgio a Cremano, a suburb of Naples, on 19 February 1953, Troisi suffered from serious heart problems since he was a child, worsened by several bouts of rheumatic fever.

He made his acting debut on the stage in a local production aged 15 after an actor failed to show up, and he went on to establish an acting group with fellow Neapolitan actors Enzo Decaro and Lello Arena.

A successful career ensued in theatre, cabaret and television, including the TV shows Non Stop, La sberia and Luna Park in the late 1970s.

Troisi achieved widespread recognition in Italy in 1981 after his first movie Ricomincio da tre which he wrote, directed and starred in, before going on to star opposite Roberto Benigni in the 1984 classic Non ci resta che piangere.

In 1987 Troisi directed the award-winning Le vie del Signore sono finite and two years later he starred alongside Marcello Mastroianni in Ettore Scola's Splendor.

After several other films in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Troisi would go on to achieve global stardom for his role as a postman called Mario Ruoppolo who befriends the exiled Chilean poet Pablo Neruda.

Troisi was seriously ill during the filming of Il Postino, whose scenes were shot on the islands of Procida and Salina, and he allegedly delayed urgent heart surgery to complete the film.

His untimely death caused a huge outpouring of grief in Italy. He was buried in San Giorgio a Cremano where he is remembered today with a statue portraying him in his final role as Il Postino.

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