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Italy remembers Massimo Troisi on 30th anniversary of his death

Il Postino star died on this day 30 years ago.

Italy is remembering the Neapolitan actor, screenwriter and director Massimo Troisi on Tuesday, 30 years after the death of the cinema icon.

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

The actor's death came just 12 hours after filming finished for Michael Radford's Il Postino (The Postman), the critically acclaimed movie which was co-written by and starred Troisi.

The film, which won an Oscar for best soundtrack, saw Troisi nominated posthumously for two Oscars, for best screenplay and best actor in a leading role.

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 simple 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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