Ugo Tognazzi

Ugo Tognazzi

actor, director, writer

Ugo Tognazzi was born on Mar 23, 1922 in Italy. Ugo Tognazzi's big-screen debut came with I cadetti di Guascogna directed by Mario Mattoli in 1950, strarring Ugo Bossi. Ugo Tognazzi is known for Amici miei - Atto II° directed by Mario Monicelli, Ugo Tognazzi stars as Conte Raffaello Mascetti and Gastone Moschin as Arch - Rambaldo Melandri. Ugo Tognazzi has got 14 awards and 8 nominations so far. The most recent award Ugo Tognazzi achieved is Taormina International Film Festival. The upcoming new movie Ugo Tognazzi plays is Café chantant which will be released on Mar 30, 2021.

Despite Ugo Tognozzi's many superb, award-winning performances accumulated over a four-decade career (and I do mean many), this short (5'8") but virile, mustachioed, stocky-framed Italian character star will be forever cherished if only for his one classic comedy role -- that of gay cabaret owner Renato Baldi, opposite Michel Serrault's hilariously mincing drag queen partner Alban, in La cage aux folles (1978) one of the biggest cross-over foreign hits to ever land on American soil.Born Ottavio Tognozzi in Cremona, Italy, on March 23, 1922, by the time Ugo was a teen he was a bookkeeper for a salami factory and performed in local amateur theatricals on the sly. Appearing on the stage, he finally found an entry into films at age 28 in 1950 with a featured role in the war comedy I cadetti di Guascogna (1950). He built up a solid comedy resume in primarily Neapolitan 50's features including Le mousquetaire fantôme (1951) (his first co-starring role), Café chantant (1953), Milanesi a Napoli (1954), La moglie è uguale per tutti (1955), Domenica è sempre domenica (1958), Le confident de ces dames (1959) and Tipi da spiaggia (1959).Ugo became a middle-aged European star the following decade. Turning in a number of powerhouse character studies, he excelled as bon vivants, adulterous husbands and other suave gents in primarily farcical comedy and saucy, sardonic romps, particularly those of director/writer Marco Ferreri. He also demonstrated a remarkable range when it came to portraying world-weary protagonists in political drama or grim satire. For Ferreri alone, he appeared in the award-winning Le lit conjugal (1963), Controsesso (1964), Marcia nuziale (1966), L'audience (1972), and the masterful La grande bouffe (1973), amongst others.In 1978, Tognazzi decided to take a chance, and play a character unlike anything he had done, (and, also, rarely done, for fear of being 'stereotyped'), and co-starred with the wonderful Michel Serrault in an image-shattering part in 1978. What he did was experience the most popular role of his career as one-half of an aging gay couple who operate a drag club. La cage aux folles (1978) went on to spawn two sequels and an American remake (The Birdcage (1996) starring Robin Williams (in the Tognozzi role) and Nathan Lane (in the diva Serrault part)).Tognazzi won several acting honors over the course of his long career. He copped several European awards for his classic roles in Les monstres (1963) (The Monsters), Je la connaissais bien (1965), Beaucoup trop pour un seul homme (1967) (also a rare foreign Golden Globe nomination), La bambolona (1968), Le fouineur (1969), La Califfa (1970) and Le canard à l'orange (1975). He capped it off with the Cannes Film Festival award for his trenchant performance in La tragédie d'un homme ridicule (1981), the tale of a near-bankrupt factory owner who attempts to use the kidnapping of his son (played by his real-life eldest son Ricky Tognazzi) to his financial advantage. Tognazzi was also the father of actor Gianmarco Tognazzi and director Maria Sole Tognazzi, and had another son, producer/writer Thomas Robsahm, via a relationship with actress Margrete Robsahm.In the eighties, Tognozzi focused strongly on the theater and starred in such plays as "Six Characters in Search of an Author in Paris" (1986) and "The Miser" (1988). Although he directed himself in a handful of his own often sexually explicit films, including Le nez qui siffle (1967) and Sissignore (1968), Ugo's true brilliance shines in front of the camera and in the works of other famed European directors, notably Ferrari, Bernardo Bertolucci, Pietro Germi, Dino Risi and Mario Monicelli. He worked up until the end with incisive starring performances in Arrivederci e grazie (1988), I giorni del commissario Ambrosio (1988), Tolérance (1989) and Les cavaliers de la gloire (1990) (The Battle of the Three Kings). In 1972, at age 50, Tognazzi wed actress Franca Bettoia, who survives him. He died of a brain hemorrhage in 1990, age 68.

  • Birthday

    Mar 23, 1922
  • Place of Birth

    Cremona, Lombardy, Italy

Known For


14 wins & 8 nominations

Taormina International Film Festival
Winner - Career Charybdis
Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists
Best Actor (Migliore Attore Protagonista)
Winner - Silver Ribbon
Best Actor (Migliore Attore Protagonista)
Winner - Silver Ribbon
Best Supporting Actor (Migliore Attore Non Protagonista)
Winner - Silver Ribbon
Best Actor (Migliore Attore Protagonista)
Winner - Silver Ribbon
Una storia moderna - L'ape regina (1963)
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