The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Italian Actors of all time. This list of famous Italian Actors is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Italian Actors.
With an HPI of 83.42, Sophia Loren is the most famous Italian Actor. Her biography has been translated into 94 different languages on wikipedia.
Sofia Costanza Brigida Villani Scicolone (Italian: [soˈfiːa vilˈlaːni ʃʃikoˈloːne]; born 20 September 1934), known professionally as Sophia Loren (, Italian: [ˈlɔːren]), is an Italian actress. She was named by the American Film Institute as one of the greatest female stars of Classical Hollywood cinema. As of 2022, Loren is one of the last surviving major stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema and the only living person on AFI's list. Encouraged to enroll in acting lessons after entering a beauty pageant, Loren began her film career at age sixteen in 1950. She appeared in several bit parts and minor roles in the early part of the decade, until her five-picture contract with Paramount in 1956 launched her international career. Her film appearances around this time include The Pride and the Passion, Houseboat, and It Started in Naples. During the 1950s, she starred in films as a sexually emancipated personae and was one of the best known sex symbols of the time. Loren's performance as Cesira in the film Two Women (1961) directed by Vittorio De Sica won her the Academy Award for Best Actress, making her the first actor to win an Oscar for a non-English-language performance. She holds the record for having earned seven David di Donatello Awards for Best Actress: Two Women; Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1963); Marriage Italian Style (1964, for which she was nominated for a second Oscar); Sunflower (1970); The Voyage (1974); A Special Day (1977) and The Life Ahead (2020). She has won five special Golden Globes (including the Cecil B. DeMille Award), a BAFTA Award, a Laurel Award, a Grammy Award, the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival and the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival. In 1991, she received the Academy Honorary Award for lifetime achievements. Beginning at the start of the 1980s, Loren chose to make rarer film appearances. Since then, she has appeared in films such as Prêt-à-porter (1994), Grumpier Old Men (1995), and Nine (2009).
With an HPI of 83.05, Bud Spencer is the 2nd most famous Italian Actor. His biography has been translated into 57 different languages.
Carlo Pedersoli (31 October 1929 – 27 June 2016), known professionally as Bud Spencer, was an Italian actor, professional swimmer and water polo player. He was known for action-comedy and Spaghetti Western roles with his long-time film partner Terence Hill. The duo "garnered world acclaim and attracted millions to theater seats". Spencer and Hill appeared in, produced and directed over 20 films together. In his youth, Bud Spencer was a successful athlete and swimmer for the Gruppo Sportivo Fiamme Oro. He obtained a law degree and registered several patents. Spencer also became a certified commercial airline and helicopter pilot, and supported and funded many children's charities, including the Spencer Scholarship Fund.
With an HPI of 82.08, Terence Hill is the 3rd most famous Italian Actor. His biography has been translated into 47 different languages.
Terence Hill (born Mario Girotti; 29 March 1939) is an Italian actor, film director, screenwriter and producer. He began his career as a child actor and gained international fame for starring roles in action and comedy films, many with longtime film partner and friend Bud Spencer. During the height of his popularity Hill was among Italy's highest-paid actors.His most widely seen films include comic and standard Spaghetti Westerns, some based on popular novels by German author Karl May about the Wild West. Of these, the most famous are Lo chiamavano Trinità (They Call Me Trinity, 1970); …continuavano a chiamarlo Trinità (…they kept calling him Trinity, 1971), the highest grossing Italian film to date; and Il mio nome è Nessuno (My Name Is Nobody, 1973), co-starring Henry Fonda. Hill, whose stage name was the product of a publicity stunt by film producers, also went on to a successful television career in Italy, playing the title character in the long-running Rai 1 series Don Matteo since 2000.
With an HPI of 80.89, Marcello Mastroianni is the 4th most famous Italian Actor. His biography has been translated into 75 different languages.
Marcello Vincenzo Domenico Mastroianni (Italian pronunciation: [marˈtʃɛllo mastroˈjanni]; 28 September 1924 – 19 December 1996) was an Italian film actor, regarded as one of Italy's most iconic male performers of the 20th century. A pet actor of five-time Academy Award-winning director Federico Fellini, he starred in such films as La Dolce Vita; 8½; La Notte; Divorce Italian Style; Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow; Marriage Italian Style; The 10th Victim; A Special Day; City of Women; Henry IV, and Everybody's Fine. His honours included 2 BAFTAs, 2 Best Actor awards at the Venice and Cannes film festivals, 2 Golden Globes, and 3 Oscar nominations.
With an HPI of 79.76, Gina Lollobrigida is the 5th most famous Italian Actor. Her biography has been translated into 65 different languages.
Gina Lollobrigida (born Luigia Lollobrigida; 4 July 1927) is an Italian actress and photojournalist. She was one of the highest-profile European actresses of the 1950s and early 1960s, a period in which she was an international sex symbol. As of 2022, Lollobrigida is among the last living, high-profile international actors from the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema. As her film career slowed, Lollobrigida established a second career as a photojournalist. In the 1970s, she achieved a scoop by gaining access to Fidel Castro for an exclusive interview. Lollobrigida has continued as an active supporter of Italian and Italian American causes, particularly the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF). In 2008, she received the NIAF Lifetime Achievement Award at the Foundation's Anniversary Gala. In 2013, she sold her jewelry collection, and donated the nearly $5 million from the sale to benefit stem-cell therapy research.
With an HPI of 77.17, Yves Montand is the 6th most famous Italian Actor. His biography has been translated into 56 different languages.
Ivo Livi (Italian pronunciation: [ˈiːvo ˈliːvi]), better known as Yves Montand (French: [iv mɔ̃tɑ̃]; 13 October 1921 – 9 November 1991), was an Italian-French actor and singer.
With an HPI of 77.15, Monica Bellucci is the 7th most famous Italian Actor. Her biography has been translated into 79 different languages.
Monica Anna Maria Bellucci (Italian: [ˈmɔːnika belˈluttʃi]; born 30 September 1964) is an Italian actress and model. She began her career as a fashion model, modelling for Dolce & Gabbana and Dior, before making a transition to Italian films and later American and French films. Bellucci played a Bride of Dracula in Francis Ford Coppola's gothic romance film Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) and Malèna Scordia in the Italian-language romantic drama Malèna (2000). She was in the controversial Gaspar Noé arthouse horror film Irréversible (2002), and portrayed Mary Magdalene in Mel Gibson's biblical drama The Passion of the Christ (2004). In the 2003 science-fiction films The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, she played Persephone. In the 2015 James Bond film Spectre, she became the oldest Bond girl in the history of the franchise.
With an HPI of 76.34, Roberto Benigni is the 8th most famous Italian Actor. His biography has been translated into 71 different languages.
Roberto Remigio Benigni (Italian pronunciation: [roˈbɛrto beˈniɲɲi]; born 27 October 1952) is an Italian actor, comedian, screenwriter and director. He gained international recognition for writing, directing and starring in the Holocaust comedy-drama film Life Is Beautiful (1997), for which he received the Academy Awards for Best Actor (the first for a non-English speaking male performance) and Best International Feature Film. Benigni made his acting debut in 1977's Berlinguer, I Love You, which he also wrote, and which was directed by Giuseppe Bertolucci. Benigni's directorial debut was the 1983 anthology film Tu mi turbi, which was also the acting debut of his wife, Nicoletta Braschi. In 1986, Benigni made his first English-language film, Down by Law, written and directed by Jim Jarmusch with whom Benigni would make two more films: Night on Earth (1991) and Coffee and Cigarettes (2003). In 1988, Benigni was acclaimed for the film The Little Devil, which he directed, wrote and starred in. Costarring American actor Walter Matthau and Braschi, the film was shot in alternating takes in both Italian and English. Benigni continued to have success and acclaim as a director with Johnny Stecchino (1991) and The Monster (1994), and portrayed Inspector Clouseau's son in Son of the Pink Panther (1993), an American-Italian co-production filmed in English, directed by Blake Edwards. His subsequent directorial efforts, Pinocchio (2002), in which he played the title character, and The Tiger and the Snow (2005), received mixed reviews. While he has not directed another film since 2005, Benigni has continued to act on stage and film, touring Italy with his one-man show TuttoDante, and starred in the films To Rome with Love (2012), directed by Woody Allen, and as Mister Geppetto in Matteo Garrone's 2019 adaptation of Pinocchio.
With an HPI of 76.19, Rudolph Valentino is the 9th most famous Italian Actor. His biography has been translated into 50 different languages.
Rodolfo Alfonso Raffaello Pierre Filiberto Guglielmi di Valentina d'Antonguolla (May 6, 1895 – August 23, 1926), known professionally as Rudolph Valentino and nicknamed The Latin Lover, was an Italian actor based in the United States who starred in several well-known silent films including The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The Sheik, Blood and Sand, The Eagle, and The Son of the Sheik. Valentino was a sex symbol of the 1920s, known in Hollywood as the "Latin Lover" (a title invented for him by Hollywood moguls), the "Great Lover", or simply Valentino. His early death at the age of 31 caused mass hysteria among his fans, further cementing his place in early cinematic history as a cultural film icon.
With an HPI of 75.70, Giulietta Masina is the 10th most famous Italian Actor. Her biography has been translated into 42 different languages.
Giulia Anna "Giulietta" Masina (22 February 1921 – 23 March 1994) was an Italian film actress, best known for her performances of Gelsomina in La Strada (1954) and Cabiria in Nights of Cabiria (1957). Cinema historian Peter Bondanella described Masina's work as "masterful" and "unforgettable," and Charlie Chaplin, with whose work Masina's is often compared, called her "the actress who moved him most." Both La Strada and Nights of Cabiria won Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film and were described as having been "inspired" by Masina's "humanity."
Pantheon has 175 people classified as actors born between 1858 and 1992. Of these 175, 106 (60.57%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living actors include Sophia Loren, Terence Hill, and Gina Lollobrigida. The most famous deceased actors include Bud Spencer, Marcello Mastroianni, and Yves Montand. As of October 2020, 33 new actors have been added to Pantheon including Lina Cavalieri, Nicola Di Bari, and Folco Lulli.
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1929 - 2016
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Which Actors were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 25 most globally memorable Actors since 1700.