TO ROME WITH LOVE
ROBERTO BENIGNI (Leopoldo) is an actor, comedian, screenwriter and director of
film, theatre and television. His 1997 film LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL, which he
co-wrote, directed and starred in, was nominated for seven Academy AwardsÂ®,
including Best Picture, and won Best Foreign Language Film, Best Music, and Best
Actor. The film received dozens of prestigious prizes around the world,
including the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes, a People's Choice at Toronto, a BAFTA
(Best Actor), a Cesar, a Goya, a European Film Award, SAG Award, nine David di
Donatello Awards (including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best
Screenplay), among many others. LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL is one of the most successful
foreign language films ever released in the U.S.
Benigni first became known in this country appearing in Jim Jarmusch's DOWN BY
LAW in 1986. He would go on to collaborate with Jarmusch in NIGHT ON EARTH and
COFFEE & CIGARETTES.
Born in Manciano La Misericordia (Castiglion Fiorentino), Benigni moved to Rome
in 1972, where he worked in experimental theatre before achieving fame on two
outrageous TV series, Onda Libera, and L'altra domenica. He made his debut as a
writer/director/star in 1983 with YOU UPSET ME, followed by NOTHING LEFT TO DO
BUT CRY, THE LITTLE DEVIL (with Walter Matthau), JOHNNY STECCHINO, THE MONSTER,
PINOCCHIO and THE TIGER AND THE SNOW. As an actor he appeared in SEEKING ASYLUM,
Bernardo Bertolucci's LUNA, TIGERS IN LIPSTICK, IL MINESTRONE, Federico
Fellini's LA VOCE
DELLA LUNA, Blake Edwards' SON OF THE PINK PANTHER, and Claude Zidi's ASTERIX &
OBELIX VS. CAESAR.
During 2006 and 2007, Benigni toured Italy with his one-man show TuttoDante
(Everything about Dante), which mixes recitations of Dante's Divine Comedy with
off-the-cuff humor. In 2009 he toured the United States with TuttoDante. In
addition to all of his film awards, Benigni has received numerous honorary
degrees from universities around the world.
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