ALBERTO SORDIAdored by the public of all ages and celebrated as one of the most brilliant interpreters of our cinema, Alberto Sordi is now much more than an actor. It ‘a kind of legend, the cinematic symbol of the average idealist and a little’ mama’s boy, at the same time cynical and cowardly.
With his sly smile and vaguely mocking has gone through so many years of history of our country, the economic boom and the years of lead, and then rampant Tangentopoli, always seizing with great clarity the social changes and turning them into caricatures ironic and irreverent.
Also appreciated abroad, in Italy Alberto Sordi is practically an institution, ‘the Alberton national’ as they call it in many, and was even the Mayor of Rome for a day, what festeggiatissimo of his eightieth birthday.
Right in the heart of Rome, in Trastevere, Alberto Sordi was born June 15, 1920, son of Peter, a concert at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, and Mary, an elementary school teacher.
He performs in front of the public as a child, turning the peninsula with the company of the puppet theater. Then sings as a soprano in the choir of the Sistine Chapel and at 16 years he has recorded an album of children’s fairy tales.
After leaving the Institute of Commercial Goodwill ‘Giulio Romano’ in Trastevere (will graduate later studying as a private), he moved to Milan to attend the Academy of Amateur Dramatics. But because of her strong Roman accent, Sordi is expelled from school, and only in 1999 by the Academy will receive an honorary degree in acting, almost a sort of compensation.
And ‘the 1936 Deaf unsuccessfully attempts the path of light theater, then returned to Rome, where he participated as an extra in the film Scipio Africanus. The following year he won a competition of Metro Goldwyn Mayer as a voice of Oliver Hardy and nell’avanspettacolo its debut as an imitator of Laurel and Hardy, with the stage name of Albert Odisor.
Along the forties, Alberto Sordi is primarily engaged in theater and dubbing, lending his voice to Robert Mitchum and Anthony Quinn, Marcello Mastroianni as well as for the film Sunday in August. The film gave him only small roles, while the radio gets a tremendous success with ‘Red and Black’ and ‘Presto’, presented by Corrado, and then with the program ‘speaks to you Alberto Sordi’.
In 1950 he finally gets a starring role in the film by Roberto Savarese Mamma mia, that impression !, the following year Fellini gives him a great opportunity with the sheik’s romanesco in The White Sheik.
In 1953 Deaf finally conquered the audience and critics with The bulls, also directed by Fellini, and one day in district court of Steno, the film that sees the character of Nando Moriconi, ‘American’, then the protagonist of the famous A American in Rome (1954).
Meanwhile, his fame became international in 1955 and the United States President Truman gave him the keys of Kansas City and the office of Honorary Governor of the city, for the propaganda favorable to America promoted by the character of its Moriconi.
The film career of Alberto Sordi, from this point on, is an endless list of titles, film and soon became cult films that have marked the history of the custom of our country. In the Fifties plays, just to give a few examples, The Art of Getting Along (1955) by Luigi Zampa, A Hero of Our Times (1955) by Mario Monicelli, The Bachelor (1956) by Antonio Pietrangeli, which receives his first Nastro d’Argento for best actor protagonist, Thief him, her thief (1958), again directed by Luigi Zampa and especially the Great War (1959) by Mario Monicelli and fireman (1960), also by Luigi Zampa, where, in the role of Otello penniless, creates one of his most entertaining.
After having received in 1958 the prestigious post of commander of the Italian Republic in 1965 Alberto Sordi his debut behind the camera with a London fog, then, in 1968, achieved an extraordinary success with The Medical Mutual of Luigi Zampa and even with Will our heroes find his friend mysteriously disappeared in Africa ?, directed by Ettore Scola.
And then Beautiful, honest, chaste fellow villager who emigrated to Australia marry (1971), The Scientific Cardplayer (1972), Stardust (1973), A Little Man, with a deaf protagonist confirms that know how to use skillfully and also the dramatic register you can mix it with the wisdom comic grotesque, and then the Marquis del Grillo (1980).
Paired with Monica Vitti, his perfect partner in the famous I know you know I know (1982) and then with Carlo Verdone in Traveling with Dad (1982) and Too strong (1986), Alberto Sordi receives in the eighties many international awards, culminating in the Carnegie Hall Cinema in New York where, in November 1985, is held the exhibition ‘Alberto Sordi – Maestro of Italian Comedy’. But the list is still long prestigious awards, three Silver Ribbons seven David di Donatello Awards, two Golden Grolles, a Golden Globe Award, a Golden Bear in Berlin and a Golden Lion in Venice to celebrate his career.
Despite the success and the spotlight constantly puntanti him, Alberto Sordi has always kept his private life armored and has never made any official love relationship. The only great love has always been for the cinema and for his work. And the public has paid off with the most sincere applause.
Alberto Sordi died February 25, 2003, at his villa in square Numa Pompilius, Rome. He was 82 years old, and has long struggled with a serious illness.