The ultimate Italian lover, sexy, charming, clever, funny, Marcello Mastroianni personifies the ideal man, and if that isn’t enough, he was also one of the best actors in the history of cinema. Marcello Vincenzo Domenico Mastroianni was born on September 28, 1924, in Fontana Liri, a small town in the province of Frosinone, but soon his family moved to Turin and then Rome, in 1933, where he grew up.
He was the son of Ida Irolle and Ottone Mastroianni who owned a carpentry shop and was the brother of sculptor Umberto Mastroianni.
At 14, Marcello appeared in his first movie as an extra; at 16 in Alessandro Blasetti’s epic The Iron Crown; at 17 in Mario Camerini's Una storia d'amore, and at 19 in Vittorio De Sica I bambini ci guardano. During World War II, he was interned in a loosely guarded German prison camp, from which he escaped to hide in Venice.
At the end of the war, Marcello started working for a film company and began taking acting lessons. His first real role was in I Miserabili (1948), a film directed by Riccardo Freda, based on the Victor Hugo novel. In a few years he became a major international celebrity, starring in Mario Monicelli’s Big Deal on Madonna Street; Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita and 8½; Michelangelo Antonioni’s La Notte; Pietro Germi’s Divorce, Italian Style; Vittorio de Sica’s Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow and Marriage Italian-Style; Ettore Scola’s A Special Day; and many other must-see films. He was paired up with Sophia Loren in 14 movies over a period of twenty years, and co-starred in five movies with his real-life former lover Catherine Deneuve.
Let’s take a step back because his love-life is truly a tribute to his character: Marcello married Italian actress Flora Carabella in 1950. They had one child together, Barbara, and although they separated in the early ‘60s, they remained legally married until his death. After the separation, Marcello lived with actress Faye Dunaway for two years, and after that, he had a daughter, Chiara, with actress Catherine Deneuve, his longtime lover during the 1970s. He cohabited with author and filmmaker Anna Maria Tatò for the last 21 years of his life, and both of his daughters, as well as Deneuve and Tato, were at his bedside when he died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 72, in 1996. The ultimate Italian lover.