Famous Italian Film & Theater Personalities

Italy has been the mecca of everything glamorous, right from fashion to films. While one wants to swear by the old-school charm of the place and the historically amusing heritage properties and artefacts, you cannot but turn a blind eye to the attraction that the modern-day Italy forwards. Italy has been overflowing with talent in all fields. Talking about film and theatre, the country has been the address of some of the most renowned and talented artists of the world. From critically acclaimed stars to popularly lauded script writers, bird-eye viewed directors to stinking-rich producers, powerful art directors to graceful choreographers, Italian world of cinema and theatre is loaded with a bevy of skilful artists. And it is to these artists that we dedicate this section. The world of cinema today would go a little miser if there were no Italians in it. And if you don’t believe us, check this – Imagine cinema without the great lover of 1920s Rudolph Valentino, the leading man of 1960s Marcello Mastroianni, the sex icon Gina Lollobrigida, the Oscar winner Anna Magnani, the theatre director and father of neorealism Luchino Visconti and the pioneer of cinema Filoteo Alberini. Here’s toasting to the greatest Italian film and theatre personalities! Check out interesting facts about their life and works.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 
Sophia Loren
(Actress)

Sophia Loren
12
Birthdate: September 20, 1934
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rome, Italy

Known as the quintessential “femme fatale” of the "Golden Age of Hollywood," Sophia Loren rose from participating in a beauty pageant as a teenager, to being the first actor to win the Academy Award for a foreign-language movie. The Italian bombshell is also known for her affair with Cary Grant.

 2 

Monica Bellucci
11
Birthdate: September 30, 1964
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Città di Castello, Italy

Monica Bellucci is one of the most popular actresses from Italy. Her popularity in the West helped her become the oldest woman to play a Bond girl in the history of the James Bond film franchise. Known for her hourglass figure, she has been regarded as a sex symbol and has appeared in lists like 100 Hottest Women of All-Time.

 3 

Cole Sprouse
8
Birthdate: August 4, 1992
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Arezzo, Italy

American actor, Cole Sprouse, started acting as a child and a teenager. He is known for television series The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, Riverdale, and Friends. In the early days of his career, he mainly acted alongside his twin brother, Dylan Sprouse, in commercials, television shows and films. He has also acted in the film Five Feet Apart.

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 4 
Michele Morrone
(Actor, Model)

Michele Morrone
7
Birthdate: October 3, 1990
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bitonto, Italy

Rising to international fame following the success of his 2020 erotic romantic drama 365 Days, Italian actor and model, Michele Morrone, is a man who oozes sex appeal and charisma. Also a professional guitarist and singer, he has a channel on YouTube that has accumulated over one million subscribers. He runs a clothing line as well.

 5 
Asia Argento
(Actress)

Asia Argento
4
Birthdate: September 20, 1975
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Asia Argento, daughter of filmmaker Dario Argento, has starred in movies such as XXX, Traveling Companion, and Transylvania. She declared that Harvey Weinstein had sexually assaulted her in the 1990s, while she was herself accused of assaulting Jimmy Bennett. She was dating Anthony Bourdain at the time of his death.

 6 
Giada De Laurentiis
(Chef and Host of 'Giada at Home')

Giada De Laurentiis
4
Birthdate: August 22, 1970
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Rome, Italy

Giada De Laurentiis is an Italian-American chef, restaurateur, television personality, and writer. She won the Gracie Award under the Best Television Host category for hosting Giada at Home. The founder of a catering business called GDL Foods, Giada De Laurentiis has been an influential figure in the American culinary business over the last few years.

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 7 

Dylan Sprouse
6
Birthdate: August 4, 1992
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: rezzo, Italy

One half of the popular Sprouse twin, Dylan Sprouse is an actor and entrepreneur. Identifying himself as a Heathen, Dylan Sprouse co-founded All-Wise Meadery, the name of which is an allusion to Heathenry. Also a comic book enthusiast, the first issue of his comic book named Sun Eater would be released by DiGa Studios and Heavy Metal.

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 8 
Federico Fellini
(Film director, Screenwriter)

Federico Fellini
3
Birthdate: January 20, 1920
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Rimini, Italy
Died: October 31, 1993

Italian film director and screenwriter, Federico Fellini, is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time. He was nominated for the Academy Awards 12 times and won four in the category of Best Foreign Language Film. His distinctive style of film-making has inspired generations of directors in both Italy and Hollywood.

 9 
Sergio Leone
(Italian Filmmaker Best Known for Creating the 'Spaghetti Western' Genre)

Sergio Leone
5
Birthdate: January 3, 1929
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: April 30, 1989

Best known as a pioneer of the Spaghetti Western genre, Sergio Leone was born to legendary Italian actors Vincenzo Leone and Edvige Valcarenghi. He dropped out of law to focus on films and created masterpieces such as Once upon a Time in America and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

 10 

Rudolph Valentino
4
Birthdate: May 6, 1895
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Castellaneta, Italy
Died: August 23, 1926

Rudolph Valentino was an Italian actor who appeared in many silent films, including The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and The Sheik.  He began his career as part of an operetta company and later joined movies. He was known in Hollywood as the Latin Lover and was considered a major male sex symbol in the 1920s. 

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 11 

Claudia Cardinale
3
Birthdate: April 15, 1938
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: La Goulette, Tunisia

Claudia Cardinale is a Tunisian-born Italian actress who played important roles in some of the most popular Italian and French movies of the 1960s and 1970s. After achieving immense popularity as an actress in Italy, Cardinale starred in the 1963 American comedy film The Pink Panther, which increased her popularity. Claudia Cardinale was also renowned for her beauty.

 12 
Franco Nero
(Actor Best Known for His Role in the Spaghetti Western Film 'Django')

Franco Nero
4
Birthdate: November 23, 1941
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Parma, Italy

Italian actor Franco Nero became internationally famous with his role in the film Django. He acts in films and TV productions both in Italy and abroad. He has more than 200 leading and supporting roles in movies and TV series to his credit. He is the father of popular screenwriter and director Carlo Gabriel Nero.

 13 
Greta Scacchi
(Actress)

Greta Scacchi
5
Birthdate: February 18, 1960
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Greta Scacchi is best known for her Emmy-winning role in Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny. She also earned a BAFTA nomination for her role in Heat and Dust and an Emmy nomination for Broken Trail. She is also a seasoned theater actor and has worked toward prevention of overfishing.

 14 
Burt Young
(Actor)

Burt Young
4
Birthdate: April 30, 1940
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA

Best known for his rough character roles and his Academy Award-nominated portrayal of Paulie Pennino in the Rocky film franchise, actor Burt Young had been a boxer during his time in the Marine Corps. He has also contributed to book covers as an illustrator and penned screenplays and the novel Endings.

 15 
Julia Fox
(Actress)

Julia Fox
0
Birthdate: April 30, 1989
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Milan, Italy

 16 
Dino De Laurentiis
(Film producer)

Dino De Laurentiis
3
Birthdate: August 8, 1919
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Torre Annunziata, Italy
Died: November 10, 2010

 17 
Fabio Lanzoni
(Actor, Model noted for a wide-ranging career including appearances as spokesman for I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!)

Fabio Lanzoni
5
Birthdate: March 15, 1959
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Milan, Italy

Fabio Lanzoni is a fashion model and actor. He began modeling in his early 20s and was featured prominently as a romance novel cover model. Born in Italy, he moved to USA for better career prospects. He found work in TV series and went on to publish a few romance novels. He is a spokesman for the American Cancer Society.  

 18 
Terence Hill
(Actor Known for His Roles in ‘Lo Chiamavano Trinità’ & ‘IL Mio Nome è Nessuno')

Terence Hill
5
Birthdate: March 29, 1939
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Venice, Italy

Terence Hill escaped Allied bombings during World War II and was then discovered at a swimming meet, following which he bagged his first film at 12. A well-known child actor, he grew up to work in a lot of "Spaghetti Westerns" and also became famous for his action-comedy partnership with Bud Spencer.

 19 
Gina Lollobrigida
(Actress, Photojournalist)

Gina Lollobrigida
6
Birthdate: July 4, 1927
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Subiaco, Italy

Gina Lollobrigida is an Italian actress and photojournalist counted amongst the highest-profile European actresses of the 1950s and 1960s. Considered a  sex symbol in her youth, she had a successful career both in the film and TV industries. She later built a second career as a photojournalist. She is a recipient of the NIAF Lifetime Achievement Award.  

 20 
Pier Paolo Pasolini
(Italian Filmmaker Known for His Radical Methods, Overtly Political and Often Scandalous Content)

Pier Paolo Pasolini
3
Birthdate: March 5, 1922
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bologna, Italy
Died: November 2, 1975

Noted film director and actor Pier Paolo Pasolini had already gained fame as a poet and author before stepping into the entertainment industry. The openly gay filmmaker was known for his usage of non-professional actors and themes of sexuality. His brutal murder remains to be a controversial topic.

 21 
Beth Chapman
(Television Personality)

Beth Chapman
4
Birthdate: October 29, 1967
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, U.S
Died: June 26, 2019

Bounty hunter and reality star Beth Chapman soared to fame with the shows Dog the Bounty Hunter, Dog's Most Wanted, and Dog and Beth: On the Hunt, along with her husband, Duane "Dog" Chapman. While filming Dog's Most Wanted, she died of throat cancer, which had spread to her lungs.

 22 
Beppe Grillo
(Italian Actor, Comedian and Co-Founder of the ‘Five Star Movement’ Political Party)

Beppe Grillo
5
Birthdate: July 21, 1948
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Genoa, Italy

Beppe Grillo is an Italian actor, comedian, politician, and blogger. The co-founder of a political party called Five Star Movement, Grillo turned to the internet in the early-2000s to popularize his ideas. After launching a website called beppegrillo.it, which became an influential website, he started writing influential blogs, which made him a leading Italian popularizer of digital utopianism.

 23 
Bruno Tonioli
(Choreographer & Judge of the Reality TV Shows 'Strictly Come Dancing' and 'Dancing With the Stars')

Bruno Tonioli
3
Birthdate: November 25, 1955
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ferrara, Italy
Italian choreographer Bruno Tonioli gained fame as a Latin and ball dancer. He was a judge on the dance reality shows Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing with the Stars and also appeared on DanceX and Dance War. He is gay and has often spoken of the homophobia he has faced.

 24 
Carlo Ponti
(Former movie producer known for his work on the 1965 classic film Doctor Zhivago)

Carlo Ponti
3
Birthdate: December 11, 1912
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Magenta, Italy
Died: January 10, 2007

 25 
Mike Piazza
(Professional Baseball catcher)

Mike Piazza
3
Birthdate: September 4, 1968
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Norristown, Pennsylvania, USA

Currently the manager of the Italian national baseball team, Mike Pizza played in the Major League Baseball (MLB) for sixteen seasons, winning a total of ten Silver Slugger Awards. Beginning his career with Los Angeles Dodgers, he exploded on the national season in the very next year, eventually joining New York Mets, recording 427 home runs during his spectacular MLB career.

 26 
Franco Zeffirelli
(Film Director, Producer)

Franco Zeffirelli
3
Birthdate: February 12, 1923
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: June 15, 2019

Franco Zeffirelli went from being a budding architect to a director after watching Laurence Olivier’s Henry V. Starting as a costume/set designer, he gradually deviated to making Shakespearean adaptations, earning an Academy Award nomination with Romeo and Juliet. The openly gay filmmaker was later accused of sexual assaulting two actors.

 27 
Valeria Golino
(Actress, who was featured in many films in Italy and appeared in Hot Shots! and Rain Man)

Valeria Golino
3
Birthdate: October 22, 1965
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Naples, Italy

Born to an Italian Germanist scholar father and a Greek painter mother, Valeria Golino was destined to be associated with the arts but had initially aspired to be a cardiologist. She later stepped into movies and gained fame for her roles in movies such as Rain Man and the Hot Shots! franchise.

 28 

Giacomo Gianniotti
4
Birthdate: June 19, 1989
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Rome, Italy

Giacomo Gianniotti is an Italian-Canadian actor best known for his role in the medical drama TV series Grey's Anatomy. Born in Italy, he moved to Canada at a young age. He is active in both the Canadian and Italian stages, films, and TV. He is a recipient of the Tell-Tale TV Award for Favorite Actor in a Network Drama Series. 

 29 

Hugh O'Connor
4
Birthdate: April 7, 1962
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: March 28, 1995

 30 
Simonetta Stefanelli
(Best Known for Her Role of 'Apollonia Vitelli-Corleone' in the Film 'The Godfather')

Simonetta Stefanelli
3
Birthdate: November 30, 1954
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Rome, Italy

Simonetta Stefanelli is an Italian fashion designer, entrepreneur, and former actress. She is best known for her portrayal of Apollonia Vitelli-Corleone in the popular crime film, The Godfather. After retiring from acting in 1992, Simonetta Stefanelli became an entrepreneur. She owns a fashion store called Simo Bloom, where she designs shoes and purses.

 31 
Roberto Benigni
(Actor who gained international recognition for writing, directing and starring in the Holocaust comedy-drama film Life Is Beautiful (1997))

Roberto Benigni
4
Birthdate: October 27, 1952
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Manciano, Italy

Italian actor, comedian, screenwriter and director Roberto Benigni is noted for his comedic-work, which includes writing, directing and starring in the Italian comedy-drama film Life Is Beautiful, which won him an Academy Award for Best International Feature Film and Best Actor, the first for a non-English speaking male performance. Other notable films of Benigni include The Little Devil and Johnny Stecchino.

Marcello Mastroianni
4
Birthdate: September 28, 1924
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Fontana Liri, Italy
Died: December 19, 1996

Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni is regarded as his country's biggest film star of all time. Making his debut as an uncredited extra when he was just 14, he worked hard over the decades to become a major film star in his country. He was a big name in international cinema as well. He was the recipient of numerous prestigious awards.

 33 
Michelle Beadle
(Sports Reporter and Host)

Michelle Beadle
3
Birthdate: October 23, 1975
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Italy

Michelle Beadle is a sports reporter best known for her association with the popular cable sports channel, ESPN. Over the years, she has hosted important shows for various networks, including ESPN. Apart from being a sports reporter, Michelle Beadle has also been a Red Carpet reporter for popular shows like Grammy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Tony Awards, and SAG Awards.

 34 
Pier Angeli
(Former Actress who won a 1952 Golden Globe Award for her breakout role in Teresa)

Pier Angeli
3
Birthdate: June 19, 1932
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Cagliari, Italy
Died: September 10, 1971

Best known for her title role in the film Teresa, Pier Angeli had stepped into showbiz at the tender age of 16. The Golden Globe-winning actor also appeared in films such as Flame and the Flesh and The Silver Chalice. She died of a barbiturate overdose at 39.

 35 
Luca Guadagnino
(Director & Producer Best Known for His Film 'Call Me by Your Name')

Luca Guadagnino
3
Birthdate: April 12, 1971
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Palermo, Sicily, Italy

Luca Guadagnino is an Italian filmmaker best known for producing and directing the 2017 coming-of-age film Call Me by Your Name, which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. Also known for his contribution to the fashion industry, Guadagnino is credited with creating Frenesy, a production company that produces fashion films.

 36 
Olivia Palermo
(Businesswoman)

Olivia Palermo
3
Birthdate: February 28, 1986
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Greenwich, Connecticut, USA

Olivia Palermo is an American fashion influencer, socialite, model, entrepreneur, and television personality. Palermo made headlines in 2007 when she sued socialiterank.com for false news. As a model, Olivia Palermo has appeared on the cover of popular magazines like Cosmopolitan, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, and L'Officiel. Olivia Palermo has also been the face of brands like Banana Republic, Aerin, and Max&Co.

 37 
Tao Ruspoli
(Filmmaker)

Tao Ruspoli
3
Birthdate: November 7, 1975
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bangkok, Thailand
Italian-American director Prince Tao Ruspoli is the son of Prince Alessandro Ruspoli and actor Debra Berger. Best known for the documentaries Being in the World and Flamenco: A Personal Journey, he has also founded LAFCO and the Bombay Beach Biennale. He is a skilled flamenco guitar player and photographer, too.

 38 
Bernardo Bertolucci
(Film director)

Bernardo Bertolucci
3
Birthdate: March 16, 1941
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Parma, Italy
Died: November 26, 2018

Born to a famous Italian poet and writer, Bernardo Bertolucci himself wrote and won many literary prizes in his younger days. He later established himself as one of Italian cinema’s best filmmakers and was the first filmmaker from his country to win an Academy Award, winning it for The Last Emperor.

 39 
Antonio Sabato Jr.
(Model, Actor)

Antonio Sabato Jr.
4
Birthdate: February 29, 1972
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Italian-American actor Antonio Sabàto Jr. was once a Calvin Klein model. He soared to fame with the role of Jagger Cates in the soap General Hospital and has also part of the reality show But Can They Sing? In the 2018 U.S. elections, he contested as a Republican candidate.

 40 
Roberto Rossellini
(Film director, Actor, Film producer, Playwright, Screenwriter, Racecar driver)

Roberto Rossellini
4
Birthdate: May 8, 1906
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rome
Died: June 3, 1977

One of the pioneers of neo-realism, Italian filmmaker Roberto Rossellini was part of the French nouvelle vague movement. Born to the man who had set up Italy’s first cinema, Rossellini later grew up to make films such as Rome, Open City. He was also known for his scandalous affair with Ingrid Bergman.

 41 
Giada Colagrande
(Director, Actress)

Giada Colagrande
3
Birthdate: October 16, 1975
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Pescara, Italy
Known for projects such as Padre and Pasolini, Italian actor-director Giada Colagrande began her career making art documentaries. Her short films have earned accolades, too. She is now known for her collaborations with her actor husband Willem Dafoe, with whom she has an age gap of almost 2 decades.

 42 
Tinto Brass
(Italian filmmaker known for his erotic films, including Caligula, Così fan tutte, Paprika, Monella, and Trasgredire)

Tinto Brass
4
Birthdate: March 26, 1933
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Milan, Italy

Giovanni Brass, also known as Tinto Brass, explored the avant-garde and erotic genres of films. The grandson of famous Italian artist Italico Brass, he created masterpieces such as The Scream, Caligula, and Salon Kitty. He has also bagged the Best Italian Film award at the Venice Film Festival for La Vacanza.

 43 
Franco Columbu
(Bodybuilder, Powerlifter)

Franco Columbu
0
Birthdate: August 7, 1941
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ollolai, Italy
Died: August 30, 2019

 44 
Vittorio De Sica
(Film director, who was a leader in the neorealist movement of the 1940's and 1950's)

Vittorio De Sica
3
Birthdate: July 7, 1901
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sora, Italy
Died: November 13, 1974

Four-time Academy Award-winning director Vittorio De Sica was a symbol of Italian neorealism. Apart from creating masterpieces such as Bicycle Thieves and Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. He had begun his career acting in silent films and had then also participated in musical theater. He was both a Roman Catholic and a communist.

 45 
Jason Acuña
(Stunt performer, TV presenter)

Jason Acuña
0
Birthdate: May 16, 1973
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Pisa, Italy

Better known as Wee Man, the 4-foot American stunt man Jason Acuña is a professional skater and now a well-known TV personality. Suffering from a form of dwarfism called Achondroplasia, he uses a mini skateboard. Known for his appearance on Jackass, he now also owns an LA restaurant.

 46 

Adriano Zumbo
3
Birthdate: November 6, 1981
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Coonamble, New South Wales, Australia

Adriano Zumbo is an Australian television presenter and pastry chef. He is known for appearing as a guest on the TV show MasterChef Australia. He also hosts his own baking competition show Zumbo's Just Desserts and appears as a judge on Netflix's baking reality television series Sugar Rush. Thanks to his popularity, Zumbo has garnered several nicknames including Sweet Assassin.

 47 
Anita Pallenberg
(Actress Best Known for Her Romantic Links to Three of the 'Original Rolling Stones')

Anita Pallenberg
3
Birthdate: April 6, 1942
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: June 13, 2017

Known as the Rolling Stones muse, for her affairs with at least two of the iconic rock band’s members, Anita Pallenberg was an actor-model. The Rolling Stones tracks such as You Got The Silver and Angie were inspired by her. She had also studied fashion designing after recovering from drug addiction.

 48 
Francesca Gregorini
(Film Director)

Francesca Gregorini
5
Birthdate: August 7, 1968
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Daughter of Bond girl Barbara Bach, Francesca Gregorini is also an Italian countess through her father. She grew up in Italy, England, and the U.S. The talented filmmaker is known for her dark and surreal characters and her critically acclaimed films such as The Truth About Emanuel.

 49 

Allison Miller
3
Birthdate: September 2, 1985
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rome, Italy

Allison Miller is an American actress best known for her portrayal of Michelle Benjamin in the serial drama TV series, Kings. Miller was passionate about acting, so much so that she dropped out of college in 2006 to pursue acting. A multi-talented personality, Miller has trained in modern, jazz, and tap dance. She also plays the guitar and the piano.

 50 
Rosabell Laurenti Sellers
(Actress, famous for her title role in the Italian fantasy series Mia and Me)

Rosabell Laurenti Sellers
3
Birthdate: March 27, 1996
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, United States