FEDERICO FELLINI Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


Biography » theater opera and movie personalities » federico fellini


Name: Federico Fellini                                                                           
Born: 20 January 1920 Rimini, Italy                                                             
Died: 31 October 1993 Rome, Italy                                                               
Federico Fellini, Cavaliere di Gran Croce (January 20, 1920 – October 31,                     
1993) was an Italian film director. He is considered to have been one of the                     
most influential and widely revered film-makers of the 20th century.                             
Fellini's father Urbano (1894-1956) was a traveling salesman and wholesale                       
vendor. In August 1918 he married Ida Barbiani (1896-1984) in a civil ceremony (with             
the religious celebration the following January). After Federico's birth in 1920,               
two more children arrived: Riccardo (1921-1991) and Maria Maddalena (m. Fabbri;                 
1929-2002). Urbano Fellini was originally from Gambettola, where the young                       
Federico vacationed at his grandparents' house for several years.                               
Born and raised in Rimini, his childhood experiences would later play an                         
important part in many of his films, in particular, I vitelloni (1953), 8½ (1963)               
and Amarcord (1973). It is misleading, however, to assume that all his films                     
contain autobiographical anecdotes and fantasies. Intimate friends such as                       
screenwriters Tullio Pinelli and Bernardino Zapponi, cinematographer Giuseppe                   
Rotunno and set designer Dante Ferretti have insisted on how Fellini invented                   
his own memories simply for the pleasure of narrating them in his films.                         
During Mussolini's Fascist regime, Fellini and his brother, Riccardo, were part                 
of the Avanguardista, the fascist youth group that every adolescent Italian male                 
was obliged to join. After moving to Rome in the spring of 1939, Fellini landed                 
a well-paid job writing articles for the hugely popular satirical weekly, Marc’Aurelio.       
It was at this time that he interviewed Aldo Fabrizi, inaugurating a friendship                 
that would lead to professional collaboration and radio work. Of conscription                   
age since 1939, Fellini had nonetheless managed to avoid being drafted through a                 
suite of clever ruses. Commenting on this turbulent epoch, Fellini biographer                   
Tullio Kezich notes that although “the Marc’Aurelio period was happy, the                   
happiness masked a phase of shameless political apathy. Many living under the                   
Mussolini dictatorship during its last years experienced the schizophrenic tug                   
between official loyalty to the regime and the intrinsic freedom of humor.”                   
In 1942, Fellini met Giulietta Masina, and a year later, on October 30, 1943,                   
they were married. Thus began one of the great creative partnerships in world                   
cinema. Several months after their marriage, Masina fell down the stairs and                     
suffered a miscarriage. Then, on March 22, 1945, Pierfederico (nicknamed                         
Federichino) was born but died a mere month later on April 24. These family                     
tragedies affected the couple in profound ways, particularly in the conception                   
of La strada (1954).                                                                             
The Fascist regime fell on July 25, 1943 and the Allies liberated Rome on June 4,               
1944. During that euphoric summer, Fellini set up the Funny-Face Shop with his                   
friend De Seta, drawing caricatures of Allied soldiers for money. It was here                   
that Roberto Rossellini came to see Fellini about his project, titled Rome, Open                 
City (1945). Rossellini wanted the young man to introduce him to Aldo Fabrizi                   
and collaborate on the script (with Suso Cecchi D'Amato, Piero Tellini, and                     
Alberto Lattuada). Fellini accepted, contributing gags and dialogue.                             
In 1993 Fellini received an Oscar "in recognition of his cinematic                               
accomplishments that have thrilled and entertained audiences worldwide." That                   
same year, he died of a heart attack in Rome at the age of 73, a day after his                   
fiftieth wedding anniversary on October 31st. His wife, Giulietta Masina, died                   
six months later of lung cancer on March 23 1994. Fellini, Giulietta Masina and                 
their son Pierfederico are buried in the same bronze tomb sculpted by Arnaldo                   
Pomodoro. Shaped like a ship's prow in the water, the tomb is located at the                     
main entrance to the Cemetery of Rimini.                                                         
The Federico Fellini International Airport in Rimini is named in his honor.