Giuffre, star of Benigni’s ‘Pinocchio,’ dies at 89
Italian actor Carlo Giuffre, star of cinema and theater, died in Rome after succumbing to a terminal illness, one month shy of his 90th birthday.
Giuffre, born in Naples on Dec. 3, 1928, appeared in more than 90 films throughout his career, becoming a star of both Neapolitan theater as well as Italy’s cult comedies of the 1970s.
He is best known to international audiences for his role as Geppetto in Roberto Benigni’s 2002 film ‘Pinocchio’. The pic, which was dubbed for international audiences, was a commercial flop in the US but opened well in its original version in Italy. Benigni will take on the role of Geppetto next year in Matteo Garrone’s upcoming adaptation of the classic tale, Hollywood Reporter wrote.
A graduate of the National Academy of Drama, Giuffre began working in theater with his brother Aldo Giuffre in 1947. He made his stage debut in 1949 opposite writer and actor Eduardo De Filippo, beginning a long collaboration with the two men that continued throughout the 1980s.
In 1981, Giuffre starred opposite Marcello Mastroianni, Burt Lancaster and Claudia Cardinale in Liliana Cavani’s ‘La Pelle’, which opened in Cannes. In 1984, he received a David di Donatello award, Italy’s top film honor, for his role as Falcone in Maurizio Ponzi’s ‘I Am Happy’.
In 2007, Giuffre was awarded the title of ‘Grand Officer’ by the president of the republic.
His last stage appearance was in 2015 in a theatrical adaptation of Steven Spielberg’s ‘Schinder’s List’. His last film was the 2016 Vincenzo Salemme comedy ‘Se mi lasci non vale’.
“A real artist disappears, a great Neapolitan,” said Naples mayor Luigi de Magistris of the news of his death. “The Neapolitan theater is in mourning.”