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Alberto Sordi
Alberto Sordi (1962).tif
Sordi in 1962
Born (1920-06-15)15 June 1920
Rome, Kingdom of Italy
Died 24 February 2003(2003-02-24) (aged 82)
Rome, Italy
Other names Albertone
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • director
  • singer
  • screenwriter
Years active 1937–1998

Alberto Sordi Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI (15 June 1920 – 24 February 2003) was an Italian actor, comedian, director, singer and screenwriter.

Early life

Born in Rome to a schoolteacher and a musician and the last of five children, Sordi was named in honour of an older sibling, who died several days after his birth. Sordi enrolled in Milan's dramatic arts academy but was kicked out because of his thick Roman accent. In the meantime, he studied to be a bass opera singer. His vocal distinctiveness would become his trademark.


Cinema and television

In a career that spanned seven decades, Sordi established himself as an icon of Italian cinema with his representative skills at both comedy and light drama. His movie career began in the late 1930s with bit parts and secondary characters in wartime movies. Early roles included Fellini's The White Sheik in 1952, Fellini's I vitelloni (1953), a movie about young slackers, in which he plays a weak immature loafer and a starring role in The Bachelor as a single man trying to find love. Sordi frequently appeared in Italian historical comedies.

In 1959, he appeared in Monicelli's Great War, considered by many critics and film historians to be one of the best Italian comedies. The Hollywood Foreign Press recognized his abilities when he was awarded a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Actor in a Musical or Comedy for To Bed or Not to Bed (1963). Sordi acted alongside Britain's David Niven in the World War II comedy The Best of Enemies. In 1965, he was in another highly regarded comedy, I complessi (Complexes).

In 1969, he was a juror at the 6th Moscow International Film Festival. In 1984, he directed and co-scripted Tutti dentro (Off to jail, everybody), in which he played a judge who has warrants for corruption served on ministers and businessmen. In 1985, he was a member of the jury at the 35th Berlin International Film Festival.


Sordi was also a prominent voice actor and dubber. Prior to the war he began working as a dubber for the Italian versions of many Laurel and Hardy shorts and movies, voicing Oliver Hardy after winning an MGM contest for the Italian voice nearest to that of Oliver Hardy. Sordi provided the voice of Hardy in more than forty Laurel and Hardy films from 1939 to 1951, paired with Mauro Zambuto, who voiced Stan Laurel. He also appeared as a voice actor in other Italian-language versions and Italian films.

Sordi provided voice-overs for such actors as Bruce Bennett, Anthony Quinn, John Ireland, Robert Mitchum, Pedro Armendáriz and Frank Faylen. He also dubbed Italian actors such as Franco Fabrizi, Marcello Mastroianni and Enzo Fiermonte for English-speaking audiences. His own voice was dubbed over by Gualtiero De Angelis in Cuori nella tormenta and Carlo Romano in Bullet for Stefano. Sordi ceased his career as a dubber in 1956.

Personal life

Sordi was discreet about his private life. Despite never marrying or having children, Sordi was in several relationships, including a nine-year romance with actress Andreina Pagnani.

Sordi was raised Roman Catholic.

Sordi was also a big supporter of AS Roma football team. This was something he expressed a fondness of in some of his films.


Sordi won seven David di Donatello, Italy's most prestigious film award, holding the record of David di Donatello as best actor, and four awards for his works from the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists. He also received a Golden Lion for lifetime achievement at the Venice Film Festival in 1995, and The Golden Globe Award for his performance as an Italian labourer stranded in Sweden in To Bed or Not to Bed. In 2000, the City of Rome made him honorary mayor for a day to celebrate his eightieth birthday.

At the 22nd Berlin International Film Festival, he won the Silver Bear for Best Actor award for Detenuto in attesa di giudizio. At the 13th Moscow International Film Festival he won a Special Prize for I Know That You Know That I Know.

Sordi received honorary citizenship from Kansas City, Missouri for his references to the city in the 1954 film, Un americano a Roma.

Illness and death

In 2001, Sordi was diagnosed with lung cancer. He died of pneumonia and bronchitis at his house in Rome on 24 February 2003. A crowd in excess of a million gathered to pay their last respects at his funeral by the Basilica of St. John Lateran.


Sordi in Under the Sun of Rome (1948)


  • Scipione l'africano (1937) as Comparsa soldato romano
  • The Ferocious Saladin (1937) as The Lion
  • Princess Tarakanova (1938) as Ciaruskin (uncredited)
  • The Night of Tricks (1939) as Bentivoglio
  • Cuori nella tormenta (1940) as Giulio Ferri
  • The Hero of Venice (1941) as Aiutante del Veronese
  • Le signorine della villa accanto (1941) as Un giovane invitato al ballo
  • Giarabub (1942) as Il tenente Sordi
  • The Three Pilots (1942) as Filippo Nardini
  • La signorina (1942) as Nino
  • After Casanova's Fashion (1942) as Un giocatore di biliardo
  • Sant'Elena piccola isola (1943) as Il capitano Popleton
  • Tre ragazze cercano marito (1944) as Giulio
  • The Za-Bum Circus (1944) (segment "Galop finale al circo")
  • Chi l'ha visto? (1945) as Un idraulico
  • The Innocent Casimiro (1945) as Guido Corra
  • His Young Wife (1945) as Camillo Barbarotti
  • Il vento m'ha cantato una canzone (1947) as Paolo
  • Flesh Will Surrender (1947) as Doberti
  • Il Passatore (1947) as The Boyfriend
  • Under the Sun of Rome (1948) as Fernando
  • Che tempi! (1948) as Manuel Aguirre
  • Cameriera bella presenza offresi... (1951) as Donato
  • Mamma Mia, What an Impression! (1951) as Alberto
  • Viva il cinema! (1952) as Narratore (voice)
  • The White Sheik (1952) as Fernando Rivoli – The White Sheik
  • Toto and the King of Rome (1952) as Il maestro elementare
  • Giovinezza (1952) as Alberto
  • The Piano Tuner Has Arrived (1952) as Avvocato Adolfo
  • The Enchanting Enemy (1953) (uncredited)
  • I Vitelloni (1953) as Alberto
  • Cavalcade of Song (1953) as Alberto
  • Ci troviamo in galleria (1953) as Mario Pio al telefono
  • A Day in Court (1954) as Nando Moriconi
  • Two Nights with Cleopatra (1954) as Cesarino
  • Mid-Century Loves (1954) as Alberto (segment "Dopoguerra 1920")
  • Marriage (1954) as Ivan Vassilievich Lomov
  • Gran Varietà (1954) as Fregoli il trasformista (episodio 'Fregoli')
  • A Slice of Life (1954) as L'amore (segment "Scusi, ma...")
  • The Cheerful Squadron (1954) as Il soldato Vergisson
  • Il seduttore (1954) as Alberto Ranieri
  • It Happened at the Police Station (1954) as Alberto Tadini
  • A Parisian in Rome (1954) as Alberto Lucetti
  • Camilla (1954) as Il pappagallo in auto (voice, uncredited)
  • Un americano a Roma (1954) as Nando Moriconi
  • Via Padova 46 (Lo scocciatore) (1954) as Gianrico
  • Tripoli, Beautiful Land of Love (1954) as Alberto
  • The Art of Getting Along (1955) as Rosario 'Sasà' Scimoni
  • The Sign of Venus (1955) as Romolo Proietti
  • Buonanotte... avvocato! (1955) as Alberto Santi, advocate
  • The Belle of Rome (1955) as Gracco
  • Accadde al penitenziario (1955) as Giulio Parmitoni
  • Bravissimo (1955) as Ubaldo Impallato
  • I pappagalli (1955) as Dr. Alberto Tanzi
  • The Letters Page (1955) as Rodolfo Vanzino
  • Faccia da mascalzone (1956)
  • The Bachelor (1956) as Paolo Anselmi
  • Guardia, guardia scelta, brigadiere e maresciallo (1956) as Guardia Alberto Randolfi
  • Nero's Weekend (1956) as Nero
  • The Virtuous Bigamist (1956) as Mario – le chauffeur du car
  • Allow Me, Daddy! (1956) as Rodolfo Nardi
  • I pinguini ci guardano (1956) as an animal (voice)
  • Arrivano i dollari! (1957) as Alfonso Pasti
  • Souvenir d'Italie (1957) as Sergio Battistini
  • A Hero of Our Times (1957) as Alberto Menichetti
  • Count Max (1957) as Alberto Boccetti
  • Doctor and the Healer (1957) as Corrado
  • A Farewell to Arms (1957) as Father Galli
  • Il marito (1958) as Alberto
  • Ladro lui, ladra lei (1958) as Cencio
  • Le septième ciel (1958) as Xavier Laurentis
  • Fortunella (1958) as Peppino
  • Domenica è sempre domenica (1958) as Alberto Carboni
  • Venice, the Moon and You (1958) as Bepi
  • Girls for the Summer (1958) as Aristarco Battistini
  • Nella città l'inferno (1959) as Antonio Zampi, detto Adone (uncredited)
  • Policarpo (1959) as l'ambulante che vende ombrelli
  • Oh, que Mambo! (1959) as Nando
  • Winter Holidays (1959) as Roger Moretti
  • The Moralist (1959) as Agostino
  • Wild Cats on the Beach (1959) as Alberto
  • The Great War (1959) as Oreste Jacovacci
  • The Magliari (1959) as Totonno
  • Il vedovo (1959) as Alberto Nardi
  • Vacations in Majorca (1959) as Anselmo Pandolfini
  • Everybody Go Home (1960) as Lt. Alberto Innocenzi
  • The Traffic Policeman (1960) as Otello Celletti
  • Crimen (1960) as Alberto Franzetti
  • Gastone (1960) as Gastone
  • The Last Judgment (1961) as Merchant of children
  • The Best of Enemies (1961) as Capt. Blasi
  • A Difficult Life (1961) as Silvio Magnozzi
  • The Police Commissioner (1962) as Dante Lombardozzi
  • Mafioso (1962) as Antonio Badalamenti
  • Il diavolo (1963) as Amedeo Ferretti
  • Il Boom (1963) as Giovanni Alberti
  • The Teacher from Vigevano (1963) as Mombelli
  • My Wife (1964) as The husband (segments "L'uccellino", "L'automobile") / Sartoletti (segment "Eritrea") / Marco (segments "I miei cari", "Luciana")
  • Il disco volante (1964) as Vincenzo Berruti / Marsicano / Don Giuseppe / Conte Momi Crosara
  • The Three Faces (1965) as Armando Tucci (segment "Latin Lover")
  • Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines (1965) as Count Emilio Ponticelli
  • I complessi (1965) as Guglielmo Bertone (segment "Guglielmo il Dentone")
  • Thrilling (1965) as Fernando Boccetta (segment "L'autostrada del sole")
  • Made in Italy (1965) as Silvio, Errant Husband (segment "5 'La Famiglia', episode 2")
  • Tentazioni proibite (1965) as Himself
  • Fumo di Londra (1966) as Dante Fontana
  • I nostri mariti (1966) as Giovanni Lo Verso (segment "Il Marito di Roberta")
  • Pardon, Are You For or Against? (1966) as Tullio Conforti
  • The Witches (1967) as Elio Ferocci (segment "Senso Civico")
  • Un italiano in America (1967) as Giuseppe
  • Be Sick... It's Free (1968) as Doctor Guido Tersilli
  • Will Our Heroes Be Able to Find Their Friend Who Has Mysteriously Disappeared in Africa? (1968) as Fausto Di Salvio
  • Help Me, My Love (1969) as Giovanni Macchiavelli
  • Nell'anno del Signore (1969) as The Friar
  • Il Prof. Dott. Guido Tersilli, primario della clinica Villa Celeste, convenzionata con le mutue (1969) as Dr. Guido Tersilli
  • Let's Have a Riot (1970) as Don Giuseppe Montanari (segment "Il prete")
  • Le coppie (1970) as Giacinto Colonna (segment "La camera") / Antonio (segment "Il leone")
  • The President of Borgorosso Football Club (1970) as Benito Fornaciari
  • In Prison Awaiting Trial (1971) as Giuseppe Di Noi
  • A Girl in Australia (1971) as Amedeo Battipaglia
  • The Scientific Cardplayer (1972) as Peppino
  • The Most Wonderful Evening of My Life (1972) as Alfredo Rossi
  • Roma (1972) as Himself – Interviewé (uncredited)
  • My Brother Anastasia (1973) as Father Salvatore Anastasia
  • Polvere di stelle (1973) as Mimmo Adami
  • Finché c'è guerra c'è speranza (1974) as Pietro Chiocca
  • Di che segno sei? (1975) as Nando Moriconi (segment "Il fuoco")
  • Il comune senso del pudore (1976, first segment) as Giacinto Colonna
  • Strange Occasion (1976) as Mons. Ascanio La Costa (segment "L'Ascensore")
  • An Average Little Man (1977) as Giovanni Vivaldi
  • I nuovi mostri (1977) as Il principe (segment "First Aid") / Il figlio (segment "Come una regina") / L'attore (segment "Elogio funebre")
  • The Witness (1978) as Antonio Berti
  • Where Are You Going on Holiday? (1978) as Remo Proietti (segment "Le vacanze intelligenti")
  • Traffic Jam (1979) as Dr. De Benedetti, lawyer
  • Hypochondriac (1979) as Argante
  • Catherine and I (1980) as Enrico Menotti
  • Il Marchese del Grillo (1981) as Onofrio Del Grillo / Gasperino
  • I Know That You Know That I Know (1982) as Fabio Bonetti
  • In viaggio con papà (1982) as Armando Ferretti
  • Il tassinaro (1983) as Pietro Marchetti
  • Everybody in Jail (1984) as Judge Annibale Salvemini
  • Bertoldo, Bertoldino e Cacasenno (1984) as Friar Cipolla
  • I Am an ESP (1985) as Roberto Razzi
  • Troppo forte (1986) as Count Giangiacomo Pigna Corelli in Selci
  • Un tassinaro a New York (1987) as Pietro Marchetti
  • Una botta di vita (1988) as Elvio Battistini
  • I promessi sposi (1989, TV Mini-Series) as Don Abbondio
  • L'avaro (1990) as Arpagone
  • In the Name of the Sovereign People (1990) as Marchese Arquati
  • Vacanze di Natale '91 (1991) as Sabino
  • Acquitted for Having Committed the Deed (1992) as Emilio Garrone
  • Nestore, l'ultima corsa (1994) as Gaetano
  • Romanzo di un giovane povero (1995) as Mr. Bartoloni
  • Incontri proibiti (1998) as Armando Andreoli (final film role)


  • Fumo di Londra (1966)
  • Scusi, lei è favorevole o contrario? (1966)
  • Un italiano in America (1967)
  • Amore mio, aiutami (1969)
  • Le coppie (1970, segment "La camera")
  • Polvere di stelle (1973)
  • Finché c'è guerra c'è speranza (1974)
  • Il comune senso del pudore (1976)
  • Dove vai in vacanza? (1978, segment "Le vacanze intelligenti")
  • Io e Caterina (1980)
  • Io so che tu sai che io so (1982)
  • In viaggio con papà (1982)
  • Il tassinaro (1983)
  • Tutti dentro (1984)
  • Un tassinaro a New York (1987)
  • Acquitted for Having Committed the Deed (1992)
  • Nestore, l'ultima corsa (1994)
  • Incontri proibiti (1998)

Dubbing roles


Live action

  • Oliver Hardy in Laurel and Hardy (1939-1951 redubs)
  • Ollie in Swiss Miss
  • Ollie in The Flying Deuces
  • Ollie in A Chump at Oxford
  • Pickpocket in Casablanca
  • Jim Brennan in The Valley of Decision
  • Nino in Abbasso la ricchezza!
  • Ernie Bishop in It's a Wonderful Life
  • Woody Herman in New Orleans
  • Monte Loeffler in Humoresque
  • Bicycle vendor in Bicycle Thieves
  • Ercole Nardi in Sunday in August
  • Fashion show presenter in Story of a Love Affair
  • Narrator in Father's Dilemma
  • Spike MacManus in State of the Union
  • Sam in Somewhere in the Night
  • Steven Warren in The Spiral Staircase
  • Sergeant Beaufort in Fort Apache
  • Professor Stevens in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein
  • Captain de Trevignac in The Garden of Allah
  • Kid Callahan in City for Conquest
  • Sid in Duel in the Sun
  • Peter Virgil in Romance on the High Seas (singing voice)
  • Hugo Barnstead in The Strawberry Blonde
  • Jeb Rand in Pursued
  • Jim Fairways in Rachel and the Stranger (singing voice)
  • James Cody in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
  • Ed Landers in Cheyenne
  • Tommy Chamberlain in The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer
  • Neff in Panic in the Streets
  • Marino in Body and Soul
  • Ed Garzah in The Naked City
  • Dakota in Destination Tokyo
  • Bill Hughes in You Can't Take It with You
  • Frank Reardon in Blood on the Moon
  • Giuseppe in Sahara
  • Hawley in The Gal Who Took the West
  • Fred Lord in Sorry, Wrong Number
  • Nat Sperling in The Big Clock
  • Torquato Torquati in Where Is Freedom?
  • Major A. M. Bagley in Air Force
  • John Withers in The Letter
  • Cole Porter in Night and Day (singing voice)
  • David Winthrop in Mexican Hayride
  • Bartender / Hotel clerk in Tall in the Saddle



  • 1936–1937: San Giovanni with Aldo Fabrizi and Anna Fougez
  • 1938–1939: Ma in campagna è un'altra... rosa (In the country it's another... rose), with Guido Riccioli and Nanda Primavera
  • 1941–1942: Tutto l'oro del mondo (All the gold in the world), with Guido Fineschi and Maria Donati
  • 1942–1943: Teatro della caricatura (Theatre of the caricature), with Fanfulla
  • 1943–1944: Ritorna Za-Bum, by Marcello Marchesi, directed by Mario Mattòli
  • Sai che ti dico? (You know what I am saying to you?), by Marcello Marchesi, directed by Mario Mattòli
  • 1944–1945: Un mondo di armonie (A world of harmonies), musical revue by Alberto Semprini
  • Imputati... alziamoci! (Suspects... arise!), by Michele Galdieri
  • 1945–1946: Soffia so'..., by Pietro Garinei and Sandro Giovannini
  • Soffia so'... n. 2, by Pietro Garinei and Sandro Giovannini
  • 1947–1948: E lui dice... (And he says...), by Benecoste, directed by Oreste Biancoli and Adolfo Celi
  • 1952–1953: Gran baraonda (Total chaos), by Pietro Garinei and Sandro Giovannini, with Wanda Osiris

Composer and singer

  • 1966: You never told me (Sordi – Piccioni) sung by Lydia MacDonald in the movie Fumo di Londra and in Italian by Mina with title Breve amore
  • 1966: Richmond bridge (Sordi – Piccioni) sung by Lydia MacDonald in the movie Fumo di Londra
  • 1973: Ma 'ndo... Hawaii? (Sordi – Piccioni) sung by Alberto Sordi and Monica Vitti in the movie Polvere di stelle

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Alberto Sordi para niños

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