Marcello Mastroianni, 72, comic yet suave leading man

December 20, 1996|By LOS ANGELES TIMES

Marcello Mastroianni, 72, the witty, affable and darkly handsome Italian actor who sprang on international consciousness in Federico Fellini's 1960 classic "La Dolce Vita," died Thursday at his Paris home.

Mr. Mastroianni, a comic but also suave and romantic leading man in about 120 motion pictures, had suffered from pancreatic cancer.

Actress Catherine Deneuve, their daughter, Chiara, and his other daughter, Barbara, were with him at his death.

Mr. Mastroianni was much loved around the world for his roles opposite Italian actress Sophia Loren in 11 movies. He earned nominations for best acting Academy Awards in two of them, "Divorce -- Italian Style" and "A Special Day."

The actor won a third Oscar nomination for the Soviet film "Dark Eyes," which also earned him a best actor award at the Cannes Film Festival. Another Cannes award was presented to him for his work in the 1970 film "The Pizza Triangle."

His first film with Miss Loren was "Marriage Italian-Style" in 1964; their most recent was the 1994 satire "Ready to Wear." In the latter, she repeated the strip scene she had performed for him in "Divorce -- Italian Style."

The actor's latest film was "Three Lives and Only One Death" with his daughter Chiara as co-star.

Modest and self-effacing, Mr. Mastroianni belittled his sexy screen image, asserting in an American television interview, "I am not a sex addict."

But in 1972, he caused an international scandal by leaving his wife of 22 years, Italian actress Flora Carabella, to live with Miss Deneuve.

Despite his popularity with American movie-goers, Mr. Mastroianni shunned Hollywood for decades. He preferred to make films with European directors, working for American filmmakers only in "Ready to Wear" and "Used People," co-starring Shirley MacLaine, Jessica Tandy and Kathy Baker and released in the United States in 1993.

Pub Date: 12/20/96

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