Italy pays tribute to beloved actor Gigi Proietti, who died on his 80th birthday

He was the embodiment of Romanity. On Monday, comedian Luigi “Gigi” Proietti passed away at the Villa Margherita clinic in Rome on his 80th birthday. He was urgently hospitalized there in mid-October after his condition worsened due to heart disease. His heart did not hold. While this Thursday his funeral is broadcast live on the Rai, tributes are increasing in the Eternal City and pouring in from all over Italy.

For his film debut, he appeared in Allow yourself to speak to you, Ettore Scola’s very first feature film made in 1964. For the French, he was Bertrand Tavernier’s Cardinal Mazarin in D’Artagnan’s Daughter (1994). Last year Matteo Garrone had enlisted him in his Pinocchio, where he played the puppeteer Mangefeu. The last role in a career of nearly 50 films.

In Rome, Gigi Proietti’s smiling face is projected onto the Colosseum. ANSA / ABACA

Gigi Proietti will also have left his mark on the boards, sometimes as an actor in The Merchant of Venice, The Misanthrope or Tiresias udders of Apollinaire, sometimes as director of Romeo and Juliet and Cyrano, to recite nobody else but them. He will also have conducted the most famous lyrical works such as the Tosca, The Marriage of Figaro, Carmen or Nabucco. Proietti was also known for his voice, which he lent to Robert de Niro in particular in Casino, to Sylvester Stallone in Rocky, but also to the Genius ofAladdin.

He represented Rome to the world as only true Romans can.

Francesco Totti footballer

The Globe Theater renamed in his honor

In Rome, Gigi Proietti’s smiling face is projected onto the Colosseum and the Senatorial Palace. At 1 p.m., his funeral procession crossed the city under the applause and the tears of the Roman people who greeted the artist and especially the man, proud representative of Roman culture, of its accent, its dialect and “tifoso” unconditional of AS Roma. The route stopped inside the Globe Theater at Villa Borghese, founded in 2003 at the proposal of the actor. The place should be renamed in his honor, announced the mayor of Rome and the foundation that had funded the construction.

He was a proud representative of Roman culture, of its accent, of its dialect. Here, his photo is projected on the Senate Palace in Rome. ANSA / ABACA

“It is a part of our Rome that is leaving, the real one, passionate and joyful. Gigi was tall, her smile was and will remain unique ”, declared the former footballer Francesco Totti, emblematic captain of the yellow and red club. “He followed me throughout my career, he was a big fan of Roma and represented Rome in the world as only true Romans can do”, added the “last king of Rome”. For its part, the club announced that it would finance the creation of a mural in the Tufello district which saw the artist grow up.

On Instagram, the Roman actor Pierfrancesco Favino (Romanzo criminal, Angels and Demons, The traitor) dedicated a poem to him written in dialect.

Many personalities from all walks of life have also paid tribute to him, such as the singer Laura Pausini or the politicians Matteo Renzi and Luigi De Maio. “With Gigi Proietti, it is not only one of the public’s most beloved faces who is leaving, but also an extraordinary protagonist of our culture. It is a genius of the spectacle which leaves us today, which knew how to amuse and move millions of Italians. His disappearance makes the whole country suffer ”, meanwhile declared the President of the Italian Council Giuseppe Conte.


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