Italian actor Giustino Durano, whose long career spanned vaudeville, radio, musical comedy, classical theater, television and film, most recently with a key supporting role in Roberto Benigni’s “Life iIs Beautiful,” died Feb. 18 in Bologna of cancer. He was 79.
Durano was known primarily for his extensive stage work, including collaborations with Nobel Prize winner Dario Fo, Neapolitan theater luminaries Eduardo and Peppino De Filippo, and Paolo Grassi, Giorgio Strehler and Patrice Chereau at Milan’s famed Piccolo Teatro.
Among his many character roles on the screen, Durano appeared in director Alessandro Blasetti’s “Lucky to Be a Woman” (1956) and “Me Me Me… and the Others” (1965), Vittorio De Sica’s “After the Fox” (1966) and Carlo Lizzani’s “Lo Svitato” (1955).
In 1998, Durano won the Italian film critics Nastro d’Argento award as best supporting actor for his role in the Oscar-winning “Life Is Beautiful” as the ill-fated uncle of Benigni’s character Guido.
He is survived by his wife and daughter.