San Prospero, Italy
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Actor/Actress, Producer, Writer
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Profile Bio Text
Nero was born Francesco Sparanero in San Prospero, Emilia-Romagna, and grew up in Bedonia and in Milan. He studied briefly at the Economy and Trade faculty of the local university, before leaving to study at the Piccolo Teatro di Milano.
His romantic involvement with British actress Vanessa Redgrave began in 1967 when they met on the set of Camelot. In 1969, they had a son, Carlo Gabriel Sparanero (known professionally as Carlo Nero), a screenwriter and director. After separating for many years, during which they both had relationships with other people, they reunited and married on December 31, 2006. Carlo Nero directed Vanessa Redgrave in the cinematic adaptation of Wallace Shawn`s play The Fever.
Nero walked his stepdaughter Natasha Richardson down the aisle when she married her husband actor Liam Neeson. Natasha died on March 18, 2009, due to a skiing-related head injury.
In 1987, while filming in Cartagena, (Colombia) he was involved in an affair with Mauricia Mena and fathered a son named Franquito.
His first film role was a small part in La ragazza in prestito (1964), and he had his first lead role in Sergio Corbucci`s Django (1966) a Spaghetti Western and one of his most well-known films. In 1966 from Django he went on to appear in eight more films released that year including Texas, addio (1967) and Tempo di massacro.
In 1967, he appeared in his first English language film, Camelot as Lancelot, where he met his long time romantic partner, and later on in life his wife, Vanessa Redgrave. Following this he appeared in the mafia film Il giorno della civetta opposite Claudia Cardinale released in 1968.
A lack of proficiency in English tended to limit these roles, although he also appeared in other English language films including The Virgin and the Gypsy (1970), Force 10 from Navarone (1978), Enter the Ninja (1981) and Die Hard 2 (1990).
Although often typecast in films like Los amigos (1972) or Keoma (1976) he has attempted an impressive range of characters, such as Abel in John Huston`s epic The Bible: In The Beginning (1966), the humiliated engineer out for revenge in Street Law, and the gay lieutenant in Querelle (1982). He has appeared in almost 150 films, and has written, produced and starred in one: Jonathan degli orsi (1993).
More recently, he starred in Hungarian director Gábor Koltay`s Honfoglalás (Conquest) in 1996, and subsequently in Koltay`s Sacra Corona (Holy Crown) in 2001.
Full Name at Birth
Francesco Clemente Giuseppe Sparanero (born 23 November 1941), better known by his stage name Franco Nero, is an Italian actor. He is best known for his breakthrough role as the title character in Sergio Corbucci's Spaghetti Western film Django (1966), a role that he reprised in Nello Rossati's Django Strikes Again (1987). Since then, he has performed leading and supporting roles in a wide variety of films, including The Bible: In the Beginning... (1966), Camelot (1967), The Mercenary (1968), Battle of Neretva (1969), Tristana (1970), Compañeros (1970), Keoma (1976), Hitch-Hike (1977), Force 10 from Navarone (1978), Enter the Ninja (1981), Die Hard 2 (1990), and Letters to Juliet (2010). He also played the narrator in the film Rasputin (2010), directed by Louis Nero, and voiced the character of Uncle Topolino in the animated film Cars 2 (2011) directed by John Lasseter and co-directed by Brad Lewis. In 2012, Nero made a cameo appearance in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained.
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