Franco Nero, a leading actor in international cinema, was born in Parma (Northern Italy). His inclination for acting had already become obvious in his teenage years when he began organizing and participating in student plays.
After a short stint at a leading theatre school, he moved to Rome where he joined a small group of friends for the purpose of making some documentaries. Still unsure of his ultimate vocation, he worked various jobs on the crew. The role as Abel in John Houston’s film The Bible (1964) marked a crucial point in his career. A few months later he had his big break with the internationally acclaimed cult-classic Spaghetti-Western, “Django”. The following year Joshua Logan cast him in the film version of “Camelot” (Warner Bros.), opposite Vanessa Redgrave, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe award.
Nero has appeared in more than 185 movies around the world and has worked with Europe’s top directors, such as Luis Bunuel, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Claude Chabrol, Sergei Bondarciuk, Michael Cacoyannis, Elio Petri, Marco Bellocchio, just to mention a few.
He has also played the role of leading national heroes such “Garibaldi” (Italy), “Arpad” (Hungary), and “Banovic Strakigna” (Former Yugoslavia). In the United States he has been seen in successful mini-series such as “The Pirate” (Warner Bros.), “The Last Days of Pompei” (CBS), “Young Catherine” (TNT), “Bella Mafia” (CBS), “The Painted Lady”, “Saint Augustine”, and movies such as “The Legend of Valentino”, “21 Hours to Munich”, “Force Ten from Navarone”, “Enter the Ninja”, “The Versace Murder”, “Die Hard 2”, and recently “Letters to Juliet”. At the beginning of the 80’s, he also began producing, writing and directing. Between films he takes part in various theatrical events.
Over the last forty-five years he has been a benefactor of the Don Bosco orphanage in Tivoli. He has received many awards and in 1992 for his artistic merits a knighthood of the Italian Republic was bestowed on him by the President of Italy. In 2011 he was honoured by Brunel University of London with the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters Honoris Causa and in Toronto, Canada, with a star on the walk of fame.