Italian actor Bud Spencer dies at 86

The Italian actor and filmmaker was also a professional swimmer and in 1950, became the first Italian to swim 100m in under one minute

28 June 2016, 8:57am
Bud Spencer played in more than 20 films from the 1950s to the 1980s, often alongside his friend Terence Hill
Bud Spencer played in more than 20 films from the 1950s to the 1980s, often alongside his friend Terence Hill
Italian actor and filmmaker Bud Spencer, who starred in a number of Spaghetti Westerns, has died aged 86.

He passed away peacefully on Monday in Rome “and did not suffer from pain”, his son said.

Spencer, whose real name was Carlo Pedersoli, was known among his fans as the “big friendly giant” of the screen because of his height and weight.

Spencer, who was also a professional swimmer, played in more than 20 films from the 1950s to the 1980s.

“He had all of us next to him and his last words were ‘Thank you’,” his son Giuseppe Pedersoli said.

In a tweet (in Italian), Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said: “Ciao #BudSpencer We loved you so much.”

Spencer was born in the southern Italian city of Naples in 1929, but later moved to Rome, where he became a promising swimmer.

In 1950, he was the first Italian to swim 100m in under one minute.

He later abandoned his sporting career and began playing in westerns and comedy films, often alongside Terence Hill.

Spencer appeared in movies including Ace High, They Call Me Trinity and A Friend is a Treasure.

Spencer said he chose his name as a tribute to his favourite beer Budweiser and US actor Spencer Tracy.