Fantozzi actor Paolo Villaggio, 84, dies in Rome

Paolo Villaggio, best known for his role as Ugo Fantozzi, died in Rome this morning at the age of 84

Paolo Villaggio
Paolo Villaggio

One of Italy’s most popular and respected actors and comedians, Paolo Villaggio, best known for his role as Ugo Fantozzi, died in Rome this morning at the age of 84, his daughter announced on Facebook.

His death comes after he spent several days in hospital, Italian media reported.

Villaggio’s character, Ugo Fantozzi was a clumsy and unlucky accountant who came across all kinds of disgrace and humiliation. Villaggio created first created the character for a series of eight satirical books, before going on to become the protagonist of a series of ten films and the symbol of his comedy.

Read more: ‘Bound to lose’: Paolo Villaggio’s Fantozzi – 10 of the best

His inspiration for the Fantozzi character came from his one-time job as a clerk for the Italsider steel works.

Yet, the actor also held dramatic roles in films by directors such as Mario Monicelli, Federico Fellini and Ermanno Olmi. In 1992 he received the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice film festival.

Paolo Villaggio was born in Genoa in 1932 with a twin brother, Piero. His father was Ettore Villaggio (1905–1992), originally from Palermo. His mother, Maria, originally from Venice, was a language teacher.

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