Nino Castelnuovo, ‘The Umbrellas of Cherbourg’ Star, Dies at 84


Nino Castelnuovo, a well-liked Italian movie and tv actor who discovered success past his dwelling nation when he starred alongside Catherine Deneuve within the soaringly sentimental French New Wave musical “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg,” died on Sep. 6 in Rome. He was 84.

His demise, in a hospital, was confirmed by his consultant, Simone Oppi.

Mr. Castelnuovo, who introduced an incandescent allure to the display screen, grew to become a star throughout a golden age of Italian cinema. He collaborated with main administrators like Luchino Visconti and Vittorio De Sica and acted alongside greats like Alberto Sordi and Claudia Cardinale.

If he achieved worldwide discover with “Umbrellas,” he didn’t really attain fame in Italy till 1967, for his position as Renzo in a tv collection based mostly on Alessandro Manzoni’s 1827 literary epic, “The Betrothed,” which takes place throughout a plague within the 17th century. Such was that present’s recognition, Mr. Castelnuovo as soon as stated, that Pope Paul VI grew to become a fan and requested to satisfy him. (“Castelnuovo, I want you to be pretty much as good, sensible and respectable as your Renzo,” he recalled the pope telling him — to which he stated he replied, “Likewise.”)

Mr. Castelnuovo grew to become a fixture in Italian dwelling rooms within the 1980s because the athletic middle-aged spokesman for Olio Cuore, a model of corn oil. In tv commercials for the product, he vaulted over a fence to show his good well being.

“He’s one of many wonderful underrated Italian actors,” Antonio Monda, who teaches a course on Italian cinema at New York College and is the inventive director of the Rome Movie Pageant, stated in a telephone interview. “He was praised overseas, particularly in France, however was considerably missed in Italy. His curse was doing that notorious oil business.”

Mr. Castelnuovo secured his place within the worldwide movie canon for his efficiency in “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg,” Jacques Demy’s 1964 New Wave romance wherein all of the dialogue was sung, nearly as if it have been a cinematic opera. (Michel Legrand wrote the music; Mr. Castelnuovo’s voice was dubbed.) The film was awarded the Palme d’Or on the Cannes Movie Pageant and acquired 5 Academy Award nominations, together with one for greatest foreign-language movie and one for the track “I Will Look ahead to You.”

“The Umbrellas of Cherbourg,” set in a Normandy port city, recounts the youthful love affair between a storage mechanic named Man, performed by Mr. Castelnuovo, and Geneviève, the daughter of an umbrella store proprietor, performed by Ms. Deneuve. Their romance ends when Man is drafted into the Algerian warfare. Geneviève quickly discovers she is pregnant with Man’s baby. After they lastly meet once more, they’ve married different folks, and their love is a bittersweet reminiscence.

Revisiting the movie in 2011, The New York Instances critic A.O. Scott referred to as it “probably the most romantic movies ever made.” “The romance between these younger lovers was not meant to be,” he added, “however our romance with this incomparable movie will final eternally.”

Francesco Castelnuovo was born on Oct. 28, 1936, in Lecco, Italy. His father, Camillo, labored in a button manufacturing unit. His mom, Emilia Paola (Sala) Castelnuovo, was a maid.

Rising up, Francesco held jobs as a mechanic and a home painter to help himself. He typically discovered refuge within the darkness of film theaters and idolized Fred Astaire, whose movies impressed him to grow to be a gymnast and a dancer in his teenagers.

In 1955, he moved to Milan to review on the Piccolo Teatro repertory theater. He additionally discovered work as a mime on a youngsters’s tv present a few magician named Zurli. He made his movie debut in 1959 with a small half in Pietro Germi’s crime thriller “The Details of Homicide,” and he appeared the subsequent 12 months in Visconti’s acclaimed “Rocco and His Brothers.”

Amongst Mr. Castelnuovo’s different movies have been “The Hunchback of Rome” (1960), which was notable for that includes the director Pier Paolo Pasolini in an performing position, and De Sica’s 1966 drama, “A New World.” He appeared in Jean-Luc Godard’s phase of “Amore e Rabbia” (1969), a collection of quick tales directed by numerous cinema luminaries. He reunited with Deneuve in Agnès Varda’s movie “The Creatures” in 1966.

He’s survived by his spouse, Maria Cristina Di Nicola; his son, Lorenzo; and his sister, Marinella.

In 1996, on the age of 60, Mr. Castelnuovo performed the archaeologist D’Agostino in Anthony Minghella’s “The English Affected person.” He continued performing into his 70s, performing in productions of works by the Venetian playwright Carlo Goldoni and taking part in a choose on the tv collection “Tuscan Ardour” from 2013 to 2015. He additionally labored to lift consciousness of glaucoma, from which he had lengthy suffered.

In interviews, Mr. Castelnuovo typically mirrored on the fantastic period of Italian cinema that he had witnessed firsthand. He generally complained that Italian movies had grow to be much less, effectively, Italian.

“I come from a cinema that could be very totally different from now,” he stated in a Roman tv interview in 1999. “It was a time when Italian movie was essentially the most revered cinema on this planet.”

“We’ve determined to observe the Individuals and different huge nations,” he continued. “We’ve overlooked simply how a lot expertise we Italians have.

“We’re a rustic of marvelous folks. Marvelous within the sense that, with out our imaginations, we can not dwell. We’re not superb realists, which makes us very imaginative folks.”

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