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PEOPLE Italy

Farewell to Giuliano Gemma, hero of Spaghetti Westerns

- A debut in the 1950s, the success of his spaghetti westerns and his masterpieces, including The Leopard by Luchino Visconti and The Desert of the Tartars by Valerio Zurlini

Farewell to Giuliano Gemma, hero of Spaghetti Westerns

Actor Giuliano Gemma has died at the age of 75, after falling victim to a road incident yesterday in Rome. Hero of spaghetti westerns in the 1960s, he also starred in many independent films by directors such as Luchino Visconti and Valerio Zurlini.

Gemma was born in the capital on September 2, 1938. An initial athlete’s career and a passion for cinema brought him to the sets of Cinecittà as a stuntman, appearing next to Charlton Heston in Ben Hur. Duccio Tessari discovered him later and picked him for a role in the mythical My Son, The HeroLuchino Visconti chose him to play the Garibaldi general, friend of star Tancredi /Alain Delon in The Leopard.  In 1965, Tessari placed him as the main character in his spaghetti western A Pistol for Ringo, which brought him the same degree of success than that of Clint Eastwood and Sergio Leone.

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His masterpiece is the unforgettable Desert of the Tartars in 1976, through which he participated in an homage to Valerio Zurlini at this year’s festival in Cannes. 

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