Few times in the history of cinema have two actors been as linked as Terence Hill and Bud Spencer. But Mario Girotti and Carlo Pedersoli, their real names, formed for more than two decades one of the most prolific couples in the film industry whose career would not be understood without the subgenre they helped build: the spaghetti western.
Perhaps the glory of its genesis and final takeoff falls on Serge Leone and their successes For a bunch of dollars (1964), The dead had a price (1965) and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1996), with Clint Eastwood performing to the sound of Ennio Morriconebut it is no less true that shortly after Enzo Barboni reinvented the genre with the film They called him Trinity (1970)where the actors Terence Hill and Bud Spencer explored a more comical, picaresque and less violent side unknown until then.
It is therefore not surprising that the tapes that both starred have been installed in the collective memory of several generations, who enjoyed his peculiar way of facing and solving, with a clean blow, the problems that were presented to them. For this reason, it is not surprising that decades later his hypnotic films continue to be broadcast and continue to provoke the same smiles as the first time.
the end of a friendship
Their on-screen partnership didn’t survive the turn of the century, but their friendship did until Bud Spencer’s death in 2016 at age 86. A hard blow for his inseparable companion. In 2010 both received the honorary David de Donatello award, showing off the excellent relationship they always maintained. “We have never argued,” said Bud Spencer at the time. “We respected and loved each other”Terence Hill shared at his friend’s funeral.
There is no doubt that Mario Girotti’s career will always be marked by his professional relationship with Carlo Pedersoli, but there was a before. And there is also an after. Of this actor born in Venice, although raised in Dresden (Germany), perhaps few know that in his early days he had a small role in the leopard (1963) by Luchino Visconti. And not everyone may be aware of his success on Italian television thanks to Don Matteoa fiction that has been broadcast for more than 20 years.
The same fiction that helped him definitively leave behind the depression caused by the death of one of his sons in 1990 after a traffic accident. The same fiction that helped him cope with the death of Bud Spencer and that keeps him active at 83 years old. And it is that the adventures of parish priest of a small town Italian with detective skills have already reached their thirteenth season without signs of exhaustion.
Any time in the past may have been better for the German-born Italian actor, but today he is an institution in his country, where he is loved and respected in equal parts. He no longer acts as a crook or travels the mythical locations of Almeria, but there is no doubt that resists hanging up the habit.