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Sergio Leone
Birth: Jan. 3, 1929
Rome
Provincia di Roma
Lazio, Italy
Death: Apr. 30, 1989
Rome
Provincia di Roma
Lazio, Italy

Italian Film Director, Producer, and Screenwriter. He is best remembered for his 'Spaghetti Western' film genre, which includes the noted films "A Fistful of Dollars" (1964), "For a Few Dollars More" (1965), "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" (1966), "Once Upon a Time in the West" (1968), and "A Fistful of Dynamite" (1971, also known as "Duck, You Sucker!"). The son of Italian cinema pioneer Vincenzo Leone and silent film actress Edvige Valcarenghi, he began his own career in the film industry at the age of 18 after dropping out of law school. He began as an assistant to Vittorio de Sica during the movie "The Bicycle Thief" (1948). During the 1950s he began writing screenplays, primarily for the 'sword and sandal' (a.k.a. 'peplum') historical epics, popular at the time. He also worked as an assistant director on several large-scale international productions shot at the Cinecitta Studios in Rome, most notably "Quo Vadis" (1951) and "Ben-Hur" (1959), financially backed by the American studios. When Italian director Mario Bonnard became ill during the production of the 1959 Italian epic "The Last Days of Pompeii," he was asked to step in and complete the film. As a result, when the time came to make his solo directorial debut with "The Colossus of Rhodes" (1961), he was prepared to produce low-budget films which looked like larger budget Hollywood movies. In the early 1960s historical epics fell out of favor with movie audiences and he had shifted his attention to a sub-genre which came to be known as the 'Spaghetti Western', owing its origin to the American Western. His first 'Spaghetti Western', "A Fistful of Dollars" is also notable for establishing actor Clint Eastwood as a star. Until that time Eastwood had been an American television actor with few credited film roles. His next two films, "For a Few Dollars More" (1965) and "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" (1966), completed what has come to be known as the Man with No Name trilogy (or the Dollars Trilogy), with each film being more financially successful and more technically accomplished than its predecessor, featuring innovative music scores by Ennio Morricone, who worked closely with him in devising the themes. The films were shot in Spain and presented a violent and morally complex vision of the American Old West. Eastwood stayed with the film series, joined later by actors Eli Wallach, Lee van Cleef and Klaus Kinski. In 1967 he was invited to the US to direct "Once Upon a Time in the West" a nearly three-hour epic for Paramount Pictures which was shot mostly in Spain and Rome, Italy. However, before its release, it was ruthlessly edited by Paramount, which perhaps contributed to its low box-office results in the US but it was a huge hit in Europe, grossing nearly three times its $5 million budget among French audiences. His other productions include "A Genius, Two Partners and a Dupe" (1975), "The Cat" (1977), and "A Dangerous Toy" (1979). He turned down the opportunity to direct "The Godfather" (1972), in favor of working on another gangster story he had conceived earlier. He devoted ten years to this project, based on the novel "The Hoods" by former mobster Harry Grey, which focused on a quartet of New York City Jewish gangsters of the 1920s and 1930s, which culminated in the four-hour Warner Brothers film "Once Upon a Time in America" (1984). However, Warner Brother, believing the final cut was too long, recut it drastically for the American market, abandoning its flashback structure for a linear narrative. Lasting over just two hours, the recut version shown in North America received much criticism and flopped. The original version, released in the rest of the world, achieved somewhat better box office returns and a mixed critical response. When the original version of the film was released on home video in the US, it finally gained major critical acclaim, with some critics hailing the film as a masterpiece. It would be his final film. He was part way through planning a film on the Siege of Leningrad, set in the Eastern Front during World War II, when he died from a heart attack at the age of 60. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
 
Burial:
Cimitero di Pratica di Mare
Pratica di Mare
Provincia di Roma
Lazio, Italy
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: José L Bernabé Tronchoni
Record added: Sep 10, 2003
Find A Grave Memorial# 7856551
Sergio Leone
Added by: Anonymous
 
Sergio Leone
Added by: Tzveti Sam
 
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- R I P
 Added: Nov. 25, 2014
Bravo!
- mav
 Added: Sep. 24, 2014
Thank you for your contributions to films. May you rest in peace.
- William Bjornstad
 Added: Sep. 11, 2014
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