Remembering Totò, Italian iconic actor, 50 years after his deathApril 17, 2017
Italy has been rightfully remembering and honoring Totò, one of his most iconic actors of the ‘900, 50 years after his death.
Totò - stage name of Naples-born Antonio de Curtis, starred in over 100 much-loved movies that, even today, find their space on Italian TV as a symbol both of the Golden Age of Italian cinema and the Dolce Vita.
The celebrations included a posthumous honorary degree awarded to Mr. de Curtis by the Federico II University in Naples. The city has also declared its plans to open a museum dedicated to the historic and iconic actor and, according the the Mayor, Totò is probably “having a laugh about it in heaven”. Considered as “immortal” for his incredible talent and rubber face, Totò is, still today, one of the most beloved actors in Italy. While he first gained his popularity as a comic actor, his dramatic roles, poetry, and songs are all deemed to be outstanding because of his unique style and recurring jokes and gestures, that have become universally known in Italy.
Culture Minister Dario Franceschini paid tribute to Mr. de Curtis by saying “I grew up on bread and Totò. In part I am here as a lover of his work”.
Considered a latin lover and a pure poet in his personal life, Totò also showed for all his life an incredible love for animals and, specifically, dogs. In 1965, Totò commissioned the construction of a dog shelter in Rome which he named “L’Ospizio dei Trovatelli” (The Hospice of Foundlings), and for which he personally paid the enormous - at that time - amount of 45 millions of Italian lire. The refuge gave shelter, food and love to 230 stray dogs.
During a long interview with journalist and writer Oriana Fallaci, Totò declared: “A dog is worth more than a human being: you hit him, and he loves you nonetheless; you starve him, and he loves you nonetheless; you abandon him, and he’s faithful to you nonetheless. Dogs are lords, the opposite of men. I’d rather prefer sharing a meal with a dog than with a man”.