Bud Spencer

Carlo Pedersoli (31 October 1929 – 27 June 2016), known professionally as Bud Spencer, was an Italian actor, professional swimmer and water polo player. He was known for action-comedy and Spaghetti Western roles with his long-time film partner Terence Hill. The duo "garnered world acclaim and attracted millions to theater seats".[1] Spencer and Hill appeared in, produced and directed over 20 films together.

Bud Spencer
Bud Spencer 2015.jpg
Spencer in June 2015
Carlo Pedersoli

(1929-10-31)31 October 1929
Naples, Italy
Died27 June 2016(2016-06-27) (aged 86)
Rome, Italy
Resting placeCampo Verano, Rome, Italy
Other namesBud Spencer
Alma materSapienza University of Rome
Professional swimmer
Water polo
Years active1950–2010
Height6 ft 3.5 in (192 cm)
Maria Amato (m. 1960⁠–⁠2016)
(his death)
AwardsDavid di Donatello Special Award

In his youth, Bud Spencer was a successful athlete and swimmer for the Gruppo Sportivo Fiamme Oro.[2] He obtained a law degree and registered several patents. Spencer also became a certified commercial airline and helicopter pilot, and supported and funded many children's charities, including the Spencer Scholarship Fund.[3]

Early lifeEdit

Son of Alessandro Pedersoli, Neapolitan of Lombard descent, and Rosa Facchetti from Chiari, Lombardy, Carlo Pedersoli was born on 31 October 1929 in Santa Lucia, a historical rione in Naples[4] and in the same building as the writer Luciano De Crescenzo. He played several sports and showed an aptitude for swimming, winning prizes. De Crescenzo was a classmate of his. In 1940, due to his father's work, he moved to Rome, where he attended high school and joined a swimming club. He finished school before his seventeenth birthday with the highest marks and enrolled at Sapienza University of Rome, where he studied chemistry. In 1947, the family moved to South America[5] and Pedersoli discontinued his studies. From 1947 to 1949, he worked in the Italian consulate in Recife, Brazil,[6] where he learned to speak fluent Portuguese.

Swimming and water polo careerEdit

Carlo Pedersoli
Carlo Pedersoli in 1950
Personal information
National team  Italy
Born(1929-10-31)31 October 1929
Naples, Italy
Died27 June 2016(2016-06-27) (aged 86)
Rome, Italy
Height6 ft 4 in (193 cm)
StrokesFreestyle, water polo
ClubSocietà Sportiva Lazio Nuoto

Pedersoli returned to Italy in 1949 to play water polo in Rome for Società Sportiva Lazio Nuoto and won the Italian swimming championships in freestyle and mixed relay teams. As a professional swimmer in his youth, Spencer was the first Italian to swim the 100 m freestyle in less than one minute when on 19 September 1950 he swam the distance in 59.5 s in Salsomaggiore.[7] In 1949 he made his international debut and a year later he was called up for the European championships in Vienna where he swam in two finals, finishing fifth in the 100 m and fourth in the relay 4 × 200 m.

In the 1951 Mediterranean Games in Alexandria (Egypt), he won a silver medal in the same 100 m freestyle event.[8][9] Pedersoli participated in the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland, reaching the semi-finals in the 100 m freestyle (58.8 s heats, 58.9 s semi final).[10] Four years later, in Melbourne, he also entered the semi-finals in the same category (58.5 s heat, 59.0 s semi final).[8][11]

As a water polo player, he won the Italian Championship in 1954 with S.S. Lazio[8] and the gold medal at 1955 Mediterranean Games in Barcelona with the Italian national team. His swimming career ended abruptly in 1957.[12]

On 17 January 2005, he was awarded the Caimano d'oro (Gold Caiman) by the Italian Swimming Federation.[13] On 24 January 2007, he received swimming and water polo coach diplomas from the Italian Swimming Federation's president Paolo Barelli.[14]

Acting careerEdit

Pedersoli's first film role was in Quel fantasma di mio marito, an Italian comedy short released in 1950.[15] In 1951 he played a member of the Praetorian Guard in Quo Vadis, an epic film shot in Italy made by MGM and directed by Mervyn LeRoy.[3] During the 1950s and early 1960s, Spencer appeared playing minor parts in Italian including Mario Monicelli's movie A Hero of Our Times, with Alberto Sordi and the 1954 war film Human Torpedoes with Raf Vallone.

In 1960, after the Summer Olympic games, Pedersoli married Maria Amato, daughter of Italian film producer Giuseppe Amato.[16] He signed a contract with RCA Records to write lyrics for singers such as Ornella Vanoni and Nico Fidenco and soundtracks. In the following years, his son Giuseppe was born (1961), followed by Cristiana (1962), his contract with RCA expired and his father-in-law died (1964). Pedersoli became a producer of documentaries for the national public broadcasting company RAI.[17]

Partnership with Terence HillEdit

In 1967, film director Giuseppe Colizzi offered him a role in God Forgives... I Don't!. On the set Pedersoli met Mario Girotti (Terence Hill). Although Pedersoli had met Girotti before on the set of Hannibal in 1959, this was the moment they went on to become a film duo. The film director asked the two actors to change their names, deeming them to be too Italian-sounding for a Western movie: Pedersoli chose Bud Spencer, with Bud inspired by Budweiser beer and Spencer by the actor Spencer Tracy.[18]

While Hill's characters were agile and youthful, Spencer always played the "phlegmatic, grumpy strong-arm man with a blessed, naive child's laughter and a golden heart".[19] Overall, Hill and Spencer worked together on over 20 films, including (named using their most common U.S. titles) God Forgives... I Don't! (1967), Ace High (1968), Boot Hill (1969), They Call Me Trinity (1970), Trinity Is Still My Name (1971), All the Way, Boys (1972), Watch Out, We're Mad (1974), Two Missionaries (1974), Crime Busters (1977), Odds and Evens (1978), I'm For the Hippopotamus (1979), Who Finds a Friend Finds a Treasure (1981), Go For It! (1983), Double Trouble (1984), Miami Supercops (1985) and Troublemakers (1994). Films with Spencer alone include The Five Man Army (1969), Even Angels Eat Beans (1973), The Fifth Day of Peace (1970), It Can Be Done Amigo (1972), Flatfoot (1973), Soldier of Fortune (1976), They Call Him Bulldozer (1978), The Sheriff and the Satellite Kid (1979), Everything Happens to Me (1980), Banana Joe (1982), Bomber (1982) and Superfantagenio (1986).

Bud Spencer's memorial statue in downtown Budapest

Many of these have alternative titles, depending upon the country and distributor. Some have longer Italian versions that were edited for their release abroad. These films gathered popularity for both actors, especially throughout much of Europe and parts of Asia and South America.[3] Because of the duo's huge popularity, many producers wanted to exploit their likeness with visually similar duos. Most notable were Paul L. Smith (adopted name Adam Eden in later years, sometimes credited Anam Eden) and Michael Coby (real name Antonio Cantafora) with at least 6 movies in Bud & Terence-fashion from 1973 to 1977, and István Bujtor with 6 movies in Piedone-fashion from 1981 to 2008.

In the Italian versions of his films, Spencer was generally dubbed by actor Glauco Onorato due to his thick Naples accent,[20] although he was voiced by Sergio Fiorentini in Troublemakers, To the Limit (1997) and the Extralarge series (1991–93).[21][22] For English dubs, Spencer was usually voiced by Robert Sommer, Edward Mannix or Richard McNamara, although he occasionally provided his own voice.[23][24]

Spencer wrote the complete or partial screenplay for some of his movies. His feature film career slowed down after 1983, shifting more toward television. In the 1990s, he acted in the television action-drama Extralarge. His autobiography was published in 2011. In addition, Spencer also published a recipe book including his favorite dishes.[25]

Political careerEdit

In 2005, he entered politics, unsuccessfully standing as regional councilor in Lazio for the Forza Italia party. Spencer stated: "In my life, I've done everything. There are only three things I haven't been – a ballet dancer, a jockey and a politician. Given that the first two jobs are out of the question, I'll throw myself into politics."[3] The opposition criticized him for engaging in "politica spettacolo" ("showbiz politics").[3]

Personal lifeEdit

Funeral of Spencer in Rome
Bud Spencer 'graffiti' (2016 Filatorigát, Budapest)

Spencer married Maria Amato in 1960, with whom he had three children: Giuseppe (1961), Cristiana (1962) and Diamante (1972). After appearing in Più forte, ragazzi!, Spencer became a jet airplane and helicopter pilot.[3] He founded Mistral Air in 1984, an air-mail company that also transports pilgrims, but later sold it to Poste Italiane.[26] Spencer's grandson, Carlo Pedersoli, Jr., is a mixed martial arts fighter currently signed the Ultimate Fighting Championship.[27]


Spencer died at 86 years of age on 27 June 2016 in Rome.[28] As son Giuseppe Pedersoli stated, his father "died without pain in presence of his family, and his last word was 'grazie'".[29][30][18][31]


Spencer posthumously received the America Award in 2018 from the Italy-USA Foundation.[32]

In Hungary, where his films were hugely popular during the communist regime, a larger-than-life-sized bronze statue of Spencer created by sculptor Szandra Tasnádi was unveiled on 11 November 2017 in downtown Budapest, with Spencer's daughter Cristiana in attendance.[33] The statue's pedestal bears the inscription "Mi sohasem veszekedtünk" ("We Never Fought"), a quote from Terence Hill's eulogy referring to their long-lasting friend- and partnership.[34]

A beat 'em up video game titled Bud Spencer & Terence Hill: Slaps and Beans, closely based on Spencer and Hill's cinematic work, was developed by the Italian firm Trinity Team srls and first published by the German firm Buddy Productions GmbH in 2018.[35][36][37]


Title English Title Date Role
That Ghost of My Husband 1950 Swimmer
Quo Vadis (as Carlo Pedersoli) 1951 Imperial Guard
Siluri umani (as Carlo Pederzoli) Human Torpedoes 1954 Magrini
Un Eroe dei nostri tempi (as Carlo Pedersoli) A Hero of Our Times 1955 Fernando
Il Cocco di Mamma (as Carlo Pedersoli) Mamma's Boy 1957 Oscar
A Farewell to Arms (as Carlo Pedersoli) 1957 Carabiniere
Annibale (as Carlo Pedersoli) Hannibal 1960
Dio perdona... io no! God Forgives... I Don't! 1967 Hutch Bessy
Oggi a me... domani a te Today We Kill, Tomorrow We Die 1968 O'Bannion
Al di là della legge Beyond the Law 1968 James Cooper
I quattro dell'Ave Maria Ace High 1968 Hutch Bessy
Gott mit uns (Dio è con noi) The Fifth Day of Peace 1969 Cpl. Jelinek
Un esercito di 5 uomini The Five Man Army 1969 Mesito
La collina degli stivali Boot Hill 1969 Hutch Bessy
Lo chiamavano Trinità... They Call Me Trinity 1970 Bambino
Il corsaro nero Blackie the Pirate 1971 Skull
...continuavano a chiamarlo Trinità Trinity Is Still My Name 1971 Bambino
4 mosche di velluto grigio Four Flies on Grey Velvet 1971 Godfrey "God"
Torino nera Black Turin 1972 Rosario Rao
...più forte ragazzi! All the Way Boys 1972 Salud
Si può fare... amigo It Can Be Done Amigo 1972 Hiram Coburn
Una ragione per vivere e una per morire A Reason to Live, a Reason to Die 1972 Eli Sampson
Anche gli angeli mangiano fagioli Even Angels Eat Beans 1973 Charlie Smith
Piedone lo sbirro Flatfoot 1973 Inspector "Flatfoot" Rizzo
Porgi l'altra guancia Two Missionaries 1974 Father/Padre Pedro
...altrimenti ci arrabbiamo! Watch Out, We're Mad 1974 Ben
Piedone a Hong Kong Flatfoot in Hong Kong 1975 Inspector "Flatfoot" Rizzo
Il soldato di ventura Soldier of Fortune 1976 Hector Fieramosca
Charleston 1977 Charleston
I due superpiedi quasi piatti Crime Busters 1977 Wilbur Walsh
Piedone l'africano Flatfoot in Africa aka The Knock-Out Cop 1978 Inspector "Flatfoot" Rizzo
Lo chiamavano Bulldozer They Called Him Bulldozer 1978 Bulldozer
Pari e dispari Odds and Evens 1978 Charlie Firpo
Uno sceriffo extraterrestre... poco extra e molto terrestre The Sheriff and the Satellite Kid 1979 Sceriffo Scott (Sheriff Hall)
Piedone d'Egitto Flatfoot in Egypt 1979 Inspector 'Flatfoot' Rizzo
Io sto con gli ippopotami I'm for the Hippopotamus 1979 Tom
Chissà perché... capitano tutte a me Everything Happens to Me 1980 Sheriff Hall
Occhio alla penna Buddy Goes West 1981 Buddy
Chi trova un amico trova un tesoro Who Finds a Friend Finds a Treasure 1981 Charlie O'Brien
Cane e gatto Cat and Dog 1982 Sergeant Parker
Banana Joe 1982 Banana Joe
Bomber 1982 Bud Graziano
Nati con la camicia Go for It 1983 Doug O'Riordan alias Mason
Double Trouble (Italian title: Non c'è due senza quattro) 1984 Greg Wonder/Antonio Coimbra de la Coronilla y Azevedo
Miami Supercops (I poliziotti dell'8ª strada) Miami Supercops 1985 Steve Forest
Superfantagenio Aladdin 1986 Genie
Big Man (TV Series) 1988–1989 Jack Clementi
Detective Extralarge (TV Series) 1990–1993 Jack "Extralarge" Costello
Un piede in paradiso Standing in Paradise aka Speaking of the Devil 1991 John "Bull" Webster
Botte di Natale The Fight Before Christmas aka Troublemakers 1994 Moses
Noi siamo angeli (Mini TV Series) We Are Angels 1997 Orso
Fuochi d'artificio Fireworks 1997 The blind singer
Al limite To the Limit 1997 Elorza
Hijos del viento Sons of the Wind 1999 Quintero
Tre per sempre 3–4 Ever 2002 Bops
Cantando dietro i paraventi Singing Behind Screens 2003 Il vecchio capitano
Padre Speranza (TV) Father Hope 2005 Padre Speranza
Mord ist mein Geschäft, Liebling Murder Is My Business, Honey 2009 Pepe
I delitti del cuoco (TV Series) 2010 Carlo Banci


  • Banana Joe (1982, credited as Carlo Pedersoli)[38]
  • Big Man (credited as Carlo Pedersoli)
    • La Fanciulla che ride (1988) (TV)
    • Diva (1989) (TV)
    • Boomerang (1989) (TV)
  • Extralarge (credited as Carlo Pedersoli)
    • Ninja Shadow (1993) (TV)
    • Diamonds (1993) (TV)


  1. ^ Anderson, Ariston (27 June 2016). "Bud Spencer, Italian Spaghetti Western Star, Dies at 86". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  2. ^ "Atleti Delle Fiamme Oro: Bud Spencer, Valentina Vezzali, Fabrizio Rampazzo, Enrico Fabris, Roberto Cammarelle, Stefano Mauro Pizzamiglio". libreriauniversitaria.it. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Bud Spencer on imdb.com
  4. ^ Ilaria Galateria (16 April 2015). "Pronto, parlo con Bud Spencer?" (in Italian).
  5. ^ "Carlo Pedersoli: Cartão de imigração". familysearch.org (in Portuguese).
  6. ^ Edgar Welzel (21 June 2012). "Meu encontro com Bud Spencer". revistabula.com (in Portuguese). Bula Revista.
  7. ^ "Italian swimming records". agendadiana.com. Archived from the original on 18 March 2007.
  8. ^ a b c Carlo Pedersoli. 1980 Passport
  9. ^ Mediterranean Games, 1951. agendadiana.com
  10. ^ Helsinki 1952 official report Archived 11 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine. la84foundation.org.
  11. ^ Melbourne 1956 official report Archived 12 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine. la84foundation.org.
  12. ^ Bud Spencer: Biography, citation: "Ein Jahr nach seinen zweiten olympischen Spielen beendet Carlo plötzlich seine Schwimmerkarriere "
  13. ^ Fomiconi e Pedersoli Caimano d'Oro. federnuoto.it (17 January 2005) (in Italian)
  14. ^ Coach Spencer Le foto più belle. federnuoto.it (30 January 2007) (in Italian)
  15. ^ "Quel fantasma di mio marito (1950) - Full Cast & Crew - IMDb".
  16. ^ "Bud Spencer :" Totò è diventato uno scenziato di tutto ciò"". libero.it (in Italian).
  17. ^ "Fear of dying ? So Bud Spencer thought about death". budterence. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  18. ^ a b "Italian actor Bud Spencer dies at 86". Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  19. ^ Translated from German: pflegmatischen, bärbeißigen Haudrauf mit dem selig-naiven Kinderlächeln und dem goldenen Herzen Tagesspiegel
  20. ^ Andrea Francesco Berni (31 December 2009). "E' morto Glauco Onorato, voce di Bud Spencer". Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  21. ^ "IL MONDO DEI DOPPIATORI - La pagina di SERGIO FIORENTINI". Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  22. ^ "IL MONDO DEI DOPPIATORI - La pagina di FERRUCCIO AMENDOLA". Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  23. ^ "Full text of "Video.Watchdog.159.November.December.2010"". Archive.org. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  24. ^ "Bud Spencer". Bud Spencer/Terence Hill Database. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  25. ^ "BUD SPENCER". Archived from the original on 30 June 2016. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  26. ^ "Mistral Air - ERA". Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  27. ^ "UFC Signs Italian Welterweight Carlo Pedersoli Jr. to Face Bradley Scott at UFC Liverpool". Sherdog.com. 17 May 2018. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  28. ^ "Italian Actor Bud Spencer dies at age 86". Reuters. Milan. 28 June 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  29. ^ "Angst vor dem Sterben? So dachte Bud Spencer über den Tod" (in German). www.budterence.de. 14 July 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  30. ^ "Cinema, è morto Bud Spencer, il grande buono del cinema italiano". La Repubblica. 27 June 2016. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  31. ^ "Actor Bud Spencer Dies at 86". Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  32. ^ "Fondazione Italia Usa, ecco i vincitori del Premio America". Gente D'Italia. 23 September 2018. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  33. ^ "Statue of actor Bud Spencer unveiled in Budapest". Independent. 12 November 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  34. ^ "Statue of Actor Bud Spencer Unveiled in Budapest". Hungary Today. 13 November 2017. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  35. ^ "Bud Spencer & Terence Hill: Slaps and Beans (official website)". Buddy Productions GmbH. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  36. ^ McFerran, Damien (25 July 2018). "Bud Spencer & Terence Hill Arrive On Switch With Slaps And Beans In Tow". Nintendo Life. Gamer Network. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  37. ^ Lopes, Gonçalo (30 July 2018). "Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Slaps and Beans Review (Switch eShop)". Nintendo Life. Gamer Network. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  38. ^ "Banana Joe (1982)". IMDb. Retrieved 24 July 2016.

External linksEdit