Fabio Testi

Fabio Testi (born 2 August 1941) is an Italian actor. After growing up witnessing film work done around Lake Garda, Testi entered the sets of the film and began work as a stuntman and a double on set, where he worked as a stuntman on The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Testi continued stunt work and getting roles in low budget genre films until he was cast in Vittorio De Sica's film The Garden of the Finzi-Continis. Following this film, Testi became a star in Italy, appearing in some artistic films by Giuseppe Patroni Griffi and Claude Chabrol. Testi also continued to work in poliziotteschi genre films in the 1970s as well as a few gialli, and gained infamy for his publicised relationships with actresses Ursula Andress and Charlotte Rampling.[1]

Fabio Testi
Fabio testi 1.JPG
Fabio Testi in The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1970)
Born (1941-08-02) 2 August 1941 (age 79)
Spouse(s)Lola Navarro
(m. 1984–1996)
Partner(s)Ursula Andress (1973–1977)

Testi's popularity as an actor slowed towards the 1980s after which he predominantly worked in television series. By the early 2000s, Testi also began appearing in reality shows such as Gran Hermano VIP and Grande Fratello VIP. Since 2006 he has been involved in Italian politics, running for Mayor of Verona as a member of Cattolici Liberali Cristiani.


Fabio Testi was born on 2 August 1941 in Peschiera del Garda on the Lake Garda in Northern Italy.[2] A number of adventure and pirate films were shot at this lake which led him to enter the sets of these films originally as a stuntman and as a double.[2] He initially took these roles in film and television work as a way of paying for his architecture degree, but later chose to enter film work.[2] Among early work, Testi was a stunt double in Sergio Leone's The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.[2][3] He also played in Leone's follow-up as one of Henry Fonda's henchmen.[3] Most of Testi's role in the film was cut except for one shot, as Leone felt that Testi was too clean-looking for the film.[3]

Demofilo Fidani gave Testi his first on-screen role in his film Straniero... fatti il segno della croce ! (transl. Stranger, Make the Sign of the Cross)[3] Testi continued his career doing what film historian and critic Roberto Curti described as "low-grade genre" films including a Zorro film The Avenger, Zorro by Rafael Romero Marchent, the thriller Death Knocks Twice with Anita Ekberg and singer Dean Reed by Harald Philipp, and more films by Fidani such as One Damned Day at Dawn… Django Meets Sartana! where he played the role of Sartana.[3] While director Fidani was scouting locations for the film Jungle Master, he met Vittorio De Sica who was also location scouting at the Orto Botanico dell'Università di Roma "La Sapienza".[3] Fidani recalled that the two directors spoke: De Sica was looking for a younger Latin actor but couldn't find anyone, and asked Fidani if he knew any.[3] Fidani stated he knew an actor who "can't act to save his life, but with you as a guide ... you know, I never have enough time, I always go for the first take'"[3] Fidani stated later that upon discovering that Testi had been cast by De Sica, he had made Testi cut his hair.[3] Curti noted that Fidani had a "notorious habit of embellishing his own career and filmography" and that the story may not be true.[3]

Testi was cast in The Garden of the Finzi-Continis which won De Sica an Academy Award.[3] Following the release of the film, Testi became a big box office name in Italy.[3] He continued to do genre films as well as artistic films such as Giuseppe Patroni Griffi's 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, Denys de la Patelliere's Le Tueur and Claude Chabrol's Nada and Andrzej Zulawski's That Most Important Thing: Love.[3] In the 1970s, Testi also worked on several genre films, predominantly crime films such as Pasquale Squitieri's Gang War in Naples, Sergio Sollima's Blood in the Streets, Tonino Valerii's Go Gorilla Go and Enzo G. Castellari's The Big Racket.[3] Testi also did work in giallo films, such as Massimo Dallamano's What Have You Done to Solange? and Alberto Negrin's Red Rings of Fear.[3][4] Testi also worked Lucio Fulci on two of his films: Four of the Apocalypse and Contraband.[4]

Testi was cast in a role intended for Maurizio Merli in Stelvio Massi's Speed Cross and Speed Driver.[4] Testi fell out of popularity in film by the 1980s showing up in Gianfranco Baldanello's thriller The Uranium Conspiracy and Silvio Amadio's drama A Gun for a Cop.[4] From the eighties onward, Testi predominantly worked in television, such as Castellari's mini-series Il ritorno di Sandokhan where he replaced Philippe Leroy as Yanez.[4] Testi also began showing up in television reality shows such as L'isola dei famosi in 2003, the Spanish show El gran hermano in 2005, and La talpa in 2008.[4] In the late 2000s, Testi entered politics, where he ran for mayor in Verona.[4]

Personal lifeEdit

Testi was known to be in relationships with several actresses, including Edwige Fenech, Charlotte Rampling, Lynne Frederick,[5] Ursula Andress and Jean Seberg.[3] His longest relationship was with Spanish actress Lola Navarro, whom he began dating in the late 1970s and had three children with.[3] The two married in 1984[6] and separated in 1996.[3] As of 2013, Testi was focusing on his interest in agriculture, and owned the third largest kiwi farm in Italy.[4]

Selected FilmographyEdit

Year Title Role Director(s) Notes Ref(s)
1968 And Now... Make Your Peace with God Sanders Demofilo Fidani [7][8]
1968 Straniero... fatti il segno della Croce! N/A Demofilo Fidani [7][9][10]
1970 One Damned Day at Dawn… Django Meets Sartana! Sartana Demofilo Fidani [11][12]
1970 The Garden of the Finzi-Continis Malnate Vittorio De Sica [13]
1971 Dead Men Ride Roy Aldo Florio [14][15]
1972 The Avenger, Zorro Zorro Rafael Romero Marchent [16]
1972 Le Tueur [fr] Georges Gassot Denys de la Patellière [17]
1972 What Have You Done to Solange? Enrico "Henry" Rosseni Massimo Dallamano [18]
1972 Gang War in Naples Tonino Russo Pasquale Squitieri [19]
1973 Revolver Milo Ruiz Sergio Sollima [20]
1973 Stateline Motel Floyd Gambino Maurizio Lucidi [21]
1974 Nada Diaz Claude Chabrol [22]
1975 That Most Important Thing: Love Servais Mont Andrzej Zulawski [23]
1975 Giubbe rosse Bill Cormack Joe D'Amato [24][25]
1975 Four of the Apocalypse Stubby Preston Lucio Fulci [26][27]
1975 Go Gorilla Go Marco Sartori Tonino Valerii [28]
1976 The Big Racket Inspector Nico Palmieri Enzo G. Castellari [29][30]
1977 The Heroin Busters Fabio Enzo G. Castellari [31]
1977 China 9, Liberty 37 Clayton Dumm Monte Hellman [32][33]
1978 Red Rings of Fear Inspektor Gianni Di Salvo Alberto Negrín [34]
1980 Contraband Luca Ajello Lucio Fulci [35][36]


  1. ^ Maslin, Janet (July 22, 1981). "Dominique Sandra Seeks More Than Her 'Inheritance'". The New York Times.
  2. ^ a b c d Curti 2013, p. 309.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Curti 2013, p. 310.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Curti 2013, p. 311.
  5. ^ "Nuevo Rostro Lynne Frederick: Joven actriz y explendida realidad del cine Ingles, pelicula en España". ¡Hola!: 58–59. June 1975.
  6. ^ Panorama, Issues 950-958 (1984). Arnoldo Mondadori Editore. p. 89
  7. ^ a b Grant 2011, p. 447.
  8. ^ "Ed ora... raccomanda l'anima a Dio! (1968)" (in Italian). Archiviodelcinemaitaliano.it. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  9. ^ Grant 2011, p. 450.
  10. ^ "Straniero... fatti il segno della Croce! (1968)" (in Italian). Archiviodelcinemaitaliano.it. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  11. ^ "Quel maledetto giorno d'inverno... Django e Sartana all' ultimo sangue (1970)". Archiviodelcinemaitaliano.it (in Italian). Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  12. ^ Curti, Roberto (2018). "If You Meet Sartana...". The Complete Sartana (Booklet). Arrow Video. p. 26. FCD1762 / AV151.
  13. ^ "Der Garten der Finzi Contini" (in German). Filmportal.de. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  14. ^ Grant 2011, p. 456.
  15. ^ "Quel maledetto giorno d'inverno... Django e Sartana all' ultimo sangue (1970)". Archiviodelcinemaitaliano.it (in Italian). Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  16. ^ Kinnard & Crnkovich 2017, p. 23.
  17. ^ "Der Killer und der Kommissar" (in German). Filmportal.de. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  18. ^ "Das Geheimnis der grünen Stecknadel" (in German). Filmportal.de. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  19. ^ Curti 2013, p. 59.
  20. ^ Curti 2013, p. 75.
  21. ^ Curti 2013, p. 100.
  22. ^ "Nada" (in French). Bifi.fr. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  23. ^ "L'Important c'est d'aimer" (in French). Bifi.fr. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  24. ^ Bruckner, Ulrich P. (2002). Für ein paar Leichen mehr: der Italo-Western von seinen Anfängen bis heute (in German). Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf. p. 428. ISBN 9783896027054.
  25. ^ "Giubbe rosse (1975)". Archiviodelcinemaitaliano.it (in Italian). Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  26. ^ "I quattro dell'Apocalisse (1975)" (in Italian). Archiviodelcinemaitaliano.it. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  27. ^ Buchanan, Jason. "Four of the Apocalypse". AllMovie. Archived from the original on August 30, 2013. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
  28. ^ Curti 2013, p. 132.
  29. ^ Curti 2013, p. 158.
  30. ^ Curti 2013, p. 159.
  31. ^ Curti 2013, p. 220.
  32. ^ Grant 2011, p. 467.
  33. ^ "Clayton Drumm [Amore, piombo e furore] (1978)". Archiviodelcinemaitaliano.it (in Italian). Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  34. ^ "Orgie des Todes" (in German). Filmportal.de. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  35. ^ Curti 2013, p. 276.
  36. ^ Curti 2013, p. 277.


External linksEdit