Luigi "Gigi" Proietti (November 2, 1940 – November 2, 2020) was an Italian actor, voice actor, comedian, director, musician, singer and television presenter.
Proietti in 2020
November 2, 1940
|Died||November 2, 2020 (aged 80)|
|Partner(s)||Sagitta Alter (1962–)|
He was born in Rome to Romano Proietti, originally from Umbria, and Giovanna Ceci, a housewife. During his youth he was keen on singing and on playing guitar, piano, accordion and double bass in several Roman nightclubs. He enrolled in the Faculty of Law at the La Sapienza University, where he attended the mimicry courses of the University Theatre Centre held by Giancarlo Cobelli, who immediately noticed his talent as a musician and booked him for an avantgarde play.
After several stage works, in 1966 Proietti debuted both in cinema, in Pleasant Nights, and on television, in the TV-series I grandi camaleonti. His first personal success came in 1971, when he replaced Domenico Modugno in the stage musical Alleluja brava gente by Garinei & Giovannini, starring alongside Renato Rascel.
In 1974, after playing the role of Neri Chiaramantesi in the drama La cena delle beffe, alongside Carmelo Bene and Vittorio Gassman, in 1976 started a fruitful collaboration with playwright Roberto Lerici, with whom he wrote and directed his stage plays, starting with the one-man show A me gli occhi, please (Give me your eyes, please, 1976, reported on the scene in 1993, 1996 and 2000, in a memorable performance at the Olympic Stadium in his hometown). Initially planned to be performed 6 times, the show exceeded 300 performances, with an average audience of 2,000 per performance.
He took part in several international movies, including The Appointment (1969), directed by Sidney Lumet, A Wedding (1978), directed by Robert Altman, and Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (1978), directed by Ted Kotcheff.
Proietti was also a voice dubber of films and television shows into the Italian language. He has dubbed the voices of actors such as Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone, Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Dustin Hoffman, Paul Newman, Charlton Heston and Marlon Brando. His credits also include the role of the Genie in the Italian version of the Aladdin film series and Draco in Dragonheart. He also provided the Italian voice of Gandalf in The Hobbit film series, replacing the late Gianni Musy, who dubbed Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings, as well as Sylvester from Looney Tunes during the 1960s.
Proietti was interested in music from a young age. During his time singing in nightclubs and outdoor bars, he was initially not interested in pursuing an acting career. Proietti starred in and performed the opening and closing theme song for Il Circolo Pickwick which aired on Rai 1 in 1968 and at that time, he met Lucio Battisti, who was signed with the record label Dischi Ricordi.
In the mid-1990s, Proietti was a member of Trio Melody alongside Peppino di Capri and Stefano Palatresi. The group was only active from the Sanremo Music Festival 1995 until 1996 and they released only one album. Proietti also enjoyed a successful solo career and he released more than 11 albums and 15 singles.
On 1 November 2020, Proietti suffered a heart attack whilst in the hospital, having been admitted fifteen days prior for heart-related problems. He was transferred to intensive care where his condition was described as critical. Proietti died the following morning, in the early hours of 2 November 2020, the day of his 80th birthday.
After his death, the mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi arranged for the Silvano Toti Globe Theatre to be renamed after Proietti. Proietti's funeral took place on November 5 at the Church of the Artists. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, no more than 60 people were in attendance. Proietti was cremated at the Cimitero Flaminio and his ashes were placed at the Protestant Cemetery per his request.
Proietti had been in a relationship since 1962 with Swedish former tour guide Sagitta Alter, with whom he had two daughters, Susanna and Carlotta. His nephew Raffaele has followed him into a voice dubbing career.
- Let's Talk About Women (1964) - Omero
- Pleasant Nights (1966) - Mario Di Colli
- Catch as Catch Can (1967) - Make-up man
- A Complicated Girl (1968) - Pietro
- The Appointment (1969) - Fabre
- The Libertine (1969) - Sandro Maldini
- Brancaleone at the Crusades (1970) - Death / Pattume / Colombino
- Dropout (1970) - Cieco
- The Howl (1970) - Carlo "Coso"
- Lady Liberty (1971) - Michael Bruni
- Bubù (1971) - Giulio the thief
- Gli ordini sono ordini (1972) - Mario Pasini
- La Tosca (1973) - Mario Cavaradossi
- Property Is No Longer a Theft (1973) - Paco
- Le farò da padre (1974) - Saverio Mazzacolli
- Conviene far bene l'amore (1975)
- Febbre da cavallo (1976) - Bruno "Mandrake" Fioretti
- House of Pleasure for Women (1976) - Ivano Zuccoli
- The Inheritance (1976) - Pippo Ferramonti
- Languid Kisses, Wet Caresses (1976) - Orfeo Scardamazzi
- Beach House (1977) - Gigi
- A Wedding (1978) - Dino Corelli I
- Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (1978) - Ravello
- Happy Hobos (1979) - The Hotel Keeper
- I Don't Understand You Anymore (1980) - Alberto Spinelli
- "FF.SS." (1983) - Curtatone
- Mille bolle blu (1993) - Narrator
- Revenge of the Musketeers (1994) - Cardinal Mazarin
- Dirty Linen (1999) - Professor Rodolfo Melchiorri
- Febbre da cavallo - La mandrakata (2002) - Bruno "Mandrake" Fioretti
- The Jokes (2004) - God / Waiter / Mexican Singer / Farmer / Lawyer and his client / Conductor
- Un'estate al mare (2008) - Giulio
- Un'estate ai Caraibi (2009) - Alberto
- La vita è una cosa meravigliosa (2010) - Claudio
- All at Sea (2011) - Nino
- Box Office 3D: The Filmest of Films (2011) - Professor Silenzio
- Stelle (2012) - The narrator 
- Indovina chi viene a Natale? (2013) - Leonardo Sereni
- Ma tu di che segno sei? (2014) - Giuliano De Marchis
- The Prize (2017) - Giovanni Passamonte
- Pinocchio (2019) - Mangiafuoco
- Genie in Aladdin
- Genie in The Return of Jafar
- Genie in Aladdin and the King of Thieves
- Sylvester the Cat in Looney Tunes (1960–1970)
- Bryan in Happy Feet Two
- Devon / Cornwall in Quest for Camelot
- Gandalf in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
- Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
- Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
- Lenny Bruce in Lenny
- Inspector Ginko in Danger: Diabolik
- John "Johnny Boy" Civello in Mean Streets
- Monroe Stahr in The Last Tycoon
- Sam "Ace" Rothstein in Casino
- Johnny Kovak in F.I.S.T.
- Rocky Balboa in Rocky
- George in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
- King Arthur in Camelot
- John Morgan in A Man Called Horse
- Draco in Dragonheart
- Alfred Hitchcock in Hitchcock
- Sam Varner in The Stalking Moon
- The Sultan in Aladdin
- Paris Pitman Jr. in There Was a Crooked Man...
- Player King in Hamlet
- Mark Antony in Julius Caesar
- Weldon Penderton in Reflections in a Golden Eye
- Jim Beckley in Action Man
- Bob Larkin in Firecreek
- Cass Henderson in Any Wednesday
- Helmut Wallenberg in Salon Kitty
- James Langdon in The Undefeated
- Buffalo Bill in Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson
- Godefroy in The Visitors
- Lorenzo St. DuBois in The Producers
- Enzo in The Art of Racing in the Rain
- Lucky in Lucky, the Inscrutable
Awards and NominationsEdit
- "Gigi Proietti's dubbing contributions". Antoniogenna.net. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
- Gigi Proietti (13 November 2013). Tutto sommato: Qualcosa mi ricordo. Rizzoli. ISBN 978-8858662687.
- Enrico Lancia, Roberto Poppi. Dizionario del cinema italiano: Gli artisti. Gli attori dal 1930 ai giorni nostri. Gremese Editore, 2003. ISBN 8884402697.
- "Dopo la morte di Gigi Proietti, il Genio di Aladdin è rimasto senza voce" (in Italian). cinema.fanpage.it. 2 November 2020. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
- "Gigi Proietti – Attore – Biografia e Filmographia – Ecodelcinema". ecodelcinema.com. Retrieved 15 December 2019.
- "Gigi Proietti ricoverato: è gravissimo dopo attacco cardiaco. In clinica da 15 giorni". www.ilmessaggero.it (in Italian). Retrieved 22 November 2020.
- "Morto Gigi Proietti, addio al grande mattatore della scena italiana". La Repubblica. 2 November 2020. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
- "Addio al grande attore e doppiatore Gigi Proietti" (in Italian). Il mondo dei doppiatori. 2 November 2020. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
- "Gigi Proietti, il suo nome per il Globe Theatre di Roma" (in Italian). tg24.sky.it. 3 November 2020. Retrieved 28 November 2020.
- "I funerali di Proietti: Roma e Gigi, l'ultimo abbraccio (a distanza). Al Globe anche Veltroni e Brignano" (in Italian). roma.repubblica.it. 5 November 2020. Retrieved 28 November 2020.
- Renato Franco (2 November 2020). "Sagitta Alter, "moglie" mai sposata di Gigi Proietti. Con l'ex guida turistica svedese 58 anni insieme e due figlie" [Sagitta Alter, Gigi Proietti's de facto wife. 58 years together and two daughters with the former Swedish tour guide]. Corriere della Sera (in Italian). Retrieved 2 November 2020.
- "La pagina di Raffaele Proietti". antoniogenna.net (in Italian).
- "Viterbo piange la morte di Gigi Proietti suo cittadino onorario". tusciaup.com (in Italian).
- Renzi, Yann (1 December 2012), Stelle (Short, Fantasy), Vasco Bailly-Gentaud, Vanna Hong, Pierre Porquet, Gigi Proietti, Imagination Entertainment, MediaSponsor, retrieved 22 November 2020
Media related to Luigi Proietti at Wikimedia Commons