Ninetto Davoli

Giovanni "Ninetto" Davoli (born 11 October 1948) is an Italian actor who became known through his roles in several of Pier Paolo Pasolini's films.

Ninetto Davoli
Ninetto Davoli.jpg
Davoli in 2014 in Venice
Born (1948-10-11) 11 October 1948 (age 74)
Years active1964–present
Height1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)


Davoli was born in San Pietro a Maida, Calabria. He was discovered by poet, novelist and film director Pier Paolo Pasolini, then 43, who had begun a relationship with Davoli, then a 15-year-old boy, in 1963. Pasolini considered him to be "the great love of his life," and he later cast him in his 1966 film Uccellacci e uccellini (literally Bad Birds and Little Birds but translated in English as The Hawks and the Sparrows), co-starred with celebrated comic Totò. Pasolini became the youth's mentor and friend. "Even though their sexual relations lasted only a few years, Ninetto continued to live with Pasolini and was his constant companion, as well as appearing in six more of his films."[1]

First cast in a non-speaking role in the film Il vangelo secondo Matteo (The Gospel According to St. Matthew, 1964), Davoli played mostly comical-naïve roles in several more of Pasolini's films, the last of which was Il fiore delle Mille e una Notte (A Thousand and One Nights/Arabian Nights, 1974).

The Trilogy of Life was made at a harsh junction in the lives of Davoli and Pasolini. It was during the filming of The Canterbury Tales that Davoli left Pasolini to marry a woman. Behind the scenes, this ruined Pasolini's mood and he began composing nihilistic and angry poetry.[2] For his next film, Arabian Nights, Pasolini did with Davoli what he had never done in a previous film: he showed Davoli's naked genitalia on screen. It is in this film that Davoli's character Aziz is a very selfish and unfeeling man whose rejection of a woman causes her death and which results in his own castration on screen. Pasolini's own hurt feelings are very evident here in what is for the most part a lighthearted fantasy film.

After Pasolini's death in 1975, Davoli turned increasingly to television productions.

In May 2015, Davoli was announced as recipient of a special Nastro d'Argento Career Award.[3]

Selected filmographyEdit



  • Le avventure di Calandrino e Buffalmaco (1975, TV Mini-Series)
  • Addavenì quel giorno e quella notte (1979, TV Mini-Series) - Er Samurai
  • Sogni e bisogni (1985, TV Mini-Series) - Er Caramella
  • La romana (1988, TV Mini-Series)
  • L'altro enigma (1988, TV Movie) - Il barbone
  • Il vigile urbano (1989)
  • L'avvocato porta (1997) - Remondino
  • La banda (2000, TV Movie)
  • Vite a prendere (2004, TV Movie) - Enrico Feroci


  • Siciliano, Enzo (1982). Pasolini: A Biography. New York: Random House. p. 167.
  1. ^ Ireland, Doug (4 August 2005). "Restoring Pasolini". LA Weekly. LA Weekly, LP. Archived from the original on 27 December 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2010.
  2. ^ The Secret Humiliation of Chaucer documentary
  3. ^ Maria Pia Fusco (30 May 2015). "L'omaggio a Davoli con il premio alla carriera "Ma io non sono un attore"". La Repubblica. Retrieved 3 June 2015.

External linksEdit