Terence Hill in Django, Prepare a Coffin (1968)
29 March 1939
|Occupation||Actor, film director, screenwriter, film producer|
|Spouse(s)||Lori Hill (1967–present; two children)|
|Children||Jess Hill (1969)|
Ross Hill (adoptive; 1973–1990)
Hill started his career as a child actor and went on to multiple starring roles in action and comedy films, many with longtime film partner and friend Bud Spencer. During the height of his popularity Hill was among Italy's highest-paid actors. Hill's most widely seen films include comic and standard Westerns all´Italiana ("Italian-style Westerns", colloquially called "Spaghetti Westerns"), some based on popular novels by German author Karl May about the American frontier.
Of these, the most famous are Lo chiamavano Trinità (They Call Me Trinity, 1970) and Il mio nome è Nessuno (My Name Is Nobody, 1973), co-starring Henry Fonda. His film Django, Prepare a Coffin, shot in 1968 by director Ferdinando Baldi, and co-starring Horst Frank and George Eastman, was featured at the 64th Venice Film Festival in 2007.
Hill, whose stage name was the product of a publicity stunt by film producers, also went on to a successful television career in Italy.
Hill was born on 29 March 1939 in Venice, Italy. Hill's mother, Hildegard Girotti (née Thieme), was a German, from Dresden; his father, Girolamo Girotti, was Italian, and a chemist by occupation.
He was discovered by Italian filmmaker Dino Risi at a swimming meet at the age of 12, and became a child actor, appearing in Risi's Il viale della speranza (1953), billed as "Girolamo Girotti". He would act as "Mario Girotti". "They were looking for a boy gang leader and they found me," he later said.
He had small roles in Voice of Silence (1953) with Jean Marais, Too Young for Love (1953), and It Happened in the Park (1953), and had a particularly good part in Vacation with a Gangster (1953) with an imported star, Marc Lawrence.
Girotti had his first lead in Guaglione (1956). He could also be seen in Mamma sconosciuta (1956), I vagabondi delle stelle (1956), La grande strada azzurra (1956) with Yves Montand and Alida Valli, and Lazzarella (1957).
He had support parts in Il padrone delle ferriere (1959) with Virna Lisi, Juke box - Urli d'amore (1959), and Hannibal (1959) with Victor Mature and Carlo Pedersoli, who would later become known as Bud Spencer. Girotti had the lead roles in Spavaldi e innamorati (1959) and Cerasella (1959), a teen comedy.
It was back to support roles with Carthage in Flames (1960), Un militare e mezzo (1960), and The Story of Joseph and His Brethren (1961) with Geoffrey Horne and Robert Morley, directed by Irving Rapper.
Girotti had aupport parts in The Wonders of Aladdin (1961) with Donald O'Connor and directed by Henry Levin and Mario Bava, Pecado de amor (1961), Seven Seas to Calais (1962) with Rod Taylor, and The Shortest Day (1963).
Girotti secured a major film role in Luchino Visconti's The Leopard (1963) alongside Burt Lancaster and Alain Delon. During this time he studied classical literature for three years at an Italian university.
In 1964, he returned to Germany and there appeared in a series of Heimatfilme, adventure and western films, based on novels by German author Karl May. These included Last of the Renegades (1964) with Lex Barker; three films with Stewart Granger, Amongst Vultures (1964), The Oil Prince (1965) and Old Surehand (1965); Shots in 3/4 Time (1965); Duel at Sundown (1965) with Peter Van Eyck; Call of the Forest (1965), an Austrian movie; Die Nibelungen, Teil 1 - Siegfried (1965) and Die Nibelungen, Teil 2 - Kriemhilds Rache (1967).
Girotti then appeared alongside Bud Spencer (then known as Carlo Pedersoli) in Giuseppe Colizzi's Spaghetti Western God Forgives... I Don't! (1967). At the time cast and crew in Westerns frequently adopted American names to give the film a better chance of selling in English speaking countries; Griotti changes his to "Terence Hill". He took "Hill" from his wife's mother's name and "Terence" from a book on Roman poets. The film was a huge hit - the most popular film of the year in Italy - and established him as a star.
Hill followed it with a musicarello, The Crazy Kids of the War (1967), then did a Western, Django, Prepare a Coffin (1968) for director Ferdinando Baldi, a sequel to Django (1966) with Hill playing the role done by Franco Nero in the original; it co-starred Horst Frank and George Eastman (and would be featured, much later, at the 64th Venice Film Festival, in 2007).
Hill was a leading man in a musical Western Crazy Westerners (1968), then was reunited with Spencer in Ace High (1968), a sequel to God Forgives with a cast including several American actors such as Eli Wallach. Hill did The Tough and the Mighty (1968), a biopic of Graziano Mesina, then a second sequel to God Forgives, Boot Hill (1969), co starring Spencer and Woody Strode.
Hill did The Wind's Fierce (1970) then had a huge hit with Spencer with the comedy Western They Call Me Trinity (1971). Hill did a swashbuckler, Blackie the Pirate (1971), in which Spencer had a small role; they reteamed properly for a Trinity sequel, Trinity Is Still My Name (1972). It was even more popular than the original and had a successful release in the USA.
Hill did a modern day crime drama The Hassled Hooker (1972) and a comedy Western without Spencer, Man of the East (1972). He and Spencer did ... All the Way, Boys! (1972), their first non-Western though it was still a comic adventure film.
Hill has stated in interviews that My Name Is Nobody (1973), in which he co-starred with Henry Fonda, is his personal favorite of all his films. The film was based on an idea for Sergio Leone.
Hill and Spencer appeared in Watch Out, We're Mad (1974) and Two Missionaries (1974) then without him he made the spaghetti Western A Genius, Two Partners and a Dupe (1975). He moved from Italy to live in the USA and settled in the Berkeshires.
Dino De Laurentiis cast Hill in his first American film, Mr. Billion (1977), directed by Jonathan Kaplan for 20th Century Fox co starring Valerie Perrine and Jackie Gleason. It was a box office flop.
Hill returned to Italy for Crime Busters (1977) with Spencer, then he made another English language movie, March or Die (1977), an $8 million French Foreign Legion tale for Lew Grade, co starring Gene Hackman and Catherine Deneuve. It was a box office disappointment.
Despite being fluent in Italian and English, Hill was usually dubbed by other actors in both languages. In the Italian versions of his films, his voice was provided by a variety of actors until the late 1960s, where he was primarily dubbed by Sergio Graziani; from 1970 to 1983, Hill was voiced by Pino Locchi, and by Michele Gammino from 1983 to 1996. For English dubs, Hill was dubbed by Lloyd Battista in six films, including the "Cat Stevens and Hutch Bessy" trilogy, while Roger Browne dubbed him in most of his early 1970s films (They Call Me Trinity to A Genius, Two Partners and a Dupe); from Mr. Billion onward, Hill dubbed his own English voice.
Hill and Spencer starred in Odds and Evens (1978), I'm for the Hippopotamus (1979), Who Finds a Friend Finds a Treasure (1981), and Go for It (1983). Without Spencer, Hill made Org (1979), which he also produced, and Super Fuzz (1980).
Hill did The World of Don Camillo (1984), which he also produced and directed. He teamed with Spencer for Double Trouble (1984), and Miami Supercops (1985), then did They Call Me Renegade (1987), based on a story by Hill.
In 2000, he landed the leading role in the Italian television series Don Matteo (2000–2019), about an inspirational parish priest who assists the Carabinieri in solving crimes local to his community. This role earned Hill an international "Outstanding Actor of the Year" award at the 42nd Monte Carlo Television Festival, alongside ones for the series, and for producer Alessandro Jacchia at that festival.
During the series' run he appeared in TV moviea L'uomo che sognava con le aquile (2009), Riding the Dark (2009), Doc West (2009), and Triggerman (2009); he co-directed the last two.
In the summer of 2010, Hill filmed another Italian television series for the Italian state television channel Rai Uno, this time entitled Un passo dal cielo (One Step from Heaven), playing a local chief of the state foresters in the region of Alto Adige, with a second season filmed in 2012.
On 19 April 2018 he directed My Name Is Thomas, which he also appeared in.. The same year it was released the co-operative beat'em up videogame Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Slaps and Beans.
Hill was married to Lori Hill (née Zwicklbauer). He had two sons, Jess (born 1969) and Ross (born 1973 died 1990). Ross was killed in a car accident in Stockbridge, Massachusetts in the winter of 1990, while Terence was preparing to film Lucky Luke (1991) on the Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe, New Mexico.
- Il viale della speranza (1953)
- La voce del silenzio (1953) as Boy at the barrier
- Un Amore per te (1953)
- Villa Borghese (1953) as Un compagno di scuola di Anna Maria
- Vacanze col gangster (1954) as Gianni
- La vena d'oro (1955) as Corrado
- Gli sbandati (1955) as Wounded Estray
- Divisione Folgore (1955) as Paratrooper Delavigne
- Guaglione (1956) as Franco Danieli
- Mamma sconosciuta (1956) as Gianni Martini
- I vagabondi delle stelle (1956) as Franco
- Lazzarella (1957) as Luciano Pico
- La grande strada azzurra (1957) as Renato
- Il Novelliere: Il ritratto di Dorian Gray (1958, TV)
- Anna di Brooklyn (1958) as Ciccillo - Don Luigi's nephew
- La spada e la croce (1958) as Lazzaro
- Primo Amore (1959)
- Il padrone delle ferriere (1959) as Octave de Beaulieu
- Juke box urli d'amore (1959) as Othello
- Annibale (1960) as Quintilius
- Spavaldi e innamorati (1959) as Paolo
- Cerasella (1959) as Bruno
- Cartagine in fiamme (1960) as Tsour
- Un militare e mezzo (1960) as Giorgio Strazzonelli
- Giuseppe venduto dai fratelli (1961) as Benjamin
- Le meraviglie di Aladino (1961) as Prince Moluk
- Pecado de amor (1961) as Ángel Vega
- Il Dominatore dei sette mari (1962) as Babington
- Il giorno più corto (1962) as Soldato austriaco
- Il Gattopardo (1963) as Count Cavriaghi
- Winnetou - 2. Teil (1964) as Lt. Robert Merril
- Unter Geiern (1964) as Baker Jr.
- Shots in Threequarter Time (1965) as Enrico
- The Oil Prince (1965) as Richard Forsythe
- Call of the Forest (1965) as Marcello Scalzi
- Duell vor Sonnenuntergang (1965) as Larry McGow
- Ruf der Wälder (1965) as Marcello Scalzi
- Old Surehand (1965) as Toby
- Die Nibelungen, Teil 1: Siegfried (1966/1967) as Giselher
- Io non protesto, io amo (1967) as Gabriele
- Dio perdona... io no! (1967) as Cat Stevens
- La Feldmarescialla (1967) as Prof. Giuliano Fineschi
- Preparati la bara! (1968) as Django
- Little Rita nel West (1968) as Black Star
- I quattro dell'Ave Maria (1968) as Cat Stevens
- Barbagia (1969) as Graziano Cassitta
- La collina degli stivali (1969) as Cat Stevens
- La collera del vento (1970) as Marco
- Lo Chiamavano Trinità... (1970) as Trinity
- Il corsaro nero (1971) as Blackie
- McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971) as Townsperson
- ...continuavano a chiamarlo Trinità (1971) as Trinity
- Il vero e il falso (1972) as Marco Manin
- E poi lo chiamarono il magnifico (1972) as Sir Thomas Fitzpatrick Phillip Moore
- ...Più forte ragazzi! (1972) as Plata
- Il mio nome è Nessuno (1973) as Nessuno
- Porgi l'altra guancia (1974) as Father / Padre J.
- ...altrimenti ci arrabbiamo! (1974) as Kid
- Un genio, due compari, un pollo (1975) as Joe Thanks / Nessuno
- Mr. Billion (1977) as Guido Falcone
- I due superpiedi quasi piatti (1977) as Matt Kirby
- March or Die (1977) as Marco Segrain
- Pari e dispari (1978) as Johnny Firpo
- Org (1979) as Zohommm!!!
- Io sto con gli ippopotami (1979) as Slim
- Poliziotto superpiù (1980) as Policeman Dave Speed
- Chi trova un amico, trova un tesoro (1981) as Alan
- Nati con la camicia (1983) as Rosco Frazer / Steinberg
- Don Camillo (1983) as Don Camillo
- Non c'è due senza quattro (1984) as Eliot Vance / Bastiano Coimbra de la Coronilla y Azevedo
- Miami Supercops (I poliziotti dell'8ª strada) (1985) as Doug Bennet / Officer Jay Donell
- Renegade - Un osso troppo duro (1987) as Luke
- Lucky Luke (1991) as Lucky Luke
- Lucky Luke (8 episodes, 1992) as Lucky Luke
- Botte di Natale (1994) as Travis
- Virtual Weapon (1997) as Skims
- Don Matteo (12 seasons/256 episodes, 2000–2019) as Don Matteo
- L'uomo che sognava con le aquile (2006, TV) as Rocco Ventura
- L'uomo che cavalcava nel buio (2009) as Rocco
- Doc West (2009) as Doc West
- Triggerman (2011) as Doc West
- Un passo dal cielo (46 episodes, 2010–2015) as Pietro
- My Name Is Thomas (2018) as Thomas
He has directed several films as well as several television productions:
- La chiamavano Maryam (2017) as Thomas
- "Terence Hill". The New York Times.
- Brennan, Sandra. "Terence Hill". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
- Wilske, Dirk (2005). "Der Italowestern - von der Gewalt zum Humor: Filmanalysen ausgewählter Beispiele". Google Books.[full citation needed]
- Badtke, Thomas (11 April 2012). "Terence Hill - exklusiv und beeindruckend". N-TV.de. Retrieved 24 January 2017.(German)
- Mills, Bart (16 January 1977). "Movies: 'March or Die' a Dusty Venture for Terence Hill". Los Angeles Times. p. t36.
- As a Comrade, He Could Have Been A Contender: [Review] Holden, Stephen. New York Times 6 June 2001: E.1.
- First American Film for Hill Thomas, Bob. Los Angeles Times 3 Sep 1976: f16
- CARTHAGE IN FLAMES "(Cartagine in Fiamme)" Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 27, Iss. 312, (Jan 1, 1960): 169.
- 'ALADDIN' PERFECT FOR CHILD AUDIENCE Stinson, Charles. Los Angeles Times 16 Dec 1961: B6.
- "Old Surehand (1965)". IMDb. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
- Paola Naldi (2007). "Il nuovo cinema cerca gloria," at La Repubblica [Bologna]. 29 August 2007. bologna.repubblica.it. Retrieved 11 May 2015. Quote: "Per il resto l´istituzione diretta da Gianluca Farinelli, impegnatissima a Bologna con la rassegna dedicata a Chaplin, sarà presente alla manifestazione semplicemente come prestatrice (attività che svolge tutto l´anno) facendo arrivare sul grande schermo veneziano due pellicole per la rassegna "Western all´Italiana": «Preparati la abara», girato nel 1968 da Ferdinando Baldi, con Terence Hill, Horst Frank, George Eastman, José Torres; «I sette del Texas», anno 1964, di Joaquin Luis Romero Marchent."
- Canby, Vincent (18 July 1974). "Il Mio nome e Nessuno (1974) 'My Name Is Nobody,' Puts Fabled West on Film:The Cast". The New York Times.
- Jonathan Kaplan on Mr. Billion at Trailers From Hell
- Terence Hill Makes American Film Debut in 'Mr. Billion' Los Angeles Times 7 Mar 1977: e7.
- Battista, Lloyd, Anthony, Tony. Get Mean (Blu-ray). Blue Underground. Event occurs at 19:00.
- "Terence Hill". Bud Spencer/Terence Hill Database. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
- SUPER FUZZ' AND BORGNINE: [Review] MITGANG, HERBERT. New York Times 17 May 1982: C.14.
- Video -- Lucky Luke directed by Terence Hill Kermode, Mark. Sight and Sound; London Vol. 4, Iss. 1, (Jan 1994): 61.
- In the U.S., Silenzio on the Set By ANDY MEISLERLOS ANGELES. New York Times 2 Aug 1992: H25.
- Jeri Jacquin (8 October 2014). patch.com "Don Matteo: Season 7 & 8 from MHz International Mystery". Imperial Beach Patch. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
- "'Il mio nome è Thomas': Terence Hill torna al cinema, un cowboy on the road". La Repubblica (in Italian). GEDI Gruppo Editoriale S.p.A. 17 March 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
- 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.
- Lopes, Gonçalo (30 July 2018). "Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Slaps and Beans Review (Switch eShop)". Nintendo Life. Gamer Network. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
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