Walter Chiari

1. – Franco Fabrizi, I Vitelloni, Italy-France, 1953. When he couldn’t land Fausto Tozzi for the chief stud among Rimini’s “overgrown calves” – young bloods, idlers, drones, rat pack – Federico Fellini brushed aside all usual suspects (Chiari, Alberto Sordi, Raf Vallone) and hired the Elvis-looking Fabrizi – and then had him dubbed by Nino Manfredi! Fellini’s third of his 25 screen works (and first global triumph) was the major influence on such US treasures as American Graffiti, Bye Bye Braverman, Diner, Mean Streets, even Seinfeld.

2. – Anthony Quinn, La strada, Italy, 1953. Federico Fellini was never interested in Chiari… or any Italian, for the brutish Zampano… While changing producers to keep his wife, Giulietta Masina, as the waif Gelsomina (the role he had created for her), the new, young maestro of the cinema Italiano visited the shooting of Peppino Amato’s Donne proibite (Angels of Darkness)… and found his male stars. Americans, both. Quinn’s agent stupidly axed a profit-cut deal, thereby losing his client millions of dollars after Fellini 4½ became the first winner of an Oscar for a foreign language film. Basehart also starred in Fellini’s next film, Il bidone, made another film with Masina and was rumoured as her lover.

 Birth year: 1924Death year: 1991Other name: Casting Calls:  2