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The Man
Federico Fellini was born in Rimini, a resort city on the Adriatic in 1920, to a strongly Catholic family. Fellini was fascinated at an early age by the circuses and vaudeville performers that his town attracted. 

Fellini, while educated in Catholic schools, soon became critical of the Church, but maintained a strong spiritual connection. His first exposure to the working world found him in such diverse positions as a crime reporter, a caricature artist, and a gag writer for actor Aldo Fabrizi. Fabrizi's thesbian world opened up new possibilities for Fellini's own self-expression. 

In 1943, Fellini met and married actress Giulietta Masina, who would later appear in several of his films. Fellini called Masina the greatest influence on his work.

A chance encounter with Roberto Rossellini jump-started Fellini's career as a visionary director and screen writer. Fellini drew on his childhood experiences and his prolific imagination to create some of the most memorable films of all time. 

Fellini's screenwriting and directing career spanned several decades and he continued to pursue other projects in semi-retirement. At the Academy Awards ceremony in March of 1993, Fellini received a special Oscar for lifetime achievement in filmmaking, which he dedicated to Masina in his acceptance speech. In August of that year, Fellini suffered a stroke, and went into a coma following a heart attack in October. After his death at age 73 on October 31st—one day after he and Masina (who was to die of cancer less than five months later) observed their 50th wedding anniversary—tens of thousands of people packed the narrow streets of Fellini's hometown of Rimini, applauding as the director's casket was carried from the main piazza to the cinema where Fellini had watched his first films as a child (and which he featured in Amacord). It was a fitting tribute to one of the cinema's greatest artists, who had become a national treasure for Italy and a respected master the world over.

 

 


"The Man, The Movies, The Vision  . . . Federico Fellini"  all original  page content and web images:
Copyright ©2000 Dina Berlingieri.  All rights reserved. 
Last Revised:  July 11, 2000.