Franco Fabrizi

If Cary Grant or George Clooney were supporting actors in 1950s Italy, they would be a lot like Franco Fabrizi. Originally trained as a song-and-dance man, the suave, smoldering Fabrizi transitioned into screen acting as a prominent figure in "fotoromanzas," a sort of early, still-photo form of soap opera which appeared first in magazines and then in cinemas. Shortly after making his feature film debut with a bit part in the stirring crime-drama romance "Story of a Love Affair" (which also marked the famed director Michelangelo Antonioni's start), he was cast as one of the leads in Frederico Fellini's pivotal, semi-autobiographical coming-of-age tale, "I Vitelloni" (1953). The persona he created in that film-that of a scheming, insatiable skirt chaser-followed him not only into his subsequent Fellini-helmed performance as a small-town con man in the picturesque drama "The Swindle" ('55) but throughout the rest of his career and into his personal life. Romantically linked to dozens of Italian starlets via the glossy pages of gossip magazines, he appeared in nearly 125 films and television series over the course of four decades, almost always as a lascivious lady killers and materialistic cads. In 1995, he died of cancer at the age of 79.