Eduardo De Filippo

Eduardo De Filippo

Eduardo De Filippo was a Neopolitan playwright, director, and actor known for his work in Italian theater and cinema. He was born into a family of dramatists--his father was also a playwright and his mother a costume designer. In 1931 he formed a theater company with his sister, Titina, and brother, Peppino. The three siblings also often appeared together in films. He penned several popular plays for the company throughout the decade, culminating in two works that would become his best known, "Napoli Milionaria" in 1945 and "Filumena Marturano" a year later. Titina became so well known for her portrayal of the title character in the latter film that she was often called Filumena by the Italian public. De Filippo made a film version of "Filumena Marturano," again with Titina, in 1951. He also maintained a healthy career as a film actor himself, making his debut in the 1933 comedy "I Sing for You Alone." As a director De Filippo enjoyed success throughout the '40s and '50s, often helming the film versions of his own plays. In 1954 he starred in Vittorio De Sica's comedy "L'oro di Napoli" with Toto and Sophia Loren. He continued to write, direct, and act up until 1981. Much beloved in his home country, he was made an honorary senator of Italy that same year. He died in 1984.