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Lino Ventura

Lino Ventura

Angiolino Giuseppe Pasquale Ventura (14 July 1919 – 22 October 1987), known as Lino Ventura, was an Italian actor who grew up in France and starred in many French films. Born in Italy, he was raised in Paris by his mother. After a first career as a professional wrestler was ended by injury, he was offered a part as a gang boss in the Jacques Becker film Touchez pas au grisbi (1954) and rapidly became one of France's favourite film actors, playing opposite many other great stars and working with such leading directors as Louis Malle, Claude Sautet, and Claude Miller. Usually portraying a tough man, either a criminal or a cop, he also featured as a leader of the Resistance in the Jean-Pierre Melville directed Army of Shadows (L'armée des ombres, 1969). After one of his four children, a daughter, was born handicapped, he and his wife founded a charity Perce-Neige (Snowdrop) which aids disabled children and their parents. He was voted 23rd in a poll for the 100 greatest Frenchmen.
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