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SWDB Hall of Fame

From The Spaghetti Western Database

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SWDB Hall of Fame

The purpose of the Hall of Fame is to honor and recognize the accomplishments of those individuals who have contributed in some way to the Spaghetti Western industry. Each year, a panel of forum members casts votes for a select few individuals to be inducted into the following categories: lead actors, supporting actors, actresses, directors, composers, producers, cinematographers, writers, and non-participants (a category which may include website owners, authors, historians, fans/observers, and owners of dvd companies).

The inaugural class for 2010 have been announced.



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Lee Van Cleef

January 9, 1925 (Somerville NJ, USA) – December 16, 1989 (Oxnard CA, USA) Along with Clint Eastwood, Van Cleef was one of the two most iconic American stars of Italian westerns. Initially a character actor in many Hollywood westerns such as Hign Noon (1952), it wasn’t until he ventured to Italy that Van Cleef got his big break portraying the iconic “man in black”, a sort of father figure to Eastwood’s “man with no name” in For a Few Dollars More (1965). He than portrayed one of the greatest western villains in history, “Angel Eyes”, in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966). After these successes, and unlike Eastwood, Van Cleef decided to stay in Italy and forge his legacy, becoming one of the biggest box office stars in Europe, although this choice would negatively affect his popularity in America. His hawk like features, menacing scowl, and imposing physical presence, ensured Van Cleef numerous lead roles as both the mature anti-hero, and as the ruthless villain. Van Cleef’s presence in some of the best and most commercially successful Spaghetti Westerns ever made, such as the The Big Gundown (1966), Sabata (1969), and Death Rides a Horse (1967), ensured his lasting popularity. His best known Hollywood role was starring alongside Kurt Russell in the John Carpenter classic Escape from New York (1980).

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Clint Eastwood

May 31, 1930 (San Francisco CA, USA)- He starred in only three Spaghetti Westerns, yet he is easily the most recognizable face in the genre. The three Sergio Leone directed films, A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965), and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) catapulted Eastwood to worldwide stardom, with each successive film grander than the previous. Initially derided by the critics, the films are now generally recognized as masterpieces. Today, those three films, and Eastwood’s unforgettable portrayal of the laconic, anti-hero, “the man with no name”, have embedded themselves into the mainstream consciousness. Eastwood’s iconic role paved the way and set the standard for other Spaghetti Western stars. Eastwood returned to America and used his success in the Spaghetti Western genre as a launching pad for his legendary, multi-decade long career in Hollywood as both an actor and director in westerns and non-westerns alike, including Dirty Harry (1971), The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), and Gran Torino (2008). His crowning achievements are perhaps his western Unforgiven (1992), and the boxing drama Million Dollar Baby (2004), both of which he starred, directed, and one two Oscars for each. But even with all his Hollywood super-stardom, his roles in the “Man With No Name" trilogy remain among his most iconic achievement in film.

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Gianni Garko aka John Garko

July 15, 1935 (Zadar, Italy now Croatia)- Born Giovanni Garkovich, Garko was initially billed as Gary Hudson in his first two Spaghetti Westerns, but was later billed as John Garko in many of his subsequent films. Garko is best known for portraying one of the most popular and iconic characters in the Spaghetti Western genre, “Sartana”, in four films. Garko played unrelated characters sharing the same name in two other films as well. The Sartana character, an almost superhuman gunfighter and gambler who combined elements of James Bond and Mandrake the Magician became so popular in Europe that many unofficial sequels were spawned. Garko himself appeared in a total of 14 Spaghetti Westerns from 1966 to 1973 (of which 5 were directed by long time collaborator Giuliano Carnimeo), many of them experiencing strong box office success and continued acclaim from fans. A handsome, talented and versatile actor, Garko has a total of 99 film and television credits to his name in a variety of genres in a career spanning almost 50 years, including Lucio Fulci's classi Giallo The Psychic (1977). But it is for his portrayal of the beloved anti-hero Sartana, for which he is most noted for.

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Giuliano Gemma aka Montgomery Wood

September 22, 1938 (Rome, Italy)- “Il Pistolero Nazionale” started out as a stuntman in Peplum movies, but eventually became Italy’s most beloved star during the golden age of Spaghetti Westerns. Billed as Montgomery Wood in his early westerns, his lead roles in Duccio Tessari’s A Pistol for Ringo (1964) and Return of Ringo (1965) were box office smashes during the early years of the Spaghetti Western. Although he occasionally played the laconic, gritty tough guy typical of the genre, he more often played smiling, boyish, fast talking heroes. The athletic “Angel Face” had exceptional gun twirling skills and always performed his own stunts and action sequences. In all, Gemma starred in 17 westerns over a 20 year period, almost all of which were box office bonanzas in Italy. Even Spaghetti Western heavyweights Franco Nero and Lee Van Cleef were hard pressed to match the commercial success of Gemma’s westerns in his homeland. Perhaps his most notable role in a western was playing Van Cleef’s Protégé in Day of Anger (1967). Outside of the Italian western genre, his most notable role was in Dario Argento’s giallo Tenebre (1982). Still active in Television, he is also an accomplished sculptor.

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Terence Hill

March 29, 1939 (Venice, Italy)- Born Mario Girotti, the blue-eyed actor initially played small parts in Italian and German films (including a couple of German Karl May westerns), but later adopted the name Terence Hill and starred in some of the most commercially successful Italian westerns ever made, many of them co-starring with Bud Spencer. He starred with Spencer in three westerns directed by Giuseppe Colizzi known as the “Cat Stevens" trilogy, all of which were box office successes. Because of his striking resemblance to Franco Nero, Hill was cast as the character “Django” in Ferdinando Baldi’s Django, Prepare a Coffin AKA Viva Django (1968), often cited as among the best of the unofficial Django sequels. Hill and Spencer made history and changed the face of the Spaghetti Western when they starred in two comedy-westerns, They Call Me Trinity (1970) and Trinity is Still My Name (1971), the second of which broke box office records in Italy and established both Hill and Spencer as cult film stars in America. Hill continued to collaborate with Spencer in commercially successful comedies, over the next two decades. He also starred with Gene Hackman in March or Die (1977). Perhaps Hill’s greatest achievement has been starring alongside Henry Fonda in the Spaghetti Western spoof My Name is Nobody (1973). Hill Continues to be active in Italian television today.

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George Hilton

July 16, 1934 (Montevideo, Uruguay) - Born Jorge Hill Acosta y Lara, Hilton starred in a total of 21 Spaghetti Westerns. Often known for tongue and cheek portrayals of gunfighters with a talent for comedic timing, Hilton appeared as the popular character “Hallelujah”, in two successful films, They Call Me Hallelujah (1972) and Return of Hallelujah (1973). He even replaced Gianni Garko as “Sartana” in Fistful of Lead AKA Sartana's Here, Trade Your Pistol For a Coffin (1971), in another box office success. He collaborated frequently with director Giuliano Carnimeo. His best known western however was his first, Lucio Fulci’s Massacre Time (1966), in which he stared opposite Franco Nero as Nero’s drunk brother, in a highly praised performance. He also starred opposite George Martin and Edd Byrnes in another popular classic, Enzo G. Castellari’s Any Gun Can Play (1967). As successful and prolific as he was in Italian westerns, Hilton is also a highly accomplished actor in Giallo films, in which he often starred opposite Edwich Fenech and collaborated frequently with director Sergio Martino, the most famous of these films being The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh (1971).

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Tomas Milian

March 3, 1933 (Havana, Cuba)- The Cuban-American who specialized in playing sly, sneering Mexican bandits and revolutionaries trained at New York’s Actor’s Studio and started out primarily in Italian art house films. He played opposite Lee Van Cleef in Sergio Sollima’s The Big Gundown (1966). The film was both a critical and box office success and catapulted Milian into lead roles in other Italian westerns. He appeared in 14 Spaghetti Westerns overall, playing the lead in classic films such as Sergio Corbucci’s Companeros (1970), opposite Franco Nero and Django Kill... If You Live, Shoot! (1967). He also starred in Sollima’s other two westerns, Run Man, Run (1968), a pseudo-sequel to The Big Gundown (1966), and Face to Face (1967), opposite Gian Maria Volonte. He also played a memorable role in Lucio Fulci's Four of the Apocalypse (1975). Outside of westerns he also starred in Euro-Crime and Giallo films. The most notable of these was the Lucio Fulci classic Don't Torture a Duckling (1972). In more recent times, Milian returned to America to play small character roles in Hollywood films such as JFK (1991) and Traffic (2000).

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Franco Nero

November 23, 1941 (San Prospero, Italy)- Born Francesco Sparanero, a young, blue-eyed Nero, in his breakthrough role, was cast in the lead in what would become arguably the most influential Spaghetti Western ever made. Sergio Corbucci’s immortal classic, Django (1966), was a worldwide box office phenomenon. Unfortunately, despite the efforts of Jack Nicholson who tried to buy the American rights to the film, Django was never seen in the US upon its initial release. Still, the film spawned dozens of unofficial sequels, each trying to cash in on the name “Django”. The film’s violent images, and Nero’s portrayal of machine gun wielding anti-hero was instrumental in launching a successful acting career in European and occasionally, Hollywood films, playing a wide variety of characters. Nero would always stay close to the genre that made him a star however, playing the lead in over a dozen Italian-made Westerns including Keoma (1976), Companeros (1970), and The Mercenary (1968). He often played European characters in westerns to compensate for his accented English. His supporting role in Die Hard 2 (1990) is his most well known Hollywood role. Other notable films of his include Force 10 From Navarone (1978), Camelot (1967), Tristana (1970), and Querelle (1982). Married to actress, Vanessa Redgrave, Nero is still active as an actor and has stated his desire to make one last western.

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Anthony Steffen

July 21, 1930 (Rome, Italy) - June 4, 2004 (Rio De Janeiro, Brazil) The most prolific leading man of the Spaghetti Western genre was born Antonio Luiz De Teffè in Rome of noble Brazilian extraction, the multilingual Baron was billed often as Antonio De Teffe, but was known as Anthony Steffen in nearly all of the Spaghetti Westerns he appeared in. In fact, the tall, handsome and elegant Steffen would play the lead role in a total of 27 Italian westerns. Often (and some would say unfairly) criticized for wooden acting, he nevertheless became Brazil’s answer to Clint Eastwood. Many of his westerns fared well in the box office but today, his most well known western is Django the Bastard AKA The Stranger's Gundown (1969), a film that he not only starred in, but also wrote and produced. Some source this film as an unofficial influence to Clint Eastwood’s High Plains Drifter (1973). Steffen would go on to star in numerous non-westerns, including the Giallo cult favorite The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave (1971), but eventually retired from acting to live a jet setter’s lifestyle and settle down in Rio De Janeiro where he spent the remainder of his days.

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Gian Maria Volonte

April 9, 1933 (Milan, Italy)- December 6, 1994 (Florina, Greece) A handsome and versatile actor, Volonte will always be remembered for playing opposite Clint Eastwood in two of the films in Sergio Leone’s “Man With No Name" trilogy. The Italian actor had a knack for playing psychotic and ruthless Mexican bandit leaders as he proved in A Fistful of Dollars (1964) (billed as Johnny Wels) and For a Few Dollars More (1965), both films bringing him his greatest recognition in America. He played yet another Mexican bandit leader in Damiano Damiani’s classic Zapata Western, A Bullet for the General (1966). In his final Spaghetti Western role, he played a Boston University Professor turned bandit in another box- office smash, Sergio Sollima’s Face to Face (1967), opposite Tomas Milian. A staunch political activist, Volonte continued to act, mostly in dramatic roles, including Le Cercle Rouge (1970) until his death via heart attack, winning prestigious acclaim along the way including for best actor at the 1983 Cannes film festival and the 1987 the Golden Lion award at the 1991 Venice Film Festival honoring his career and achievement in international cinema.


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William Berger

June 20, 1928 (Innsbruck, Austria)- October 2, 1993 (Los Angeles CA, USA) Born Wilhelm Thomas Berger, the handsome and versatile actor, with his trademark smirk, rarely held top billing in the 22 Italian westerns that he appeared in, yet he was always listed second or third in the credits playing a variety of memorable characters. Equally adept at playing good guys, anti-heroes or villains, the former Broadway actor’s most memorable western roles were in Keoma (1976) playing Franco Nero’s father, and Sabata (1969), where he portrayed the iconic character “Banjo”, opposite Lee Van Cleef. He also had key roles in Face to Face (1967), Today We Kill, Tommorow We Die! (1968), and If You Meet Sartana, Pray for Your Death (1968). Unlike many of his European brethren, Berger spoke perfectly unaccented English and regularly used his own voice in the English dub of the westerns that he starred in. Outside of the Italian western genre, his best known roles were in the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 classic, Devil fish (1984), Mario Bava’s classic giallo 5 Dolls for an August Moon (1970), and the Lou Ferrigno vehicle Hercules (1983), where he played the lead villain. He also fathered three daughters and a son, all of whom became actors.

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Mario Brega

March 5, 1923 (Rome, Italy)- July 23, 1994 (Rome) With his immense physical stature, Brega was arguably the most recognizable heavy in the Spaghetti western genre. The former butcher typically played small roles as a menacing henchmen or bully, only to be later killed by the film’s lead protagonist. He filled up the screen in 16 Italian westerns, including all three films in Sergio Leone’s “Man With No Name" trilogy, as well as Death Rides a Horse (1967), The Great Silence (1968), and My Name is Nobody (1973). Occasionally he would appear as a comic relief character as well. In fact, the portly Brega would later appear in numerous Italian comedies after the western genre had run its course. He would also appear in Sergio Leone’s mob-drama masterpiece Once Upon a Time in America (1984).

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Eduardo Fajardo

August 14, 1924 (Pontevedra, Spain)- A veteran actor with close to 200 acting credits in a career spanning 6 decades, Fajardo was adept at playing a variety of villains in Spaghetti Westerns, all equally despicable, from corrupt town bosses to Mexican bandits. Fajardo appeared in a total of 27 Italian Westerns, often as the lead villain of the film. He was a frequent co-star of his real life friend Anthony Steffen, typically playing the villainous foil to Steffen’s heroic lead. They shared the screen together in 8 westerns. His best known role was in Sergio Corbucci’s landmark classic Django (1966), playing the lead villain, a racist confederate major opposite Franco Nero. He also played supporting roles in The Mercenary (1968), Companeros (1970), and Bad Man's River (1971). Outside of the Italian western genre, he had supporting roles in The Four Musketeers (1974), and Delusions of Grandeur (1971), as well as cult horror flicks like Umberto Lenzi’s Nightmare City (1980), Mario Bava’s Lisa and the Devil (1974), and Jesus Franco’s Oasis of the Zombies (1983).

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Klaus Kinski

October 18, 1926 (Sopot, Free City of Danzig now Poland) –November 13, 1991 (Lagunitas CA, USA) Born Nikolaus Karl Günther Nakszyński of German descent, Kinski’s worldwide fame was seeded in his immense acting talent, infamous volatile temper, and his legendary collaborations with director Werner Herzog, including the heralded Aguirre: The Wrath of God (1972). But he also managed to contribute his talents to a number of Spaghetti westerns, 21 in all. He had a small but memorable role in Sergio Leone’s For a Few Dollars More (1965). Despite usually not having much screen time, Kinski seemed to steal the show in virtually every scene in which he appeared and played similarly small but important parts in westerns, usually as a villain. However he did occasionally appear in lead and shared-lead roles in films such as Sergio Corbucci’s classic The Great Silence (1968) and A Bullet for the General (1966). In a rare instance, he played the lead protagonist in the gothic horror tinged western And God Said to Cain (1970). Overall, Kinski had over 130 film and television credits to his name, of varying quality, yet his presence almost always enhanced whatever production he was in. He fathered internationally known actress Nastassja Kinski and penned a controversial autobiography, “Kinski: All I Need is Love”.

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Piero Lulli

February 1, 1923 (Florence, Italy)- June 23, 1991 (Rome, Italy) Sometimes credited as Peter Carter or Peter Lull, the handsome, green-eyed Italian actor played a wide variety of villains in some 30 Italian Westerns. Often serving as the film’s main villain, Lulli reveled in playing greedy land barons, corrupt town bosses and other “evil and wealthy” characters. He had appearances in notable films such as My Name is Nobody (1973), Django Kill, If You Live, Shoot! (1967), The Fighting Fists of Shanghai Joe (1972), Forgtten Pistolero (1969), Fistful of Lead AKA Sartana's Here, Trade Your Pistol For a Coffin (1970), and Light the Fuse, Sartana is Coming! (1971). Outside of the western genre, he played supporting roles in Ulysses (1954), and Mario Bava’s classic Kill Baby Kill (1966). He had over a 100 acting credits from 1942 to 1977. He was the brother of notable Italian actor Folco Lulli.

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Nello Pazzafini

May 15, 1933 or 1934 (Rome, Italy)- November 27, 1997 (Rome) The large and burly ex-bodyguard and former football player could always be depended on to fill up the screen as a tough guy or henchmen. A veteran of Peplum films, Pazzafini, with his easily recognizable features, was seen in a total of 37 Italian westerns, from the early years all the way to the twilight days. Occasionally he was billed as Red Carter. A talented thespian and well adept at performing fist fight, action, and horse riding scenes, he was a favorite of leading man Giuliano Gemma, as the two shared the screen together 14 times, and was affectionately known as "Nellone" by his colleagues. Pazzafini also appeared in a number of Euro-Crime films as well. Often billed as Giovanni Pazzafini, he had nearly 200 film and television credits to his name in a decades long acting career.

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Aldo Sambrell

February 23, 1937 (Madrid, Spain)- Born Alfredo Sánchez Brell, the Spanish actor typically played smaller supporting roles, usually as a henchman and tough guy villain in some of the finest Spaghetti Westerns ever made. Sambrell appeared in all five westerns directed by Sergio Leone. He also appeared in other classics such as A Bullet for the General (1966), Face to Face (1967), and The Hellbenders (1967). Perhaps his best role was playing the lead villain opposite Burt Reynolds in Sergio Corbucci’s Navajo Joe (1966). In all, Sambrell appeared in over 30 Italian and Spanish westerns. Outside of the western genre, he had numerous supporting roles in films such as the Hong Kong actioner Armour of God II (1991), and The Wind and the Lion (1975). He continues to act to this day, having over 150 credits to his name, and has even tried his hand at directing, producing, and writing.

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Fernando Sancho

January 7, 1916 (Zaragoza, Spain)- July 13, 1990 (Madrid, Spain) One of the most recognizable character actors in the Spaghetti Western genre, the portly, mustached Spaniard specialized in playing crude and boisterous Mexican bandits or military leaders, often as the lead villain of the film. Sancho essentially played the same type of character over and over again, embracing his apparently excessive typecasting with aplomb. He deviated from this pattern on rare occasion, playing the comic sidekick of the main hero in Django Shoots First (1966). He appeared in nearly 50 Italian westerns, including The Big Gundown (1966), both of Duccio Tessari’s Ringo films, as well as If You Meet Sartana, Pray for Your Death (1969), Rita of the West (1967), Minnesota Clay (1965), $10,000 Blood Money (1967), and Arizona Colt (1966). Of his non-Spaghetti Western outings, his most famous role was in the Spanish horror classic Return of the Evil Dead (1973). A larger than life character in real life, and an avid bullfighting aficionado, he continued acting until his death, with well over 200 acting credits to his name.

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Benito Stefanelli

1929 (Italy)- December 1999 The multitalented and tough looking Stefanelli, sometimes credited as Benny Reeves, had roles, usually small, sometimes uncredited, in 27 Spaghetti Westerns, playing mostly gringo henchmen, but occasionally sheriff’s as well. Stefanelli not only acted in these films, but he also performed stunts and served as a ”master of arms”, or weapons expert , on many of these films. Furthermore, because of his fluency in both Italian and English, he sometimes served as an interpreter on the set of these films. In fact, Clint Eastwood communicated with Sergio Leone on the set of A Fistful of Dollars (1964), using Steffanelli as an interpreter. Stefanelli was involved in several blockbuster westerns including every one of Leone's, Trinity is Still My Name (1971), The Big Gundown (1966), and a highly memorable role in which he “jousted” with Lee Van Cleef in Day of Anger (1967). Outside of the western genre his most famous role was perhaps in Werner Herzog’s classic, Cobra Verde (1987).

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Eli Wallach

December 7, 1915 (Brooklyn NY, USA)- Wallach has enjoyed a long and storied career as one of Hollywood’s finest character, method actors, but it is a role in a Spaghetti Western for which he is most recognized. The Jewish American’s portrayal of sneaky but lovable Mexican Bandit Tuco in Sergio Leone’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), may very well have been the finest individual on-screen performance ever in a western. Wallach also had important roles in 3 other Italian westerns, lending support to Terence Hill and Bud Spencer in Ace High (1968), Franco Nero and Lynn Redgrave in Don't Turn the Other Cheek (1971), and Giuliano Gemma and Tomas Milian in Sergio Corbucci’s The White, the Yellow and the Black (1975). Outside of the Italian western genre, he has had important roles in two notable Hollywood westerns, The Magnificent Seven (1960) and How the West Was Won (1962). He played a key role in The Godfather: Part III (1990) and has also enjoyed an illustrious Broadway and stage career. Now in his mid 90s, he is still going strong, appearing in recent years in such films as The Holiday (2006).

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Frank Wolff

May 11, 1928 (San Francisco CA, USA)- December 12, 1971 (Rome, Italy) He was an incredibly versatile and talented character actor who appeared in 10 Spaghetti Westerns. Although his best known role was a small one, that of Claudia Cardinale’s ill-fated husband in Once Upon a Time in the West (1968). He had much larger roles playing the dutiful sheriff in The Great Silence (1968), the main villain in both God Forgives, I Don't (1967) and A Stranger in Town (1967), and the comic sidekick in I Am Sartana, Your Angel of Death (1969). He even narrated the Spaghetti Western documentary Western, Italian Style (1968). Wolff’s career encompassed many genre’s, with important roles in Academy Award winning drama America, America (1963), Italian crime films Salvatore Giuliano (1962) and Milano Calibro 9 (1972), guest TV roles in “Rawhide” and “The Twilight Zone”, and American B pictures directed by Monte Hellman (The Beast from the Haunted Grave, 1959) and Roger Corman. Tragically, his career was cut short when he took his own life in a Rome hotel room.


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Erika Blanc

July 23, 1942 (Brescia, Italy)- Born Enrica Bianchi Colombatto, Blanc has enjoyed a decades long career in cinema, lending her versatile acting talents to 13 Spaghetti Westerns. She played the lead female role in Blood at Sundown (1966), Shoot, Gringo, Shoot (1968), Fistful of Lead AKA Sartana’s Here, Trade your Pistol for a Coffin (1970), as well as a supporting roles in Django Shoots First (1966) and The Stranger and the Gunfighter (1974). Outside of the western genre, she had notable roles in several cult horror classics. Among them are Mario Bava’s Kill Baby Kill (1966), The Devil’s Nightmare (1971), and The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave (1971), in which she did a memorable “Coffin Striptease” scene. Today, she continues to act on television, stage and film, with supporting roles in His Secret Life (2001) and Sacred Heart (2005), for which she was nominated for several Best Supporting Actress awards.

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Claudia Cardinale

April 15, 1938 (Tunis, Tunisia)- In a genre in which female characters are rarely ever central to the plot, Cardinale stands out as the most iconic Spaghetti Western actress of them all. Her immortal portrayal of Jill in Sergio Leone’s masterpiece, Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), set the standard for the “Whore with a Heart of Gold” archetype. It also marked the first time Leone ever used a strong, important female character in a film. Cardinale made just one other Euro-western, co-starring with Bridgett Bardot in The Legend of Frenchie King (1971), a French, Italian, Spanish, and UK production. Cardinale has carved out a respectable career in both Hollywood and European cinema, starring in Federico Fellini’s 8 ½ (1963), Blake Edward’s The Pink Panther (1963), Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo (1982), and the Hollywood western, Richard Brook’s The Professionals (1966) and is still active in cinema today.

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Ida Galli aka Evelyn Stewart

April 9, 1942 (Sestola, Italy)- Perhaps better known by her anglicized pseudonym of Evelyn Stewart, she appeared in 12 Spaghetti westerns. In these roles, Galli often played the sweet, innocent heroine and love interest of the main protagonist. Her best known western roles were playing opposite Giuliano Gemma in two box office hits, One Silver Dollar (1965), and Adios Gringo (1965). Outside of the western genre, she had small roles in Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita (1960), and Luchino Visconti’s The Leopard (1963). She played much larger roles in two Mario Bava films, Hercules in the Haunted World (1961), and The Whip and the Body (1963). She also starred in Lucio Fulci’s The Psychic (1977), and Sergio Martino’s The Case of the Scorpian’s Tail (1971).

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Marianne Koch

August 19, 1931 (Munich, Germany)- The German beauty is best known for playing the tormented Mexican peasant Marisol, who is aided by Clint Eastwood’s “Man with no Name” in A Fistful of Dollars (1964). She also appeared in four early German and Spanish co-produced westerns. She would star in only one other Spaghetti Western, Clint, the Nevada Loner (1967). Outside of the western genre, her best known role was in the German WWII drama The Devil’s General (1955). She also had a supporting role in Night People (1954), starring Gregory Peck. She retired from acting in 1971 to pursue a medical career, earning her MD in 1974. Doctor Koch has since been active as a practicing Medical Specialist and as a frequent guest host on German Television.

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Nicoletta Machiavelli

August 1, 1944 (Stuffione, Italy)- She was cast as the leading actress in six Spaghetti westerns, often playing intense but righteous characters. Her best known role was opposite Burt Reynolds in the Sergio Corbucci western Navajo Joe (1966). Among the other westerns she appeared in were The Hills Run Red (1966), A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die (1968), and No Room to Die (1969). She also appeared in a small uncredited role in Face to Face (1967). She played a revenge seeking female gunfighter in the relatively obscure Garter Colt (1968), which was one of the rare instances where a Spaghetti Western featured a female lead protagonist. Outside of the western genre she played a small role in Candy (1968). A descendant of Niccola Machiavelli, she began guiding group tours of her native Italy as well as teaching Italian language classes at the University of Washington after retiring from acting.

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Nieves Navarro aka Susan Scott

November 10, 1938 (Almeria, Spain)- Perhaps better known internationally by her anglicized pseudonym of Susan Scott, the sultry Navarro specialized in playing seductive, conniving villainesses in Spaghetti Westerns. She appeared in 8 westerns in all, including several blockbuster hits. She had a small but important role as the widowed, ranch owning dominatrix in The Big Gundown (1966). She also appeared in both of Duccio Tessari’s “Ringo” films, Adios Sabata (1971), Light the Fuse, Sartana is Coming (1971) AKA A Cloud of Dust... Cry of Death... Sartana Is Coming, and Long Days of Vengeance AKA This Man Can't Die (1967). Outside of the western genre, her best known roles were in the Joe D’Amato Cannibal horror film Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals (1977) and the Sergio Martino giallo, All the Colors of the Dark (1972). She also appeared in several films directed by her husband, Luciano Ercoli.

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Rosalba Neri

June 19, 1939 (Forli, Italy)- As prolific as they come, the dark, tantalizing actress appeared in a total of 17 Spaghetti Westerns, being equally adept at playing both villainesses and heroines. Among some of the better known westerns which she starred in were Johnny Yuma (1966), Arizona Colt (1966), Long Days of Vengeance AKA This Man Can't Die (1967), and Arizona Colt Returns (1970). Besides westerns, she also starred in numerous films in various exploitation genres ranging from peplum to erotic including The Castle of Fu Manchu (1969), 99 Women (1969), Lady Frankenstein (1971), Asylum Erotica AKA Slaughter Hotel (1971), and French Sex Murders (1973).

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Loredana Nusciak

May 3, 1942 (Rome, Italy)- The red-haired actress appeared in 6 Spaghetti Westerns, but it was her unforgettable portrayal as the strong-willed saloon girl Maria, in Sergio Corbucci’s highly influential Django (1966), opposite Franco Nero, for which she is best known. Her role, more assertive than was typical of a Spaghetti Western heroine, was so popular that she did a sort of reprise of it in the unofficial Django sequel 10,000 Blood Money (1967), this time playing the love interest of Gianni Garko. She also appeared in Seven Dollars to Kill (1966). Outside of westerns, she had a supporting role in A Difficult Life (1961). She retired from films during during the mid 1970s.

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Linda Veras

Born ??? (Bolzano, Italy) Her acting career was relatively sporadic, yet the sultry blonde graced the screen in five Spaghetti Westerns, three of which are genre classics. She appeared in two classic westerns directed by then boyfriend Sergio Sollima, a small role in Face to Face (1967), and a more important role as a Salvation army missionary in Run Man Run (1968). Her best known role was as saloon girl Jane, the lover of William Berger’s “Banjo” character in the international hit Sabata (1969). Outside of the Spaghetti Western genre, she appeared uncredited in Jean-Luc Goddard’s Contempt (1963) and had a small role in Roberto Rosselini’s Il Generale Della Rovere (1959). She stopped acting in the early 1970s.

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Simonetta Vitelli aka Simone Blondell

Born ???- Under her anglicized pseudonym of Simone Blondell, Vitelli appeared in 11 Spaghetti Westerns, eight of them under the direction of her father, Demofilo Fidani AKA Miles Deem. Her best known western role is perhaps Fidani’s best, Showdown for a Badman AKA Coffin Full of Dollars (1971). She also starred in Django and Sartana’s Showdown in the West (1970), and His Name was Sam Walbash, But They Call Him Amen AKA Savage Guns (1971), both directed by Fidani. She occasionally helped out her father as an assistant production and set designer on his films. Her best known western not directed by her father was W Django! AKA Man Called Django (1971). Her acting career was relatively brief, but she also managed a supporting role in the low budget cult horror film, Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks (1974), which was to be her last acting credit.


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Ferdinando Baldi

May 19, 1917 (Cava dei Tirreni, Salerno, Italy)- November 12, 2007 (Rome) Baldi amassed an interesting and offbeat body of work in the Spaghetti Western genre, directing and having a hand in writing ten in all. Baldi’s Spaghetti Western debut was Texas Adios (1966) starring Franco Nero, fresh off his success with Django. His next western was a musical, Little Rita of the West (1967). Baldi went on to make Django, Prepare a Coffin AKA Viva Django (1968), a box office hit and considered among the best of the unofficial “Django” sequels. The Forgotten Pistolero (1969) incorporated Baldi's expertise in Greek Tragedy (he was a former College Professor in the subject) as the film was based on the legend of Orestes. He went on to make a series of films with Tony Anthony, of which three are westerns. These were the Zatoichi inspired Blindman (1971), the Spaghetti Western fantasy Get Mean (1976), and the 3D western Comin' at Ya! (1981). Blindman and Comin' at Ya! were both sizable box office hits in the US. Outside of westerns he was an associate producer of Mario Bava’s Whip and the Body (1963) and co-directed David and Goliath (1960).

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Giuliano Carnimeo aka Anthony Ascott

July 4, 1932 (Bari, Italy)- Often under the pseudonym of Anthony Ascott, the prolific Carnimeo directed 14 Italian westerns, and was assistant director on another three. His westerns were known for their comic-book like characters and atmosphere, over the top action sequences, and slapstick humor. His two favorite leading actors to work with were George Hilton, of which he directed 7 westerns, and Gianni Garko, of which he directed 5. He is perhaps best known for taking over Gianfranco Parolini’s “Sartana” franchise, filming three official sequels with Garko and 1 with Hilton. Besides “Sartana”, Carnimeo’s films often featured superhero-like lead protagonists, such as “Tresette/Tricky Dicky”, “Hallelujah”, “Spirito Santo/Holy Ghost”, and “Ace/Cemetery”. These characters often used gimmicky weapons disguised as something else such as sewing machines and piano organs. Overall, Carnimeo directed and co-directed over 30 features of various genre’s, but mostly comedies and westerns. Outside of westerns, his best known directorial work was the 1972 Giallo, The Case of the Bloody Iris, starring Hilton.

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Enzo G. Castellari

July 29, 1938 (Rome, Italy)- One of the most prominent genre film directors to come out of Italy, Enzo Castellari directed 10 Spaghetti Westerns, 8 of which he co-wrote. His westerns are noted for their well staged action, swift pacing, symbolic imagery, and highly stylized nature. Any Gun Can Play (1967) became a big hit at the Italian box-office. Castellari went on to film a western adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in Johnny Hamlet (1968). Perhaps his most important genre entry was the dark and atmospheric "Twilight" Spaghetti Western, Keoma (1976), a personal favorite of both the director and the film's star, Franco Nero. Nero and Castellari are good friends and have collaborated on 7 features together. Their last western together was Jonathan of the Bears (1993). Castellari made many action-oriented exploitation films like Bronx Warriors 2 (1983), and Euro-Crime classics such as The Big Racket (1976), and Street Law (1974). His best known work is the World War II Macaroni Combat film, The Inglorious Bastards (1978). Still active as a director, Castellari recently again came to public attention with the release of Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds (2009), which was highly influenced by Castellari's own film.

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Sergio Corbucci

December 6, 1926 (Rome, Italy)- December 1, 1990 (Rome, Italy) Corbucci is arguably the genre’s second greatest director, behind only Sergio Leone. Corbucci made several early Spaghetti Westerns including Minnesota Clay (1965) and Johnny Oro (1966). But it wasn’t until Django (1966), that Corbucci made his mark on the genre. The dark, atmospheric, and stunningly violent western was a huge hit, making a star out of Franco Nero, and spawning dozens of imitators. He continued the success with Navajo Joe (1966), The Hellbenders (1967), and his Zapata masterpiece, The Mercenary (1968). He then made what many regard as his magnum opus, The Great Silence (1968). With it's snow capped locations, bleak outlook, and grisly violence, it further advanced the genre into unique territory. He followed this with two more classic westerns, The Specialist (1969), and his second Zapata masterpiece, Companeros (1970). After this he made three more westerns including Sonny and Jed (1972) and The White, the Yellow and the Black (1975), but these seemingly lacked the impact of his earlier work. In all, Corbucci directed 13 Spaghetti Westerns, several of which are now widely considered among the finest ever made. He also had a hand in writing most of his westerns. After the western genre had ran its course, Corbucci directed several successful Terence Hill and Bud Spencer comedies including Who Finds a Friend Finds a Treasure (1981) and Super Fuzz (1980).

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Sergio Leone

January 3, 1929 (Rome, Italy) - April 30, 1989 (Rome) Without a doubt, the most famous of all Spaghetti Western directors and perhaps, westerns in general. Though Italian directors had made westerns before, they were little more than imitations of their Hollywood counterparts. It was Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars (1964), a western remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo (1962) that gave birth to the genre and bestowed immeasurable influence on future filmmakers and pop culture. It propelled Clint Eastwood to international stardom. It’s sequel, the aptly titled For a Few Dollars More (1965), an even greater success, catapulted Lee Van Cleef to stardom as well. Leone then made arguably the two greatest Westerns of all time, The Good the Bad, and the Ugly (1966), his civil war themed final installment of the “Man With No Name" trilogy, and Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), a film that turned traditional western conventions on their head. Leone's final western was the Zapata classic Duck, You Sucker AKA A Fistful of Dynamite (1971). After co-directing, co-writing and producing two comedy westerns, My Name is Nobody (1973) and A Genius, Two Partners and a Dupe AKA Nobody's the Greatest (1975), Leone said goodbye to the western and made his long awaited Gangster epic, Once Upon a Time in the America (1984). Like Once Upon a Time, the film was initially butchered by American censors (and critics) but in recent years, has rightly gained acclaim as an undeniable masterpiece.

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Gianfranco Parolini aka Frank Kramer

February 20, 1930 (Rome, Italy)- Known as the man who brought “James Bond” to the Spaghetti west, Parolini, under his pseudonym of Frank Kramer, directed and co-wrote the two original westerns to feature the popular “Sartana”, and “Sabata” characters. He first hit the big-time with If You Meet Sartana, Pray for Your Death (1968), featuring a Bond-like protagonist portrayed by Gianni Garko. Like Bond, the “Sartana” character was a charming, well dressed, gambling gunfighter with an array of gadgetry. Not directing any of the sequels, he instead made another western featuring a similar character in Sabata (1969), with Lee Van Cleef playing the title role. The film was an international commercial success. Parolini went on to direct 2 follow ups including Adios Sabata (1971), starring Yul Brynner. Like “Django”, both “Sartana” and “Sabata” were popular enough to have spawned numerous unofficial sequels. He directed another Van Cleef western, God’s Gun (1976). Apart from the 7 westerns that he made, Parolini also directed the World War II actioner Five for Hell (1969), as well as five of the Kommissar X series of Euro-spy films.

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Giulio Petroni

September 21, 1917 (Rome, Italy)- January 31, 2010 (Rome, Italy) He made just eight films during his relatively sporadic career, yet five of those films are westerns, included among them several well regarded entries. His first Spaghetti Western is also his most famous, the classic revenge tale Death Rides a Horse (1967) starring John Philip Law and Lee Van Cleef. The film was a huge financial success, and somewhat of a breakthrough role for Law. Today it remains regarded among the genre’s finest. He decided to change pace with A Sky Full of Stars for a Roof (1968), a comedy with Giuliano Gemma. He went on to direct the memorable Zapata western, Tepepa (1968) starring Tomas Milian and Orson Welles. Afterwards he directed the presently obscure but well praised Night of the Serpent (1969) starring American character actor Luke Askew. His last western was another comedy, Life is Tough, eh' Providence? (1972), starring Milian. The film was successful enough to have spawned a direct sequel, not directed by Petroni.

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Sergio Sollima

April 17, 1921 (Rome, Italy)- One of the most respected and important Spaghetti Western directors, Sollima brought a brand of political allegory and social commentary to the genre. Though he directed (and co-wrote) only three westerns, each one was wildly popular and regarded as masterpieces of the genre. Starting with The Big Gundown (1966), Sollima made a name for himself with his leftist messages and outlandish characters, as well as making a star out of Tomas Milian, and giving Lee Van Cleef arguably his greatest non-Sergio Leone directed western role. His next western was another hit, the psychological Face to Face (1967), starring Gian Maria Volonte and Milian. His final western was the Zapata classic, Run Man, Run (1968), a loose sequel to Gundown, again starring Milian. Sollima’s three films have landed him on hallowed ground, as he is the third leg of the esteemed group known as “The Three Sergio’s”, along with Leone and Sergio Corbucci, who together are regarded as the three greatest Spaghetti Western directors of all time. In addition to his western triumphs, Sollima also directed and co-wrote two classic Euro-clime films, Violent City (1970), and Revolver (1972).

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Duccio Tessari

October 11, 1926 (Genoa, Italy)- September 6, 1994 (Rome, Italy) Tessari’s two “Ringo” films competed with Sergio Leone’s “Man With No Name" trilogy for Italian box-office supremacy, cementing him as arguably the second highest grossing Spaghetti Western director during the early days of the genre. Duccio directed and co-wrote A Pistol for Ringo (1965), which turned leading man Giuliano Gemma into an overnight sensation. Using largely the same cast and crew, Tessari quickly followed up with Return of Ringo (1965), a western with an Odyssean plot which was also hugely successful, although one can hardly consider this a sequel as the plot is unrelated to that of the first. The two classic films followed a markedly different formula from that of Leone’s westerns and proved that Leone wasn’t the only Spaghetti Western director capable of creating box-office gold during the genre’s formative years. Tessari’s contributions to the genre didn’t end there however, as he went on to direct 4 other westerns including Don’t Turn the Other Cheek (1971) and Zorro (1975), as well as sharing writing credits on 2 other westerns. Outside of the genre his best know directorial work are Euro-Crime film Tony Arzenta (1973), and gialli The Bloodstained Butterfly (1972) and Puzzle (1974).

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Tonino Valerii

May 20, 1934 (Teramo, Italy)- He spent most of his career in Sergio Leone’s shadow, but was a talented filmmaker in his own right, being involved in the making of some of the most commercially successful Spaghetti Westerns ever made. After serving as Leone’s assistant director on For a Few Dollars More (1965), he was given a chance to direct on his own, making Taste of Killing (1966). Pairing up two of the genre’s most popular stars, Lee Van Cleef and Giuliano Gemma, he then directed and co-wrote Day of Anger (1967), which was a huge financial success, and is today regarded as a classic of the genre. Continued success followed with Price of Power (1969), and A Reason to Live, A Reason to Die (1972). Valerii was commissioned by Leone to direct another classic, My Name is Nobody, pairing up Terence Hill with screen legend Henry Fonda. The film was a huge blockbuster hit, and although Leone himself directed a few scenes, Valerii was the main director. Outside of the western genre, his most well known film is the giallo, My Dear Killer (1972).


Luis Enriquez Bacalov

March 30, 1933 (Buenos Aires, Argentina)- Perhaps the most illustrious film composer to come out of Argentina, Bacalov spent much of his early career composing scores for Spaghetti and Euro Westerns, 15 in all. Among some of the well known westerm scores that Bacalov has composed are Django (1966), A Bullet for the General (1966), Sugar Colt (1966), The Price of Power (1969), and The Grand Duel (1972). His score for the Grand Duel was reused for Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003). Tarantino also used his score for the Euro-Crime film Summertime Killer (1972) for Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004). His film scores have won a number of awards, including an Oscar for Best Original Dramatic Score for Il Postino: The Postman (1994). He was previously nominated for an Oscar for The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964). He also collaborated with tenor Placido Domingo in 2000. He has composed close to 150 film scores during his decades long career and presently serves as artistic director for Orchestra della Magna Grecia.

Stelvio Cipriani

August 20, 1937 (Rome, Italy)- He played piano for singer Rita Pavone, studied Jazz under David Brubeck, and went on to compose over 200 film scores, including 12 Spaghetti Westerns. Cipriani’s music can be heard on such westerns as Blindman (1971), They Call Me Hallelujah (1971), The Bounty Killer (1967), and The Stranger Returns (1967). Besides westerns, he has composed scores for three Mario Bava films, Bay of Blood (1971), Baron Blood (1972), and Rabid Dogs AKA Kidnapped (1974). He has also composed horror scores for James Cameron (Piranha Part Two: The Spawning [1981]), and Umberto Lenzi (Nightmare City [1980]). His score for The Anonymous Venetian (1971) won the prestigious Silver Ribbon for best score. Music from Ransom! Police Is Watching (1973), was used in Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof (2007). He has stated that he has composed music for both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. He continues to compose film scores today.

Nico Fidenco

January 24, 1933 (Rome, Italy)- Born Domenico Colarossi, he assumed the stage name of Nico Fidenko and became a popular singer in Italy throughout the 1960s and 1970s. He occasionally wrote and performed songs for films but he is also known for composing soundtracks for over 60 films. He composed scores for many comedies and erotic films, but also for a number of Spaghetti Westerns as well, 11 in total. These westerns included Taste of Killing (1966), I Want Him Dead (1968) and Those Dirty Dogs (1973). Outside of the western genre, he composed scores for Zombi Holocaust (1980), as well as several of Joe D’Amato’s “Emanuelle” films, including Emmanuelle and the Last Cannibals (1977).

Marcello Giombini

July 8 or 24, 1928 (Rome, Italy)- December 12, 2003 (Assisi, Italy) Known as a pioneer and influential figure in both Italian electronic music and religious music, Giombini also composed over 80 film scores. 15 of those film scores were Spaghetti Westerns. His most famous western score was for the hit film Sabata (1969). He also composed scores for Garringo (1969), Sabata the Killer AKA Dollars to Die For (1970), Return of Sabata (1971), and Holy Water Joe (1971). His non-western film scores includes Joe D’Amato’s Anthropophagus: The Grim Reaper (1980) and Erotic Nights of the Living Dead (1980), as well as Mario Bava’s Knifes of the Avenger (1966).

Coriolano "Lallo" Gori

March 7, 1927 (Cervia, Italy)- December 1, 1982 He composed soundtracks for over 90 films during his career. His work in Spaghetti Westerns is extensive. He composed scores for 22 of those films, his most famous being Lucio Fulci’s Massacre Time (1966). He also scored a number of Demofilo Fidani’s films including Django and Sartana’s Showdown in the West (1970), His Name was Sam Walbash, But They Call Him Amen AKA Savage Guns (1971), and Showdown for a Badman AKA Coffin Full of Dollars (1971). He specialized in composing scores for comedies, many featuring Italian comedy duo, Franco Franchi and Ciccio Ingrassia. His non-western film work includes Mario Bava’s Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs (1966) and Four Times that Night (1972).

Angelo Francesco Lavagnino

February 22, 1909 (Genoa, Italy)- August 21, 1987 (Gavi, Italy) An extremely active and prolific composer, Lavagnino scored over 200 features during his career, of which 25 are Italian Westerns. His first western score was for Il Bandolero Stanco (1952), which was one of the first Italian westerns ever made. Some of the better known westerns that he composed scores for were Today We Kill, Tomorrow We Die (1968), Pistol for 100 Coffins AKA Gun for 100 Graves (1968), and The Specialist (1969). He also helped to mentor another prolific Spaghetti Western composer, Francesco De Masi. His best known non-western scores were for two Orson Welles Shakespeare adaptations, The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice (1952), and Chimes at Midnight (1965). Additionally he scored the monster film Gorgo (1961), John Wayne adventure film Legend of the Lost (1957), and Sergio Leone’s Peplum, The Colossus of Rhodes (1961). During his career Lavagnino won two Silver Ribbons for Best Score.

Francesco de Masi

January 11, 1930 (Rome, Italy)- November 6, 2005 (Rome) Known for his distinctive sound and world class conducting expertise, De Masi was as prolific as they come. He composed scores for an astounding 34 Italian and Euro Westerns, including The Last of the Mohicans (1965), Seven Dollars to Kill (1966), Arizona Colt (1966), Any Gun Can Play (1967), Payment in Blood (1967), Kill Them All and Come Back Alone (1968), Johnny Hamlet (1968), Sartana’s Here, Trade Your Pistols for a Coffin AKA Fistful of Lead (1970), and Kid Vengeance (1977). His non-western scores include The Arena (1974), The Inglorious Bastards (1978), The New York Ripper (1982), Bronx Warriors 2 (1983), and Lone Wolfe McQuade (1983). Overall, he scored some 130 odd features during his career and spent some time teaching and conducting at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory.

Ennio Morricone

November 10, 1928 (Rome, Italy)- Quite possibly the greatest and most influential film composer of all time, his sparse, highly distinctive style on Sergio Leone’s “Man With No Name" trilogy and epic orchestrations on Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), and Duck, You Sucker (1971), helped to revolutionize the western genre and film scores in general, which previously relied on bombastic orchestral arrangements. “Il Maestro” embarked on a legendary career composing scores for nearly 500 films, TV series’, and documentaries. He scored over 40 Spaghetti Westerns including A Pistol for Ringo (1965), Return of Ringo (1965), The Big Gundown (1966), Navajo Joe (1966), A Bullet for the General (1966), Face to Face (1967), The Hellbenders (1967), Death Rides a Horse (1967), The Mercenary (1968), Run Man Run (1968), The Great Silence (1968), The Five Man Army (1969), Companeros (1970), My Name is Nobody (1973), A Genius, Two Partners and a Dupe AKA Nobody’s the Greatest (1975), and Buddy Goes West (1981). Throughout his career, he has been much sought after composer Hollywood cinema as well, creating music for The Untouchables (1987), The Thing (1982), and Once Upon a Time in America (1984). His versatility is such that his sound greatly varies from film to film, fitting each film exquisitely, regardless of the genre. Having previously been nominated for an Academy Award five times, but never winning, he was finally given an honorary Oscar in 2007 for his lifetime achievement. Today, he remains active in composing as well as touring.

Bruno Nicolai

May 20, 1926 (Rome, Italy)- August 16, 1991 (Rome) Perhaps the second most popular Spaghetti Western composer behind only Ennio Morricone, Nicolai composed scores for 23 of these films, and conducted and directed scores for 24 more. He was good friends with Morricone, and often conducted or served as musical director for many of Morricone’s scores, as well as that of fellow composer Carlo Rustichelli. Occasionally he even collaborated with Morricone, co-composing on westerns like The Mercenary (1968), and Run Man Run (1968). Among the westerns that he composed scores on his own were Django Shoots First (1966), Have a Good Funeral, Sartana Will Pay (1970), Arizona Colt Returns (1970), Apocalypse Joe AKA A Man Called Joe Clifford (1970), Adios Sabata (1971), Light the Fuse, Sartana is Coming (1971), They Call Him Cemetery (1971), and The Fighting Fists of Shanghai Joe (1972). Among the better known non-westerns that Nicolai composed music for were OK Connery (1967), Count Dracula (1970), The Night Evelyn Came out of the Grave (1971), The Case of the Scorpian’s Tale (1971), A Virgin Among the Living Dead (1973), Ten Little Indians (1974), and Caligula (1979). Overall, he composed nearly 100 film scores and served as conductor or musical director on countless others.

Nora Orlandi

June 28, 1933 (Voghera, Italy)- It would be fitting to refer to Orlandi as “The First Lady of Spaghetti Western Music”. Originally a chorus singer who collaborated with Ennio Morricone’s vocalist, Alessandro Alessandroni in a pop group called “4+4”, she composed her first film score at age 20. She composed 17 film scores during her career, of which eight were Spaghetti Westerns. Her Spaghetti Western work includes scores for Johnny Yuma (1966), $10,000 Blood Money (1967), Vengeance is Mine AKA For $100,000 Per Killing (1967), and Clint the Nevada’s Loner (1967). She also provided chorus work for Man of the East (1972). Outside the western genre, she composed the soundtrack to the giallo The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh (1971). One of the songs from this film, “Dies Irae”, was used in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2002).

Riz Ortolani

September 4, 1931 (Pesaro, Italy) In a career spanning over half a century, Ortolani has composed scores for over 200 features. In addition he has been nominated for an Oscar twice, Golden Globes four times (winning once), and one Grammy. He has composed soundtracks for 14 Spaghetti and European westerns, including Shatterhand (1963), Day of Anger (1967), Kill and Pray (1967), Beyond the Law (1968), Boot Hill (1969), The Magnificent Bandits (1970), and A Reason to Live, A Reason to Die (1972). His non-western compositions include Mondo Cane (1962), The Easy Life (1962), The Yello Rolls Royce (1964), Anzio (1968), Brother Sun, Sister Moon (1972), Don’t Torture a Duckling (1972), Cannibal Holocaust (1980), and The House on the Edge of the Park (1980). Quentin Tarantino has reused Ortolani’s songs on films such as Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003), Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004), and Inglourious Basterds (2009). His music can also be heard in films like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005), and Legally Blonde 2 (2003).


Manolo Bolognini

Born -??? After working as a production secretary on Federico Fellini’s Nights of Cabiria (1957), and as a productin manager on Pier Paolo Pasolini’s The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964), Bolognini produced seven Spaghetti Westerns. His first was the highly influential Django (1966), which was a massive box office hit. He went on to produce Texas Adios (1966), Rita of the West (1967), and The Forgotten Pistolero (1969). He produced the final installment of the “Cat Stevens” trilogy, Boot Hill (1969), which was another big hit. He also produced two highly regarded late-era Spaghetti Westerns, Keoma (1976) and California (1977). Besides westerns, he also produced Nostalghia (1983), Teorema (1968), and The Fifth Cord (1971).

Alberto Grimaldi

March 28, 1925 (Naples, Italy)- Perhaps the most important producer of Spaghetti Westerns, he produced some of the finest and most well known examples of the genre. Among these are two of Sergio Leone’s masterpieces, For a Few Dollars More (1965), and The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (1966). He also produced The Big Gundown (1966), Face to Face (1967), The Mercenary (1968), Sabata (1969), and Man of the East (1972), all of which were highly successful. Overall he produced 15 Italian and Euro-westerns. He produced close to 30 non-westerns as well, including the Oscar nominated Gangs of New York (2002), as well as Last Tango in Paris (1972), Salo or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975), Novacento (1976), Fellini Satyricon (1969), The Decameron (1971), and Fellini’s Casanova (1976).

Dino De Laurentiis

August 8, 1919 (Torre Annunziata, Italy)- He is known as one of Hollywood’s leading veteran producers, having backed over 140 films dating back to the early 1940s, from mainstream blockbusters to cult B classics. He also produced three Spaghetti Westerns, including The Hills Run Red (1966), and Navajo Joe (1966). In the 1970s he produced three Euro-westerns, A Man Called Sledge (1970), The Deserter (1971) and Chino (1973). He also produced a trio of American westerns, Buffalo Bill and the Indians (1976), The Shootist (1976), and The White Buffalo (1977). His non-western resume is extensive. In earlier decades he produced La Strada (1954), Nights of Cabiria (1957) and Barbarella (1968). He went on to produce Serpico (1973), Conan the Barbarian (1982), Dune (1984), and Manhunter (1986). In more recent decades he has produced Army of Darkness (1992), Hannibal (2001) and Red Dragon (2002).

Fulvio Morsella

Born ??? – December, 2002 (Rome, Italy) Best known for his associations with, he had a hand in helping to make several of Leone’s western masterpieces. He first got credit as a writer, helping to build the story and scenarios of Leone’s For a Few Dollars More (1965). He went on to be a producer on two of Leone’s directorial efforts, the masterpiece Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), and Duck, You Sucker (1971). He continued to collaborate with Leone, co-producing and co-writing with him on My Name is Nobody (1973), and A Genius, Two Partners and a Dupe AKA Nobody’s the Greatest (1975).

Italo Zingarelli

Zingarelli produced eight Italian and Euro Westerns, and is credited with first conceiving the the blockbuster team of Terence Hill and Bud Spencer. He started out as an extra, stuntman, production manager, and writer on films. He later became a producer, backing westerns such as Johnny Yuma (1966), and The Five Man Army (1969), the latter of which he also directed. He collaborated with Hill and Spencer on three westerns, all of which were huge box office successes; God Forgives, I Don’t (1968), They Call Me Trinity (1970) and Trinity is Still My Name (1971). Outside of westerns, he collaborated with Hill and Spencer on two films, producing All the Way Boys AKA Plane Crazy (1972), and directing I’m For the Hippopotamus (1979). He also produced The Blanchville Monster (1963), and Amuck (1972).


Enzo Barboni aka E.B. Clucher

July 10, 1922 (Rome, Italy)- March 23, 2002 (Rome) Under the alias of E.B. Clucher, he is best known for writing and directing They Call Me Trinity (1970) and Trinity is Still My Name (1971), both comedies among the top grossing Spaghetti Westerns in history, along with making household names out of its stars, Terence Hill and Bud Spencer. Before hitting it big as a director however, Barboni was one of Italy’s premier cinematographers, working on 11 Spaghetti Westerns including Django (1966), Texas Adios (1966), The Bounty Killer (1967), The Hellbenders (1967), Rita of the West (1967), Django, Prepare a Coffin AKA Viva Django (1968) and The Five Man Army (1970). He was also the cinematographer for non-westerns such as Nightmare Castle (1965), Gidget Goes to Rome (1963), and Duel of the Titans (1961). He went on to direct five Spaghetti Westerns, including the aforementioned “Trinity” films as well as Man of the East (1972). He also wrote the screenplay for They Call Him Cemetery (1971). As a director of non-western comedies, he continued working with either Hill, Spencer, or both, writing and directing Crime Busters (1977) and Even Angels Eat Beans (1973), and directing Double Trouble (1984), Go For It (1983) and They Call Me Renegade (1987).

Tonino Delli Colli

November 20, 1922 (Rome, Italy)- August 16, 2005 (Rome) Delli Colli cinematographed nearly 140 films in a 60 year career, including two of Sergio Leone’s westerns, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) and Once Upon a Time in the West (1968). He also worked as a cinematographer for Io son oil captaz (1951), one of Italy’s very first westerns, as well as the comedy Spaghetti Western Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears (1972). Outside of the Spaghetti Western genre, he cinematographed Toto in Color (1952), the first Italian film in color, as well as Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975), one of twelve collaborations with Pier Paolo Pasolini. He also provided cinematography for Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America (1984), The Name of the Rose (1986), and the Academy Award winning Life is Beautiful (1997), the latter two winning him two of his career four David di Donatello awards for best cinematography. Working with some of the most acclaimed European directors, he also cinematographed three Roman Polanski films, and four of Federico Fellini’s.

Massimo Dallamano

April 17, 1917 (Milan, Italy)- November 4, 1976 Dallamano is perhaps best known for being the cinematographer of Sergio Leone’s first two westerns, A Fistful of Dollars (1964) and For a Few Dollars More (1965). He cinematographed three other Spaghetti Westerns including Gunfight at Red Sands (1963). His first and only Spaghetti Western directorial effort was the highly regarded Bandidos (1967). Dallamano was the cinematographer for over 30 films, including Love and Larceny (1960) and Constantine and the Cross (1962) but switched to directing and screenwriting during the mid 1960s. He co-wrote and directed two well regarded gialli, What Have They Done to Solange? (1972) and The Police Want Help AkA Coed Murders (1974), as well as Dorian Gray (1970), Venus in Furs AKA Devil in the Flesh (1969), The Cursed Medallion AKA The Night Child (1975) and Colt 38 Special Squad.

Stelvio Massi

March 26, 1929 (Civitanova Marche, Italy)- March 26, 2004 (Velletri, Italy) The multitalented Massi started out as a camera operator , working in this capacity on three Spaghetti Westerns, including Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars (1964). He then progressed to cinematography, working frequently with director Giuliano Carnimeo. He cinematographed thirteen Spaghetti Westerns including The Price of Power (1969), Have a Good Funeral, Sartana Will Pay (1970), Sartana’s Here, Trade Your Pistol For a Coffin AKA Fistful of Lead (1970), They Call Me Hallelujah (1971) and They Call Him Cemtery (1971). Overall, he was the cinematographer for nearly fifty films, including The Case of the Bloody Iris (1972) and Giovannanona Long-Thigh (1973). He was also an accomplished director of over thirty films as well as an occasional screenwriter. His best known directorial efforts were the Fred Williamson actioner The Black Cobra (1987) and the Tomas Milian Euro-Crime film Emergency Squad (1974). During the 1980s he was sometimes credited as Stefano Catalano and Max Steel.

Alejandro Ulloa

September 14, 1926 (Madrid, Spain) The son of a director, he was one of Spain’s premier cinematographers, working on well over one hundred films, including twenty-one Spaghetti Westerns. Among the better known westerns that he worked on were Sugar Colt (1966), The Mercenary (1968), Companeros (1970), Bad Man’s River (1971), Sonny and Jed (1972), A Reason to Live, A Reason to Die (1972), The Stranger and the Gunfighter (1974), Pancho Villa (1971) and Cipolla Colt (1975). Outside of the western genre, Ulloa worked often in comedies as well as frequently with some of the best known Spanish and Italian explotation directors. He worked as a cinematographer on Atraco a las tres (1962), The Diabolical Dr. Z (1966), Perversion Story (1969), Forbidden Photos of a Lady Beyond Suspicion (1970), (1972), Horror Express (1972), High Crime (1973), Night of the Werewolf (1981), and Conquest (1983). He also worked as second unit director of photography on Chimes at Midnight (1965).


Tito Carpi

Born ??? A prolific screenwriter, Carpi had a hand in providing stories for a total of 26 Spaghetti Westerns and nearly 100 films overall. He worked frequently with directors Enzo G. Castellari and Giuliano Carnimeo. Among some of the westerns that he either wrote or co-wrote were Django Shoots First (1966), Any Gun Can Play (1967), Payment in Blood (1967), Kill Them All and Come Back Alone (1968), Johnny Hamlet (1968), I Am Sartana Your Angel of Death (1969), Sartana’s Here, Trade Your Pistols for a Coffin AKA Fistful of Lead (1970), Light the Fuse, Sartana is Coming (1971), and They Call Me Hallelujah (1971). After the Spaghetti Western genre had run its course he continued to write numerous exploitation classics such as Jungle Holocaust (1977), Tentacles (1977), The New Barbarions (1982), and Bronx Warriors 2 (1983), continuing his collaborations with Castellari as well as with Ruggero Deodato and Antonio Margheriti.

Sergio Donati

Sergio Donati April 13, 1933 (Rome, Italy) A friend and collaborator of Sergio Leone, Donati had a hand in writing some of the greatest Spaghetti Westerns ever made. He contributed, albeit uncredited, to For a Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (1966). He worked on Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) and Duck, You Sucker (1971). He also co-wrote two of Sergio Sollima’s westerns, The Big Gundown (1966), and Face to Face (1967), as well as two of’s, Ben and Charlie (1972), and Buddy Goes West (1981). He worked on 11 Spaghetti Westerns in all and close to 80 films in a career spanning over half a century. Among the better known non-westerns that he has had a hand in writing are Raw Deal (1986), and Orca: The Killer Whale (1977), both with fellow Spaghetti Western writer Luciano Vincenzoni. He has also appeared in interviews on several documentaries and DVD featurettes on Leone’s films.

Ernesto Gastaldi

September 10, 1934 (Graglia, Italy)- Gastaldi has had writing credits on 18 Spaghetti Westerns, of which several of them were considerable box office successes. These westerns include My Name is Nobody (1973), A Genius, Two Partners and a Dupe AKA Nobody’s the Greatest (1975), Day of Anger (1967), A Reason to Live a Reason to Die (1972), The Grand Duel (1972), The Price of Power (1969), I Am Sartana Your Angel of Death (1969), $10,000 Blood Money(1967), and Light the Fuse, Sartana is Coming (1971). Sometimes credited as Julian Berry, he has had writing credits on nearly 120 films, including a number of Giallo classics, having worked frequently with director Sergio Martino. His best known non-western writing credits are The Whip and the Body (1963), on which he also worked as Mario Bava’s assistant director, as well as The 10th Victim (1965), The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh (1971), The Taste of the Scorpion’s Tail (1971), Torso (1973), 2019- After the Fall of New York (1983).

Fernando Di Leo

January 11, 1932 (San Ferdinando di Puglia, Italy)- December 1, 2003 (Rome, Italy) Fernando Di Leo started out working in uncredited capacities for A Fistful of Dollars (1964) and For a Few Dollars More (1965). He would go on to be one of the premier Spaghetti Western screenwriters during the earlier years of the genre, writing and assistant directing on Return of Ringo (1965), and acquiring writing credits for Navajo Joe (1966), Massacre Time (1966), Sugar Colt (1966), Johnny Yuma (1966), Beyond the Law (1968), The Ruthless Four (1968) and 10 others. Di Leo would go onto become a well regarded writer and director of Euro-Crime films, including Caliber 9 (1972), The Italian Connection (1972), Il Boss (1973) and Mr. Scarface (1976). He also wrote and directed Asylum Erotica AKA Slaughter Hotel (1971) and Being Twenty (1978). Overall, Di Leo had a hand in writing over 40 films and directed 23.

Franco Solinas

January 19, 1927 (Cagliari, Italy)- September 14, 1982 (Fregene, Italy) He was involved in the writing process of four classic Spaghetti westerns. A member of the Italian Communist party, he was known for infusing his work with his brand of political awareness. Sergio Sollima’s hit western The Big Gundown (1966) as well as Sergio Corbucci's The Mercenary (1968) were originally based on Solinas' screenplays. He also helped to write two more classic Zapata westerns, Damiano Damiani’s A Bullet for the General (1966) and Giulio Petroni’s Tepepa (1968). Outside of the western genre, he worked on a number of acclaimed thrillers and war dramas including The Battle of Algiers (1966) for which he was nominated for an Oscar for best writing, story and screenplay. He also received writing credits for Salvatore Giuliano (1962), Queimada (1969), State of Siege (1972), The Assassination of Trotsky (1972) and Mr. Klein (1976). He was set to write a film for director Martin Scorses but died before that could happen.

Luciano Vincenzoni

March 7, 1926 (Treviso, Italy)- Known as the “Script Doctor”, Vincenzoni played an instrumental part in the success of two of Sergio Leone’s westerns. He co-wrote For a Few Dollars More (1965) and was the one who had first conceived of the idea for The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (1966). For both films, Vincenzoni helped to negotiate the selling of the film rights to United Artists for international release. Vinzenzoni also had writing credits for three other hit Spaghetti Westerns, Death Rides a Horse (1967), The Mercenary (1968) as well as another Leone western, Duck, You Sucker (1972). His last western writing credit was’s Cipolla Colt (1976). He also wrote a sequel to The Good, The Bad and the Ugly but the project never got off the ground. Overall, Vincenzoni helped to write nearly 70 features as an award winning screenwriter, often co-writing with fellow Spaghetti Western writer Sergio Donati. His credits include Malena (2000), Raw Deal (1986), Orca (1977), Once Upon a Crime (1992), Miami Supercops (1985), The Great War (1959), Flatfoot (1973) and Seduced and Abandoned (1964).


Tom Betts

He is one of world’s foremost authorities on Spaghetti Westerns and Euro-Westerns. Born in 1946, in Toledo, Ohio and now living in Anaheim, California, Betts has been a lifelong fan and enthusiast of the western genre, having first seen A Fistful of Dollars on its American opening night back in 1966. Since 1985, he has been the main editor of the long running fanzine, Westerns….All’Italiana. He also runs the online blog of the same name as well as the Spaghetti Western Database’s obituary site, Cemetery with Crosses. Having amassed a vast collection of Spaghetti Western related paraphernalia, he has contributed his research material and expertise to literally dozens of books and DVD releases.

Ulrich Bruckner

Bruckner is a Spaghetti Western expert, author and former CEO of Koch Media’s home cinema department. Spaghetti Western fans have much to thank Bruckner for. His influence during his time working for the German based media entertainment company ensured that many Spaghetti Westerns would be available for fans to enjoy on DVD. Largely because of Bruckner, Koch Media is now arguably the world’s premier Spaghetti Western DVD label. Despite under-performing sales numbers, Bruckner avoided “bare-bones” releases and instead emphasized products of high quality, special features and packaging, and affordable pricing. Bruckner has also authored the German language encyclopaedic volume, Für ein paar Leichen mehr (2002, 2006), which is considered by some to be the definitive informational reference guide on Spaghetti Westerns.

Sir Christopher Frayling

Born in 1946, the British professor was Knighted in 2001 and his perhaps the world’s leading Spaghetti Western historian and author. Frayling has written several books on Spaghetti Westerns and Sergio Leone in particular. Among his published works are Spaghetti Westerns: Cowboys and Europeans from Karl May to Sergio Leone (1981), Clint Eastwood (1992), Sergio Leone: Something To Do With Death (2000), and Sergio Leone: Once Upon a Time in Italy (2005). He has also appeared in numerous related documentaries as well as having recorded audio commentaries for DVD releases of Leone’s fims.

Marco Giusti

Born 1953, in Grosseto, Italy, he is a film critic, TV director, author and one of the leading experts on Italian genre cinema. In 2007, he was the curator of the Spaghetti Western retrospective for the Biennale di Venezia. Writer of several books on film and film making, he wrote the monumental Dizionario del western all’Italiana (2007), a true Spaghetti Western Bible for all those able to read Italian.


A native of Finland, this Spaghetti Western enthusiast who goes by the name “Shobary”, owns and operates the long running and popular website, Shobary’s Spaghetti Westerns ( Featuring actor filmographies, custom DVD covers, film screenshots, and other related information, the highlight of the site is Shobary’s trademark film reviews, in which he rates the films in several categories from a scale of 1 to 5 “coffins”. The site is often used as a reference guide by newcomers to the Spaghetti Western genre.