Profile Image of Roberto Benigni

Roberto Benigni

1952-10-27

Roberto Benigni, (born October 27, 1952, Misericordia, Arezzo, Italy), Italian actor and director known for his comedic work, most notably La vita è bella (1997; Life Is Beautiful), for which he won an Academy Award for best actor. Benigni was the son of a poor tenant farmer who had worked in a German forced-labour camp during World War II. The elder Benigni used humour in retelling his experiences, which helped shape his son’s comedic skill. Benigni briefly attended a Jesuit seminary in Florence, and, after a stint as a magician’s assistant, he joined an underground theatre group in the late 1960s.