Note: the article itself is about Leonardo Pieracciono, the twelfth man on the list; Rossano is thirteenth.
"Unbelievable but true, he is twelfth in the CIRM classification
That Leonardo Pieraccioni was nice we knew, that others also found him dear is to be expected, but to find him listed among the most beautiful men of the century is really unexpected.
The new elf of the Italian cinema has in fact been classified in twelfth place in the classification of the "most beautiful men of the century", a result discovered through a survey from the Cirm (International Center of Market Research), on behalf of the weekly magazine Gente [ People].
A large and representative sample of Italian women (consulted in the different regions of our country) were in fact interviewed with the purpose of finding out which men represented, or continued to represent in the world, the most beautiful person, from the dawn of the century to the present
Sean Connery crushed all the competition (the only real 007, according to the interviewees), and in order, following Connery, were Kevin Costner, Richard Gere, Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, Alain Delon and Antonio Banderas.
First among Italians is Marcello Mastroianni in eighth place; then, up to ten, Gary Cooper and Tyrone Power (father of Romina, who having married Al Bano, obviously is incapable of understanding "beauty"). [Editor's note: they're referring to the singing duo (and married couple) Al Bano and Romina Power. They tour internationally, so you might have even heard of them appearing in your area at some point. And no, Al Bano isn't unattractive at all.]
In the second part of this unlikely classification we find, from eleventh through twentieth place: Gregory Peck, Leonardo Pieraccioni, Rossano Brazzi (it's impossible to find even one photo of his in circulation, to remember his image - n..d..r.) [Ed note: WHAT??!!?? Maybe we should send them some of ours?], Brad Pitt, Rodolfo Valentino, Marlon Brando, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Clark Gable, Benito Mussolini and Jean Paul Belmondo.
But it doesn't end there -- the interviewers of the Cirm have posed more questions to the Italian ladies and so you'll discover that the better bottom of the century belonged to Richard Gere, that the most romantic eyes are Paul Newman's and that the most fascinating chest was that of Marcello Mastroianni."Return to top of page
Incredibile ma vero, è dodicesimo nella classifica della Cirm
Che Leonardo Pieraccioni fosse simpatico lo sapevamo, che qualcuna lo trovasse anche carino c'era da aspettarselo, ma che fosse pure uno tra i più belli del secolo ci giunge proprio inaspettato.
Il nuovo folletto del cinema italiano si è infatti classificato al dodicesimo posto nella classifica dei "più belli del secolo" realizzata mediante un sondaggio dalla Cirm (Centro Internazionale di Ricerche del Mercato), su commissione del settimanale Gente.
Un folto e rappresentativo campione di donne italiane (interpellate nelle diverse regioni del nostro paese) è stato infatti intervistato con lo scopo di sapere quali uomini abbiamo rappresentato, o continuino a rappresentare, nel mondo la bellezza fatta persona, dagli albori del secolo ai giorni nostri.
Su tutti ha stravinto Sean Connery (l'unico vero 007, stando alle intervistate), quindi, nell'ordine, hanno fatto seguito Kevin Costner, Richard Gere, Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, Alain Delon e Antonio Banderas.
Primo tra gli italiani si è classificato Marcello Mastroianni all'ottavo posto; poi, per arrivare a dieci, Gary Cooper e Tyrone Power (padre di Romina, la quale, avendo sposato Al Bano, di belli ha dimostrato di non capirne poi tanto).
Nella seconda parte dell'improbabile classifica troviamo, fino al ventesimo posto, Gregory Peck, Leonardo Pieraccioni, Rossano Brazzi (impossibile trovare una sua foto in circolazione, figurarsi il ricordo - n.d.r), Brad Pitt, Rodolfo Valentino, Marlon Brando, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Clark Gable, Benito Mussolini e Jean Paul Belmondo.
Ma non finisce qui, gli intervistatori della Cirm si sono spinti oltre domande alle signore italiane e così si è scoperto che il "migliore sedere" del secolo è quello di Richard Gere, che gli occhi più ammalianti sono di Paul Newman e che torace più affascinante è stato quello di Marcello Mastroianni.Return to top of page
An Italian film released this year, I miei più cari amici, has in its cast Alessandro Gassman, playing a character "named Rossano, in honor of Brazzi". This is © "Il Messaggero" Online, from their April 11th edition.
The Italian article is followed by the English translation.
I miei più cari amici (commedia)Regia: Alessandro Benvenuti
ROMA - Benvenuti cambia cavallo. Non rinuncia ai suoi gruppi di famiglia o di amici costretti in un unico ambiente, al viluppo di affetti e rancori, al gusto di miscelare e dirigere una squadra di attori. Ma le somiglianze fra I miei piu cari amici e i due Casa Gori si fermano qui. Niente famiglia, niente Toscana, niente naturalismo e sapori autobiografici. In questo film, scritto per la prima volta con Alberto Ongaro, romanziere dal gusto avventuroso, il modello è semmai un certo cinema anglosassone, un cinema dominato dall'intreccio e dalla finzione. Tanto più che qui i personaggi sono tutti attori falliti, convocati l'uno all'insaputa dell'altro in un castello. Cosa nasconde quell'invito misterioso? A giudicare dal padrone di casa, che è proprio Benvenuti, collega ed ex-amico dal passato tumultuoso e dalla fregatura facile, converrebbe stare alla larga. Ma ognuno ha una buona ragione per non farsi indietro. La pornostare Eva Robin è sotto sfratto, Athina Cenci è reduce da un fragoroso insuccesso, Zuzzurro e Gaspare sono finiti nei guai a forza di "rubare" dialoghi veri al registratore, il multifobico Vito è stato mollato dall'amante, mentre Alessandro Gassman, battezzato Rossano in onore di Brazzi, aspettando scritture si arrangia come gigolo. Aggiungete un'altra manciata di figure di contorno (citiamo almeno il botanico Flavio Bucci, l'impresario Marco Messeri, il maggiordomo Sandro Lombardi) e capirete che il film procede così, zigzagando fra trovate e rovesci (tormentone "Non vi ho detto tutta la verità") ma senza mai trovare un centro, nemmeno quando emergono i misteriosi retroscena. Peccato, perché Benvenuti è un autore-attori in crescita, versatile, curioso, ingordo di facce e linguaggi, solo che qui non riesce a dar vera vita ai personaggi. Magari non doveva allontanarsi troppo troppo dal proprio mondo. O forse, chissà, per raccontare "il male", l'assenza di radici, il vuoto di certa cultura di massa, ha finito per farsene contagiare. Certo è che Casa Gori somigliava al mondo intero, mentre in questo microcosmo così "d'attualità" è difficile ritrovarsi.Return to top of page
Benvenuti changes horses [changes direction]. He doesn't give up his groups of family or constructed [forced] friends in a single environment, the tangle of affections and grudges, or the enjoyment of mixing and directing a company of actors. But the similarities between I miei più cari amici and the two Casa Gori [previous Benvenuti films] stop here. No family, no Tuscany, no naturalism or autobiographic tastes.
In this film, writing for the first time with Alberto Ongaro, novelist with adventurous tastes, the model is certainly Anglo-Saxon cinema, dominated by interplay and pretense. So much so that the characters here are all bankrupt actors, each summoned without knowledge of the others to a castle. What is hidden behind that mysterious invitation? To judge from the castle's padrone, Benvenuti himself, colleague and ex-friend of their tumultuous pasts, the answer to that question is a big one. But each has a good reason not to return.
The porno star Eva Robin's is under eviction, Athina Cenci is reduced to a roaring failure, Zuzzurro and Gaspara are finished in their difficulties in stealing real-life dialogue in their recorder, the multi-phobic Vito has been dumped by his lover, while Alessandro Gassman, baptized [named] Rossano in honor of Brazzi, waits for papers that will set him up as a gigolo. Add another handful of characters (we cite at least the botanist Flavio Bucci, the entrepreneur Mark Messeri, the butler Sandro Lombardi) and you will understand that the film proceeds like this, zig-zagging between discovery and reversals (Anguish: "I have not told you the whole truth ...") but without ever finding a center, even when the background mysteries emerge. It's a pity, because Benvenuti is an author-actor on the rise, versatile, curious, filled with faces and languages, only here he doesn't succeed in giving true life to the characters. Even he didn't have to estrange himself from his own world too much. Or perhaps, who knows, to recount the "evil", the absence of roots, the void of certain mass culture, has ended up allowing an infection to grow. Certainly, Casa Gori resembled the whole world, while in this microcosm, things of "reality" are difficult to find.Return to top of page
The following collection of miscellaneous factoids of information are courtesy of a conversation with Isle Fischer Brazzi in November of 1997. These are reprinted here with her permission.
He was one of the those lucky men blessed with a photographic memory. He would lock himself up in his study for two entire days, and ask not to be disturbed - by anyone or anything. For two days, Isle tells us, he would do nothing but eat, sleep and read the script. At the end of two days, he not only knew his own part from memory - he knew everyone else's too.
... did NOT die at the hands of the Fascists, as has been reported in several biographical sources. His father drowned while swimming, and his mother died of cancer.
He actually lived with his in-laws early on in their marriage, while he and Lydia were still quite poor, and it was Rossano who was financially responsible for caring for less fortunate members of both of their families. The household became so crowded, in fact, that Rossano used to ask business associates and other guests to meet him for meetings in the lobby of the hotel across the street (Via Sistina), where the surroundings were more quiet and dignified.
... he wore on his fifth finger throughout most of his career was not a marriage or wedding ring - it was a very heavy silver ring bearing the three-faces of the actor: the mask of comedy and the mask of tragedy bracketing the face of the Muse.
... a couple of us watched The Far Pavilions recently and wondered what thoughts were going through his mind as he made his entrance for the first time in his career (that we know of), on the back of a huge Indian elephant. Isle, who traveled to the set with him (and was thrilled to be introduced to Omar Sharif, Amy Irving and her husband at the time, Stephen Spielberg) reports that we were absolutely 100% correct in our guess that he was praying the elephant handlers knew what they were doing, and that the elephant wouldn't suddenly decide to bolt. Even more importantly, she added, he was thinking about his sore back and behind -- they tried that scene from so many different angles, and the elephant gait was so bumpy, and the filming took so long, that by the time he finally alighted, he could barely stand, walk or sit down! (And all that time he looked so dignified and regal! What an actor).
He was fascinated by the Apollo 11 moonwalk, and spent hours watching it on TV, commenting, "In my next life, I want to walk on the moon."
[And no, we can't even remember why we asked Isle what Rossano thought of the moonwalk! For some reason, the topic just ... came up!)
He was very active in charity work combatting children's leukemia, and worked as a spokesman for groups which brought doctors over from Italy to learn the newest methods in battling the disease, and raised money for research.
He may have been 78 years old, but he worked out conscientiously and was in apparently excellent physical shape at the time of his death. After developing a very low fever and a slight cough, his doctor asked him to stay at a local hospital for tests, which he did. Isle had returned to their home, about ten minutes away, for a fresh pair of pajamas for him, and tells us that by the time she arrived home, the phone was ringing. It was the clinic, asking her to return right away, and by the time she raced back to the clinic, he was gone. The cause could only be described as a "virus that effected his nervous system", but neither his doctors or Rossano himself, anticipated his very sudden death.
Which is not to say that no one did. Isle described their poodle, Blackie, as being uncharacteristically unwilling to follow her when she left the hospital room. He did, eventually, but not before leaping upon the bed and bestowing upon Rossano what turned out to be one last "kiss". Apparently, Blackie knew more than the doctors did.
Rossano is buried in the Cimitario Flamino, in Prima Porta, just north of Rome, and can be identified only by a small plaque on a wall. At his own request, he was buried without fanfare. As it was pointed out, there is no way to pay one's respects at his gravesite, because there isn't one, and the simple setting doesn't have the room for a floral arrangement or tribute.
So what is this "Brazzi Chicken", you ask? Only our new favorite dish, called "Pollo á là Rossano Brazzi" if you speak Italian, "Chicken á là Rossano Brazzi" if you speak English, "Poulet á là Rossano Brazzi", if you're going to get French about it! This flavorful dish can be attributed solely to Georges Restaurant in Rome, located on Via Marche, 7 - and the reason for its creation, back in 1957, was the 39th birthday celebration of Hank Kaufman, one-half of the Kaufman/ Lerner "Dynamic Duo" (Kaufman- Lerner Associates represented Rossano and others for many years). Guests at the celebration included clients such as Elsa Martinelli, Dawn Addams and of course Rossano, all of whom were asked to recommend a special dish for the chef, but keep the recipe a secret -- and the resulting menu (for 20 guests) is on the next page. (By the way, we're told that the L77.750 in 1957 would actually equal about $1,400 today - even more, given the value of the wines - or,about $70.00 per person.)As for the recipe itself, the best we can tell you is that the tomatoes, olives and mushrooms were coarsely chopped and covered the chicken in a delicious, fragrant sauce, that it was extraordinarily delicious, and that it was very Toscano. For those of us raised on Martha Stewart or The Betty Crocker School of Exact Measurements, this might be a bit daunting, as we can't give you even a oven temperature. But for those of us raised at 'Scuola Nonna' (i.e., "a pinch of this and a dollop of that 'til it tastes right") this will be right up your alley. In fact, if anyone would like to take a crack at this and provide a more exact recipe for the rest of us, give it a try!
The recipe, hand-written in Italian and difficult to decipher at times, reads as follows: Chicken open in half and cooked on the stove with salt, pepper, olive oil and white wine Commellino(?). Either "filetti" or "feleffi" (?) of fresh, ripe tomatoes, black greek olives, champignon mushrooms."
And for those of you planning a trip to Rome, be sure and stop by Georges, Via Marche 7 ... be sure and call ahead of time and ask for the "Pollo á là Rossano Brazzi", tell them we sent you, and enjoy!
Click here for a photo taken at the event. From left to right: Elsa Martinelli, Rossano Brazzi, Dawn Addams and Hank Kaufman, taken at Georges Restaurant, May 25, 1957. Photo © Gene Lerner.