Mastroianni, Marcello (1924-1996), Italian film actor, who won international renown. Mastroianni was born in Fontana Liri. He acted as an extra in late-1940s Italian films and then as a member of the theatre company of Italian director Luchino Visconti. His most notable films of the 1950s include Le Notti Bianche (1957; White Nights) and I Soliti Ignoti (1958; Persons Unknown). In 1960 he became a sensation in La Dolce Vita, by Italian director Federico Fellini, playing a journalist in Rome. In it he defined a new, modern screen hero: a likeable character who, while never actively pursuing corruption, finally lacks the energy to resist betraying his own best instincts.
Mastroianni worked for the first time with director Michelangelo Antonioni in La Notte (1961; The Night), but his association with Fellini was fixed indelibly when he played the director's alter ego in Otto e Mezzo (1963; 81). Mastroianni's comedic talents also buoyed his career; he won his first Academy Award (Oscar) nomination-rare for a foreign-language actor-for his role in Divorzio all'Italiano (Divorce Italian Style), a 1962 comedy. He acted in a wide range of films, including sentimental vehicles in which he starred opposite Sophia Loren (Ieri, Oggi, Domani, 1963; Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, and Matrimonio all'Italiana, 1964; Marriage Italian Style) and occasional English-language projects (A Place for Lovers, 1969; Used People, 1992). He was nominated for Academy Awards again on two occasions-for Una Giornata Particolare (1977; A Special Day) and Otchi Tchornyia (1987; Dark Eyes)-and was reunited with Fellini for La Citt delle Donne (1981; City of Women), Ginger and Fred (1986), and Intervista (1987).
Mastroianni continued to be in demand with the world's top directors, such as Ettore Scola (1988; Splendor), Theodorus Angelopolous (Meteoro Vima tou Pelargou, 1991; The Suspended Stride of the Stork), Robert Altman (Prt--Porter, 1994), Michelangelo Antonioni (Par-del les Nuages, 1995; Beyond the Clouds), and Raoul Ruiz (Trois Vies et une Seule Mort, 1996; Three Lives and Only One Death). He died in Paris on December 19, 1996.