Adolfo Celi

Adolfo Celi (Italian pronunciation: [aˈdɔlfo ˈtʃɛli]; 27 July 1922 –19 February 1986) was an Italian film actor and director. Born in Messina, Sicily, Celi appeared in nearly 100 movies, specializing in international villains. His most famous role was as Emilio Largo in the 1965 James Bond movie Thunderball. Celi later spoofed his Thunderball role in the film OK Connery (aka Operation Double 007) opposite Sean Connery's brother, Neil. He also appeared as a protagonist in some Italian comedies like Amici Miei and Brancaleone alle Crociate. Another well-known role of his was as camp commandant Battaglia opposite Frank Sinatra and Trevor Howard's Allied POWs in the 1965 World War II escape drama Von Ryan's Express. He is also known to international audiences as Ralph Valmont, one of the villans in the Mario Bava action thriller Danger: Diabolik. In addition to his native Italian, Celi was fluent in several languages, including English, Spanish, French, German, and Portuguese, but his thick Sicilian accent meant that he was usually dubbed when he appeared in English language films. For example, Robert Rietti provided his voice in both Thunderball and That Man from Rio.


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