Cabaret artist, comedian, actor, dubber, singer, director and anchorman. No, we are not listing the many professions in the entertainment world, but those practiced by Gigi Proietti. The well-known Roman presenter is in fact one of the most loved characters by young and old, able to mark an era in cinema, theater and television. And now that he turns 79 (by the way, Happy Birthday Gigi!), we wish to retrace his career full of successes.
From pubs to the big stage: the rise of Gigi Proietti
In the Olympus of Italian theatrical actors we must reserve a seat for Gigi Proietti, inevitably. Thanks to his acting, transformative and oratory talents, in fact, the Roman artist is one of the greatest exponents of contemporary theater. And like many of his colleagues, Proietti’s success starts at the bottom. To be precise from the bars and pubs in Rome, when he starts performing with the guitar to maintain his studies in Jurisprudence and cultivate one of his greatest passions: music. At the same time he began to enjoy the theater too, thus fully engaging his days. In the morning to the courses, in the afternoon to try on the stage and in the evening in concert in the clubs of the Capital. This until a few exams from graduation, when he decides to leave his studies to devote himself full time to the world of art.
He begins to attend courses on courses to improve his technique. Thanks to the many masters – some of national importance – he refines his skills, carving out more and more space on the stage. In the late 1960s, success took over. He is in fact called to replace Domenico Modugno (not just any …) as anchor of Alleluia brava gente, alongside Renato Rascel. In the following years he also began acting as a protagonist in numerous films, up to the cinematographic consecration in 1976 with Febbre da cavallo. But success is not immediate, given the cold reception of the public. In fact, only in the following years will it become a cult movie, as well as a school of demented genre.
But the good Gigi is not only an actor. To stay on tour he delights in the art of dubbing, often with excellent results, to become one of the most loved voices on the big and small screen.
Among experimentation, confirmations and poetry
Also in 1976, Gigi Proietti launched one of his iconic shows: A me gli occhi, please. After the first staging in Rome, the performance is revived in the most presigious Italian theaters. Numerous replicas follow each other over the years, breaking up several records.
Between the Eighties and the Nineties Proietti devoted himself increasingly to the theater, also founding a workshop for scenic exercises in the Teatro Brancaccio in Rome (which he also took over as director). From here come out actors like Enrico Brignano, Flavio Insinna and Giorgio Tirabassi. In 1996 the consecration arrives also on the small screen with Il maresciallo Rocca. Series broadcast in replication still today with excellent results.
In 2003, from one of his ideas, the Silvano Toti Globe Theater was born, which re-proposes the Globe Theater in London in an Italian key. Initially he decides to manage only his artistic conduct, without ever acting on it. This until 2017 when he finally steps on the stage as an actor in the opera Edmund Kean by Raymund FitzSimons.
In addition to the show, Gigi Proietti is also known for his poems and his activity as a writer. In fact, in 2015 he published Decamerino. Novellas behind the scenes. A collection of stories and anecdotes in dressing room verses, that is born in the dressing room and behind the scenes. From 2019 he was also awarded the title Professor Emeritus Honoris Causa in Literature and Philosophy. In short, an all-round artist capable even today – after almost fifty years of career – of making us laugh out loud.