Marcello Mastroianni was born September 28, 1924 in Fontana Liri, Italy; a small rural village adjacent to the Apennines Mountains. His mother, raised in Germany, was of Jewish decent. His father, Italian-born, owned a carpentry shop. During the Second World War, Mastroianni was temporarily interned at a German detainment camp out of which he escaped, fleeing to Venice where he hid out until the end of the war. In 1945, Mastroianni began working for an Italian film company, which prompted him to begin acting classes. A rookie at age 21, he booked his first job not long after; a small role in Riccardo Freda’s I Miserabili (1948). Audiences took notice of the young Mastroianni and it wasn’t long before he was promoted to leading man. Among his most critically acclaimed credits are: La Dolce Vita, 81/2, La Notte, Today and Tomorrow, Marriage Italian-Style, and Ready to Wear. Mastroianni was one part of possibly the most beloved and enduring screen couples in history; the other part being the incomparable Sofia Loren. Over the course of 20 years, the two appeared in 14 films together.
Mastroianni was married to Flora Carabella at the age of 24, and remained married until his death. However, he famously had a long affair with Catherine Deneuve later in life, with whom he had a daughter. Mastroianni died at 72 of pancreatic cancer.