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Eduardo Ciannelli

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Eduardo Ciannelli
Cianelli in 1954
Born(1888-08-30)30 August 1888
Died8 October 1969(1969-10-08) (aged 81)
Resting placeCimitero Flaminio, Provincia di Roma, Lazio, Italy
Other namesEdward Ciannelli
Occupation(s)Singer, actor
Years active1917–1969
Alma Wolfe
(m. 1918; died 1968)

Eduardo Ciannelli (30 August 1888 – 8 October 1969) was an Italian baritone and character actor with a long career in American films, mostly playing gangsters and criminals. He was sometimes credited as Edward Ciannelli.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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Early life

Ciannelli was born in Lacco Ameno,[1] on the island of Ischia, where his father, a doctor, owned a health spa. He studied surgery at the University of Naples, and worked briefly as a doctor, but his love of grand opera and the dramatic stage won out and he became a successful baritone, singing at La Scala and touring Europe.

He went to the United States from the Port of Naples as a first cabin saloon passenger on board the steamship San Guglielmo, which arrived at the Port of New York on 19 March 1914. In New York, he appeared on Broadway in Oscar Hammerstein II's first musical Always You and later in Rose-Marie. He appeared in Theatre Guild productions in the late 1920s, co-starring with the Lunts (Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne), and Katharine Cornell. During that period, he appeared in Uncle Vanya, The Inspector General, and The Front Page. In 1935, he played Trock Estrella in Maxwell Anderson's Winterset on Broadway and repeated his performance in the film version (1936). He played Cauchon in Shaw's Saint Joan in 1936, after which he left Broadway permanently, except for one notable occasion when he returned to play in Dore Schary's play The Devil's Advocate in 1961 and receive a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor.

Career on screen

Trailer for Society Lawyer (1939)

His Hollywood career consists of close to 150 film and television appearances. Notable among these are Marked Woman (1937) with Bette Davis, Strange Cargo (1940) with Joan Crawford and Clark Gable, and perhaps his most famous role, as the fanatical Thuggee guru in Gunga Din (1939) with Cary Grant. In the 1940 serial Mysterious Doctor Satan, he played the eponymous villain, an evil scientist with an army of robots.

Ciannelli in Dillinger (1945).

In the 1950s and throughout the 1960s, he divided his time among Italian films such as The City Stands Trial, directed by Luigi Zampa,[2] Attila (1954) with Anthony Quinn and Sophia Loren, Helen of Troy (1956), appearances in American TV shows such as Climax Mystery Theater, The Time Tunnel, Perry Mason, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Johnny Staccato, The Detectives Starring Robert Taylor, Dr. Kildare and a few films including Houseboat (1958), The Visit (1964), The Chase (1966) with Marlon Brando, and The Secret of Santa Vittoria (1969), with Anthony Quinn and Anna Magnani.

Personal life and death

Ciannelli was married to Alma Wolfe from 1918 until her death (1968). They had two sons, Eduardo and Lewis E. Ciannelli, who is also an actor.[citation needed]

On 8 October 1969, Ciannelli died in Rome,[3] and was interred in the Cimitero Flaminio.[citation needed]


Year Film Role Director Notes
1917 The Food Gamblers The Italian Albert Parker
1931 Così è la vita
1933 Reunion in Vienna Pofferoff aka Poffy Sidney Franklin
1935 The Scoundrel Maurice Stern Charles MacArthur
1936 Winterset Trock Estrella
1937 Criminal Lawyer Larkin Jimmy Anderson (assistant)
1937 Marked Woman Johnny Vanning Michael Curtiz
1937 The League of Frightened Men Paul Chapin Alfred E. Green
1937 The Girl from Scotland Yard Franz Jorg Robert G. Vignola
1937 Super-Sleuth Professor Herman Ben Stoloff
1937 On Such a Night Ice Richmond Ewald André Dupont
1937 Hitting a New High Andreas Mazzini Raoul Walsh
1938 Law of the Underworld Rocky Lew Landers
1938 Blind Alibi Mitch Lew Landers
1939 Risky Business Philip Decarno Arthur Lubin
1939 Gunga Din Guru George Stevens
1939 Society Lawyer Jim Crelliman Edwin L. Marin
1939 Bulldog Drummond's Bride Henri Armides James P. Hogan
1939 The Angels Wash Their Faces Martino Ray Enright
1940 Strange Cargo Telez Frank Borzage
1940 Outside the Three-Mile Limit Dave Reeves Lewis D. Collins
1940 Zanzibar Koski Harold Schuster
1940 Forgotten Girls Gorno Phil Rosen
1940 Foreign Correspondent Mr. Krug Alfred Hitchcock
1940 The Mummy's Hand The High Priest Christy Cabanne
1940 Mysterious Doctor Satan Doctor Satan
1940 Kitty Foyle Giono Sam Wood
1941 Ellery Queen's Penthouse Mystery Count Brett James P. Hogan
1941 Sky Raiders Felix Lynx Ray Taylor
1941 They Met in Bombay Giovanni Riccio, Hotel Manager Clarence Brown
1941 I Was a Prisoner on Devil's Island Dr. Victor Martel Lew Landers
1941 Paris Calling Mouche Edwin L. Marin
1942 Dr. Broadway Vic Telli Anthony Mann
1942 Cairo Ahmed Ben Hassan W. S. Van Dyke
1942 You Can't Escape Forever Boss Greer Jo Graham
1943 For Whom the Bell Tolls Johnny Salvini Sam Wood Uncredited
1943 They Got Me Covered Baldanacco David Butler
1943 The Constant Nymph Roberto Edmund Goulding
1943 Adventures of the Flying Cadets Kurt von Helger, alias Corby Ray Taylor
1944 Passage to Marseille Chief Engineer Michael Curtiz
1944 The Mask of Dimitrios Marukakis Jean Negulesco
1944 The Conspirators Police Colonel Almeida Jean Negulesco
1944 Storm Over Lisbon Blanco George Sherman
1945 Dillinger Marco Minelli Max Nosseck
1945 A Bell for Adano Maj. Nasta Henry King
1945 Incendiary Blonde Nick the Greek George Marshall
1945 Crime Doctor's Warning Nick Petroni William Castle Uncredited
1946 Gilda Cartel Member Charles Vidor Uncredited
1946 Perilous Holiday Señor Aguirre Edward H. Griffith
1946 The Wife of Monte Cristo Jacques Antoine Edgar G. Ulmer
1946 Heartbeat Baron Ferdinand Dvorak Sam Wood
1946 Joe Palooka, Champ Florini Reginald Le Borg
1947 California Padre John Farrow
1947 Seven Keys to Baldpate Cargan Lew Landers
1947 The Lost Moment Father Rinaldo Martin Gabel
1947 The Crime Doctor's Gamble Maurice Duval William Castle
1947 Rose of Santa Rosa Don José de Garfias Ray Nazarro
1948 I Love Trouble John Vega Caprillo S. Sylvan Simon
1948 On Our Merry Way Maxim King Vidor
1948 To the Victor Firago Delmer Daves
1948 The Creeper Dr. Van Glock Jean Yarbrough
1949 Prince of Foxes Art Dealer Henry King Uncredited
1950 Volcano Giulio William Dieterle
1950 Fugitive Lady Ralph Clementi
1950 Pact with the Devil Giacomo Mola Luigi Chiarini
1950 The Fighting Men Barone Occhipinti Roberto Savarese
1950 Rapture Arnaldo Goffredo Alessandrini
1951 The People Against O'Hara Sol 'Knuckles' Lanzetta John Sturges
1951 It's Love That's Ruining Me Capo delle spie Mario Soldati
1952 Lieutenant Giorgio Barone di Polia Raffaello Matarazzo
1952 The City Stands Trial Alfonso Navona Luigi Zampa
1952 Prisoners of Darkness Marchese Rionero Enrico Bomba
1953 Voice of Silence G. W. Pabst
1953 Sul ponte dei sospiri Inquisitore
1953 I Vinti Claudio's father Michelangelo Antonioni
1953 The Ship of Condemned Women Michele Raffaello Matarazzo
1954 The Stranger's Hand Dr. Vivaldi Mario Soldati
1954 Mambo Il padre di Giovanna Robert Rossen
1954 Uomini ombra Ammiraglio Zora
1954 Attila Onegesius, counsellor to Attila Pietro Francisci
1954 Proibito Vescovo Mario Monicelli
1954 La tua donna it]
1955 New Moon don Giuseppe Luigi Capuano
1956 Helen of Troy Andros Robert Wise
1956 I Love Lucy Mr. Martinelli
1957 Il ricatto di un padre Alessandro Arlandi
1957 Monster from Green Hell Mahri Kenneth G. Crane
1958 Tumulto de Paixões
1958 Houseboat Arturo Zaccardi Melville Shavelson
1959 Wagon Train Clyrio Soriano
1962 The Untouchables Gregory Pindar / Joe Genna
1962 - 1965 Insight Friedrich Nietzsche / Prisoner
1964 The Visit Innkeeper Bernhard Wicki
1964 Grand Canyon Massacre Eric Dancer Stanley Corbett
1966 The Chase Party Guest Arthur Penn Uncredited
1966 The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Arturo 'Fingers' Stilletto / Carlo Farenti
1967 The Time Tunnel Count Enrico Galba
1967 The Spy in the Green Hat Arturo 'Fingers' Stilletto Joseph Sargent
1968 The Brotherhood Don Peppino Martin Ritt
1969 Mackenna's Gold Prairie Dog J. Lee Thompson
1969 Stiletto Don Andrea Bernard L. Kowalski
1969 The Secret of Santa Vittoria Luigi Stanley Kramer
1969 Boot Hill Judge Boone Giuseppe Colizzi
1970 The Syndicate: A Death in the Family Parker Piero Zuffi (final film role)

Selected Television

Year Title Role Notes
1960 Have Gun - Will Travel Renato Donatello Episode "Bitter Wine"
1960 Have Gun - Will Travel The Father Episode "Gold and Brimstone"
1962 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Priest Season 7 Episode 19: "Strange Miracle"
1962 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Mr. Marino Season 7 Episode 20: "The Test"


  1. ^ "Eduardo Ciannelli, 80, Played Many Movie Gangster Roles". The News. New Jersey, Paterson. p. 45. Retrieved 13 May 2020 – via
  2. ^ The City Stands Trial at My
  3. ^ Mayer, Geoff (2017). Encyclopedia of American Film Serials. McFarland. p. 74. ISBN 9780786477623. Retrieved 3 September 2018.

External links

This page was last edited on 27 April 2024, at 12:00
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