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Gino Cervi
Cervi in 1970
Luigi Cervi

(1901-05-03)3 May 1901
Died3 January 1974(1974-01-03) (aged 72)
Years active1925–1972
SpouseNiní Gordini Cervi (1928-74)
ChildrenTonino Cervi
RelativesValentina Cervi (granddaughter)

Luigi Cervi (3 May 1901 – 3 January 1974), better known as Gino Cervi (Italian pronunciation: [ˈdʒiːnoˈtʃɛrvi]), was an Italian actor. He was best known for portraying Peppone in a series of comedies based on the character Don Camillo (1952–1965), and police detective Jules Maigret on the television series Le inchieste del commissario Maigret (1964–1972).

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Life and career

Cervi was born in Bologna as Luigi Cervi. His father was Antonio Cervi, a theatre critic for Il Resto del Carlino. His family held close ties to the town of Casalbuttano ed Uniti, where the elder Cervi would eventually be buried.

Cervi (left) with the Belgian author Georges Simenon and the Italian publisher Arnoldo Mondadori

He was best known for his role of Giuseppe Bottazzi ("Peppone"), the Communist mayor in the Don Camillo movies of the 1950s and the 1960s. He shared great understanding and friendship with co-star Fernandel during the 15 years playing their respective roles in Don Camillo movies.[1] He was a stage actor, particularly known for his interpretations of Shakespeare,[2] and co-founded the Teatro Eliseo's stable company with Paolo Stoppa and Rina Morelli in 1939.[3]

Toward the end of his career he played Commissioner Maigret for eight years in the Italian TV adaptation of the series of crime novels by Georges Simenon, Le inchieste del commissario Maigret (1964–1972), during which he also starred in a spin-off movie Maigret a Pigalle (1966), produced by his son Tonino Cervi.[4]

Cervi was also a voice actor, and dubbed into Italian the films of Laurence Olivier (Henry V, 1944; Hamlet, 1948; Richard III, 1955),[5] Orson Welles, Clark Gable (It Happened One Night, 1934), and James Stewart (Harvey, 1950). He dubbed Alec Guinness' voice in the Italian version of Brother Sun, Sister Moon (1972) and Charles Boyer in Lucky to Be a Woman (1956).

Personal life

In 1928, Cervi married actress Nini Gordini and they had a son, Tonino Cervi. He later became the grandfather of actress Valentina Cervi and producer Antonio Levesi Cervi.

He was initiated to the Italian Scottish Rite Freemasonry in the Lodge "Palingenesi" (Rome, 1946) and later he joined the Lodge "Galvani" in Bologna.[6][7]

As a young adult, Cervi was a supporter of the Fascist Party and participated in the March on Rome.[8] His political alignment changed during World War II, when he openly denounced Fascism and far-right politics in general. He supported the Christian Democrats during the 1968 general election, and later joined the Italian Liberal Party, winning an election as councilor for the Lazio region.[8]


Cervi died in Punta Ala in 1974.

Selected filmography

Gino Cervi in Maigret (1967).


  • (in Italian) Mauro Manciotti, Un attore per amico. Omaggio a Gino Cervi, Comune di Borgio Verezzi (SV), Borgio Verezzi, 1999.
  • (in Italian) Andrea Maioli, Rino Maenza, Cervi 100. Peppone, Maigret e gli altri, Medianova, Bologna, 2001.
  • (in Italian) Andrea Derchi, Marco Biggio, Gino Cervi: attore protagonista del '900, ERGA Edizioni, Genova, 2002. ISBN 8881632381.
  • (in Italian) Riccardo F. Esposito, Don Camillo e Peppone. Cronache cinematografiche dalla Bassa Padana 1951–1965, Le Mani – Microart's, Recco, 2008. ISBN 9788880124559.


  1. ^ Cf. Andrea Maioli & Rino Maenza, Cervi 100. Peppone, Maigret e gli altri, Medianova, Bologna 2001, s.v. "Don Camillo".
  2. ^ Barron, Emma (2018). Popular High Culture in Italian Media, 1950–1970: Mona Lisa Covergirl. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-3319909622.
  3. ^ "Cervi, Gino - MSN Encarta". 19 June 2008. Archived from the original on 19 June 2008. Retrieved 12 April 2022.
  4. ^ Cf. Andrea Maioli & Rino Maenza, Cervi 100. Peppone, Maigret e gli altri, ibid., s.v. "Maigret".
  5. ^ "Laurence Olivier e Gino cervi nell'Amleto di Shakespeare, 1948 -". Rai Teche (in Italian). 10 July 2019. Retrieved 12 April 2022.
  6. ^ "From Belli to Totò and Gino Cervi, MASSONICamente narrows the Italian artist freemasons" (in Italian). Archived from the original on 2 October 2018. il 3 gennaio ricorrono i 40 anni dalla morte, indimenticabile interprete di Peppone iscritto alla loggia "Galvani" di Bologna, dopo essere stato iniziato nel 1946 nella loggia "Palingenesi" di Roma
  7. ^ "When Totò was a Freemason". (in Italian). 11 July 1993. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  8. ^ a b "CERVI, Gino in "Dizionario Biografico"". 28 October 2018. Archived from the original on 28 October 2018. Retrieved 12 April 2022.

External links

This page was last edited on 29 March 2024, at 18:35
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