On This Day

Roberto Rossellini

Film Director Roberto Rossellini

Profession: Film Director


Biography: One of the co-creators of the neo-realism style of film making Rossellini's was one of the film world's most influential directors.

As the son of the man who opened Rome's first cinema Rossellini was exposed to films from a young age. His career started under the fascists in Italy before Benito Mussolini's fall. His first classic film "Rome Open City" which appeared in 1946 was by contrast an anti-fascist film. It won the Grand Prize at Cannes and the Academy Award for its screenplay.

Other neo-realist films quickly followed including "Paisan" (1946) and "Germany Year Zero" (1948). These films were often characterized by Rossellini's choice not to use professional actors.

Rossellini began a scandalous relationship with the Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman while making the film "Stromboli" (1950) while the two were married to others. They divorced in 1957 after Rossellini ignited another scandal by having an affair with Indian screenwriter Sonali Senroy DasGupta while asked to work in India by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

Born: May 8, 1906
Birthplace: Rome, Italy

Generation: Greatest Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Horse
Star Sign: Taurus

Died: June 3, 1977 (aged 71)

Married Life

Historical Events

  • 1954-09-07 "Journey to Italy", directed by Roberto Rossellini, starring Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders, is released
  • 1959-08-23 20th Venice Film Festival: "The Great War" directed by Mario Monicelli and "General della Rovere" directed by Roberto Rossellini jointly awarded Golden Lion

Biographies and Sources

Famous Directors