Tuesday, August 7, 2018

RIP Jimmy il Fenomeno

Goodbye to Jimmy il Fenomeno, a unique characteristic of Italian cinema

August 7, 2018

The actor died at the age of 86 in the Milanese nursing home where he had been hospitalized since 2003

Goodbye to Jimmy il Fenomeno (the phenomenon).  The actor died at the age of 86 in the residence for the elderly in Milan where he’s lived since 2003. Luigi Origene Soffrano, his real name, has lent his face and his physicality to dozens of comedies.  In the 1980s he was also seen on television, participating as Ezio Greggio's sidekick in "Drive In".  In 2010 he had launched an appeal for the subsidy of the Bacchelli Law.

The grimaces, dialect and the tone of voice always made him stand out above his dialogue. From 1961, the year of " Hercules and the Conquest of Atlantis " and " The Federale", his first roles, until 1998, the year of "Jolly Blu", his last interpretation, Jimmy il Fenomeno was a characterizing presence in dozens and dozens of films.  In particular, in the golden age of Italian sex comedy, his was a practically fixed presence, so much so that bringing a complete filmography would be impossible.  Suffice it to mention, among other titles, "Il monaco di Monza", "Fantozzi", "La liceale nella classe dei ripetenti", "Fico d'India", "Il bisbetico domato", "I fichissimi", "Innamorato pazzo", "Acqua e sapone", "Il ragazzo di campagna". 

In "Drive In ", among other things, he interpreted, in a surreal sketch, " La casa per coniugi", won by the competitors of "Testa di quiz", of which Ezio Greggio was the conductor.

But Jimmy il Fenomeno had become a beloved character even outside the confines of cinema, so that for years he was a fixture of the transfer market, where the company used him, considering him a lucky charm.  With the ongoing years and the infirmities and the end of a certain cinematographic genre, his parable finished badly.  In the 1990s he moved from Rome to Milan, and in 2003, with serious physical problems that made it difficult to walk, he went to live in an old-age residence, "La casa per coniugi". In a state of poverty, he launched an appeal in 2010 to be granted the subsidy to the Bacchelli Law.  His funeral will take place on Wednesday at 11 am.

il FENOMENO, Jimmy (Luigi Origene Soffrano)
Born: 4/22/1932, Lucera, Puglia, Italy
Died: 8/6/2018, Milan, Lombardy, Italy

Jimmy il Fenomeno’s westerns – actor:
$10,000 for a Massacre – 1967 (bartender)
The Longest Hunt – 1968 (Soldier in Doneghan's Army)

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