Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Bud Spencer has died

Italian actor Bud Spencer has died, age 86.

How did the Neapolitan Carlo Pedersoli get the name "Bud Spencer?" It's a long and entertaining story. He started out after the war as a precocious university student, who then turned his attentions to swimming competitively and did very well indeed. He was national champion and was the first Italian to swim 100 meters in under a minute. He also was in the Olympics. Here he is in all his youthful glory.

Time passed, he got married and had some bambini. He tried his hand as a songwriter. Then stumbled upon an acting career and as part of the spaghetti western trend took the name of "Bud Spencer," a combination of Budweiser and Spencer Tracy.  He lost his swimmer's physique but not his badassness, as can be seen here (with his sidekick Terence Hill aka Mario Girotti.)

Not content with his meager accomplishments, he went on to become a businessman, pilot, politician and author. His last book, Mangio ergo sum, came out two years ago and was inspired by the anguished nightmares caused by a diet. Various philosophers come to talk to the hungry giant, who tells them his own views on life, and finishes up with a recipe. Pasta e fagioli seems to occupy an important position in his worldview, as it should.

Get to know more about this great guy at his official website here (English version at bottom of home page.)