Born Sept. 1, 1922, in Genoa. Italian actor and director.
Gassman graduated from the National Academy of Dramatic Art in Rome in 1943 and made his debut that year at the Odeon theater in Milan. He worked in various troupes, one of them under the eminent Italian director L. Visconti. In 1950, together with G. Salvini, he founded his own troupe called the National Theater, which he later reorganized with L. Squarzina into the Italian Art Theater. Gassman organized another troupe in 1954, and in 1959 he established the Italian Folk Theater in Rome. As an outstanding tragic actor, Gassman performed the title roles in Aeschylus’ Prometheus, Sophocles’ Oedipus the King, Alfieri’s Orestes, and Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Since 1949 he has also worked as a director, staging Ugo Betti’s The Gambler, Shakespeare’s Othello and Romeo and Juliet, and many others. Gassman made his cinematic debut in 1947 and remains a prominent film actor in Italy. He played the bandit in Bitter Rice, Kean in Kean, and Bruno in II Sorpasso.