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 Raf Vallone   Inglese

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>>====> Tropea

In honour of Raf Vallone,   "a man from Il Poro"

Born in Tropea on February 17th 1916,  Dead in Rome on October 31st 2002

'What matters in life is not what happens to you

but what you remember and how you remember it.'

                             Garcia Marquez                                                        Index 

Thanks to the cooperation of the family, we publish a detailed biography of Raf Vallone. The family helped us to collect information regarding the actor’s life and about his origins. His background belonged from the culture of Poro, the culture of his mother and one of the noble families in Tropea, where he grew up.

The family, the sons Eleonora, Saverio, Arabella and the wife Elena Varzi, joined the idea of a web site and cooperated to show us the values Vallone believed in and to point the features of the actor’s life, also as father.

Thanks to the materials and the pictures the family gave us, we could make a research so precious.

Editor - May 2006                                               Translated by Erika Morelli

Index:           Click on the subject

1. Childhood

2. Parents

3. Raf as father: believes and values

4. Education, Turin and Turin soccer team

5. Soccer and Honesty

6. The military service and the partisan period

7. Journalism

8. The actor and his career

9.  G. De Santis, Vallone’s  first director

10. Wedding

11. How his wife remember Raf

12. Woman and Love

13. "Silent Tears" (Le Lacrime Silenziose)

14. America, Hollywood and New York

15. The theatrical career

16. Best friends in Turin

17. Best friends in Tropea

18. Holy Mary in Romania

19. The Norman Cathedral

20. Old Age The End

21. The book: "Memory’s Alphabet"

22. Memory

23. How Eleonora remembers Raf

24. How Arabella remembers Raf

25. How Saverio remembers Raf

26. Family life

27. Interview

28. Filmography

29. Theatre

30. Director

The research last 11 months. We thank: Elena Varzi, Eleonora, Saverio, Arabella, Vallone, Alda Grimaldi, Orsolina Campisi, Sibilla Lauri, Josephin Caporetto, Serena Tatti, others. 

Collect all the data and the information of Raf Vallone is not easy also for someone who has good experience in web communication. Raf Vallone seemed to have a complex personality which excited and intrigued us.

A complete research needs time. We analyze that part of his life which was characterized by the culture of Poro. The help of the family was useful for our research.

Vallone appears as a man of great intellectual capacity and balance. Thanks to the above capacities, he could be at the apex of shows, politics, and human relations. He was considered a difficult man because of his disconcerting sincerity and his aggressiveness. People who worked with him remembered his moral rigour and his severity.

For the research we used part of books, as "Memory Alphabet" and of an interview by Donatella Baglivo "A glance from the sea"

1. Childhood

Raf’s memory: when I was a child we moved from Tropea to Turin, my father’s home town. There he worked as lawyer.

Since I was a child, I miss Calabria, in particular Tropea, the small villages and the beaches of Poro and Capo Vaticano, which in my opinion are the most beautiful places in the world.  In summer I used to go to Calabria with my family.

In Turin I often miss the wine grape’s smell, the sea and the view from Tropea’s drop.

Tropea is a small town with an interesting history, belonging to the Mediterranean culture.

But at the end of the summer I have to go back to Turin.

The child Raf Vallone >>====>

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2. Raf's Parents

My mother belonged to one of the noble families of Tropea, I Mattiola. She met my father in Tropea and they fell suddenly in love. When they decided to get married, there was a sort of reunion of my mother’s family, to decide if my father was “good “(economically speaking) or not. They agreed he had a good patrimony; he inherited a great amount of money from his uncle. Even if my father lost part of the money, the marriage with my mother was happy.

My uncles agreed I could be titled as marquis. They came to Turin to adopt me, my name was supposed to be changed in Raffaele Mottola D’Amato. My mother, to respect my father, refused, and I never had the title. I didn’t care.

My mother was an ambitious woman, she had Norman origin. She was sensible, intelligent and proud. She considered education really important, she wanted that I studied law and my father agreed.

Raf’s son, Saverio, told us that Raf’s grandfather was born in Tropea and was called Raffaele Vallone. After his marriage, he moved to Turin and worked as notary.

Raf had only one sister. She lived in Rome.

Saverio told us the nice moments when their father joked with them, speaking dialect.      To the top


Raf Vallone in Tropea

with the bishop,

his father and his wife.

 Back to the index

Raf with his father

Raf with his mother and his wife Elena

3. Raf as father:

Origins, values and believes

Raf demonstrated to be deeply connected to the values he learnt in his home town.

Even if he was really busy, he never neglected his family and his children. He constantly took care of their education.

He wanted to teach his children the values he believed in. He tried and succeeded in teaching them to create their personality.

He was a strict father and a determined man, he used to say "keep going". People from Poro still say that in the difficult moment of life. It means show must go on.

Raf learnt that modus vivendi from his mother, a strong and proud woman.

Raf Vallone at the sea >>====>

in Capo Vaticano and Tropea

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4. Education, Turin and Turin soccer team

I was lucky in my life. At the secondary school my teacher was Leone Ginzburg. Thanks to him I learnt to love poetry, theatre and I played for the first time. At school, the teacher of maths, Prof Crescini, marked me with 2: one for the effort to go to the blackboard and one for the effort to go back to my desk.

I studied law at University, but the teacher of economic, Luigi Enaudi, didn’t like me. He  said he liked me much more as soccer player rather an economist.  After my degree, I started my career as lawyer, as my father. My beginning was a fail, my father understood that a career as lawyer didn’t fit me.

After school I used to play soccer in the park close my home. One of the managers of the Turin football team chose me to be part of a great team, the Bullons Boys (guys of the Turin football team). That team won the Italian championship for 5 times. (championship 1930/31).

I played in the major team in 1938/39.

From people of Turin I learned several things; in particular I learned that words needed to be supported by facts. Turin was ruled by the aristocracy of the working class. People were closed, you have to gain their trust. I felt good in Turin,  I loved my job and if You love something, You will take chances you cannot loose.

The working class in Turin was a myth. I and the other people who worked at "Unità" used to go to the factories to talk to the workers about the language problem. Language of newspapers was class accent. We should find the way to be understood by everyone. One day at the Fiat Ferriere, I was speaking with three huge workers, who remembered me as the winger of Toro football team. They said: "Germans never come to visit us".

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5. Soccer and Honesty

Soccer was fun, but what I really liked was acting. I wasn’t a good player, but I had good resistance. My team wasn’t the "Great Turin" even if we were strong. Once we won a derby at Philadelphia Stadium, beating Juve and Ambrosiana team. Meazza and Ferrari played as wingers at the Ambrosiana team. Our mister, Erbstein, ordered me to stay between them, to disturb their game. I did it well and we won.

I gave up with soccer after the defeat in Vienna, during the goliardic World championship. It was a bitter disappointment. I was part of the national team. We played the final match against Germany at the Prater Stadium. The Austrian team was out, so playing with the German team stood for playing with the host team. The field judge was Hungarian and he clearly supported the host team. We lost. After that defeat I gave up with football and I decided to study to become a lawyer, as my father wanted.

I was always a supporter of the Turin football team         Back to the index

6. The military service and the partisan period

After September 8th I became part of "Giustizia e Libertà" thanks to Vincenzo Ciaffi, one of the commanding officer, a strong and intelligent man, fond of philosophy and theatre. I was in Tortona as soldier and Ciaffi asked me to find the antifascists. I met Bernieri, a soldier who became member of the Parliament n the PCI list after the War. We became friends and I gave him a book “New York” of Dos Passos, with a code: " we have same ideas, I hope you like the book." I was discovered, arrested and sent to Como, where I was questioned by a republican. There was complicity between us, so he told me: "Tomorrow You will be sent in Germany in a concentration camp. Only one soldier will escort you. He won’t be armed."

I dived into the lake and I escaped. It was March and water was cold. After my escape, I tried to find the republican, but I couldn’t reach him. Many years later, while I was skiing with my family at Sestriere, I met a group of tourists. I thought they knew me as actor, but they congratulated me on my escaping in Como. They saw me diving in the lake.

After my escaping I came back to Turin and Ciaffi charged me to propagandize: I used to read poetries at the republic radio, RAI, and I had the possibility to contact the workers. Ciaffi told me to read poems of Montale to say that the Fascist period was going to end.

A friend of mine introduced me to Davide Lajolo, a patrician, known as Ulisse. I started working for the Journal of the Communist. Ulisse was unique, h had a good consideration among the partisan. I noticed it when fights started again. Lajolo went to Alba according the order of Nenni, the Foreigner Minister. I went with him. As soon as we arrived, the enemies attacked us. Lajolo tried to speak to them and he convinced them to let us go. We arrived in Turin just on time for the special edition of “Unità”: Partisans laid down the army.                              Back to the index

7. Journalism

Lajolo charged me to write the third page of "Unità" and I did it with great passion. I had good relationship with the others, even if I wasn’t a communist. I used to stay with the workers of Fiat, it was an unforgettable experience. Mila was a good friend of mine. He represented purity, integrity, intelligence and culture. Pavese often visited us; we use to go to eat t Porta Palazzo, at "Tre Galline" restaurant. We ate silently: he didn’t like talking a lot, me neither. I thought he liked me, because I respect his silence. I used to say: “You are a river with hidden nuggets”

Calvino too wasn’t loquacious, but we didn’t get along really well. Same feeling with Geymonant, too boring. I felt guilty for Cesar’s death. When the great actress Connie Dowling with her sister came from America, one of the director of Rai, Dada Grimaldi, who was my friend, invited me for a dinner. I suggested her to invite also Cesar, who was charmed by USA. He left with Connie. I didn’t think Cesare died for her, even if the terrible poetry was for her: "Death comes and it has your eyes." I thought his suicide was connected to political reason: he didn’t like the ideological severity of the party and dying was the only way to be out of that party.

Togliatti, a great mind, often came to our meeting. I was in charge of the third page, even if I wasn’t a member of the party. Reason was easy. I had the Italian version of Basque party, hundred of pages, in which Trotzky’s name never appeared.

According to me, politics was only moral severity. Could I be part of a group based on lie ?

When Togliatti asked if everyone was member of the party, someone said: "No, Vallone is not". Togliatti looked at me and smiled, saying: “But you write a beautiful third page.”

Actually I worked twelve hours on it. We edited poetries of classical poets: Catullus, Aragon, Horatious and Eluard. Lots of people cooperated with us. Sometimes Hemingway sent me something. I published painters of painters from Turin: Casorati, Manzio, Moreni, Spazzapan.

We took care of the graphics and paging, we were perfect printers. I used to stay with Lajolo, , Luraghi and Rocca until three in the morning to print the last news. We kept awake making jokes at the phone. Then I went back home with Ulisse.

The director was Ottavio Pastore, the most independent communist in Turin: he didn’t care of the party’s ideology. He spent several years in prison. When we ate together, I noticed that he ate voraciously, as to compensate the hunger suffered in prison. Once I made a terrible joke to him: we were in charge of some papers of Gramsci and we were supposed to give them to Enaudi, to edit them. I had the idea to keep part of the papers, so I told Ottavio: “I don’t have any more, I gave you all I had.” He became completely red, so I told him I was joking and I hugged him.        Back to the index

8. The actor and hjs career

I worked for the "Unità" and in the same time I played Garcia Lorca at the theatre Gobetti. I was an autodidact. Theatre schools were useless, because you learn only to play yourself, not the papers.

So I bought Stanislavskij and other important texts and I studied by myself.

One day I received a phone call by Giuseppe De Santis, the producer. He was working for a movie set in the rice field of Vercelli. He read my report about Mondine and needed details. We met in Turin. There were also Lizzani and Puccini. We ate at “Tre Galline” restaurant and we talked a lot about the working condition in the rice field. I had lots of information and picture. De Santis told m about the film, “Riso Amaro”. After the dessert I recited part of soldier Woyzek’s will.

According to Neorealism’ ideas, De Santis was looking for real characters, so he asked me: “Do you want to be the lieutenant in Riso Amaro ?”

After a week I was in Rome to sign contract of 5 years with the Lux Film. I was worried at the idea of leaving “Unità” and all the people I worked with for long time, but I decided to be an actor, and my third life was starting far from Turin.

My career started with "Riso Amaro" (1949) by G. De Santis. I worked with Vittorio Gassman and Silvana Mangano, a shy girl who showed his beauty with modesty and discretion. Gasman spent hours in front of her dressing room, but the door never open.

Thanks to “Riso Amaro”, we three became famous. We worked together also in “Anna” directed by Alberto Lattuada.

The cast in "Anna"

For Raf Vallone it was the beginning of a long succession of popular, neorealist films in Italy and abroad.

In the 50s he played in "Non c’è pace tra gli ulivi" and "Il Cammino della speranza" (1950).

Thanks to his massive features, he represented a real character. Abroad people liked him. In the movie "Uno sguardo dal ponte", he played Eddi carbone’s role, a Mediterranean and passional character. The movie had great success in France. In the same period Raf played in "La Ciociara", (1960).

In 1953 Raf had his first job abroad. The productor, Marcel Carnè, proposed him to play in "Teresa Raquin".and he met the actress Simone Signoret. In Raf opinion, she was a woman of great personality and he had a good memory of her.

In 1961, Vallone started a lucky professional period in USA, playing in the movie "El Cid",by Anthony Mann and working with  Sophia Loren e Charlton Heston. Thanks to that movie, Vallone became famous among American audience and was the beginning of several movies in Holliwood. Raf had the opportunity to work with Al Pacino, in "Il Padrino, part III" (1990), directed by Francis Ford Coppola.

From the end of 70s he worked also in theatre: “The builder of Solness” by Ibsen (1975) needed to be remembered. In the 90s he worked for television. One of the film was "Toni" (1999).

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9. G. De Santis, Vallone's first director

Giuseppe De Santis was really professional, he created a good atmosphere with his team. I had to thank him for my success and my career. He was excluded for his political ideas.

  Back to the index

10. Wedding

I Destiny sometimes is funny. My wedding, my children, all began with a slap.

I silently blessed that slap.

Here what happened. I was working at "Il Cammino della Speranza" directed by Germi. I was the main character but the female role, a Sicilian girl, was still missing. Germi was hard to please.

A painter of Via Margutta seemed to be right one, everyone liked her and she signed the contract. Germi suggested her to have her hair cut, but she refused. There was a fight and Germi slapped her. She threw away the contract and we had to find a new actress.

Elena Varzi was the main character of “E’ primavera” directed by Castellani. Germi saw the film and proposed her to work with us. It was the beginning of our professional and sentimental life: "Cristo proibito", by Malaparte, "Roma ore 11" by De Santis; "Siluri umani" by Antonio Leonviola and carlo Lizzani; "Gli eroi della domenica" by Mario Camerini.

We became inseparable.

After our children’s birth, Elena decided to take care of the family and left cinema. She came back in 2001 in Trony, directed by Filomena Esposito. Vallone was the main actor.

>>====> Side

Venice Festival of Cinema, 2003:

 homage to Raf Vallone, one year

 after his death.

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Raf died on October 31st 2002 and the family, thanks to the cooperation of Regione Calabria, the home land of the actor, created an institution, to keep alive the artistic, cultural and human memory of Raf.

Elena Varzi, Raf’s widow and her son Saverio gave notice of the institution in Venice, during the projection of “Cammino della Speranza”.

26th July 2002

Elena Varzi and Raf Vallone’s Golden Wedding

On July 26th 2002 Elena Varzi and Raf Vallone celebrated their Golden Wedding.

They had dinner with few close friends in their home in Rome. Elena and Raf felt in love in 1950 working together in “Il Cammino della Speranza”. The movie was directed by Pietro Germi and won an important Aword (Orso d’Argento) at the Berlin festival. The director had a fight with the actress supposed to be the main female character and afterwards chose Elena Varzi for that role. The movie last 9 months, the love between Elena and Raf last 50 years. 


It was a summer morning in 1955, I was riding my new motorbike MV 150 from Poro hill to Tropea. At that time people used to go walking or by donkey. I was lucky because I had a motorbike. Consequently if you met someone, you will offer him a lift. Three kilometres far from Tropea I saw a man and I offered him a lift. As soon as I stopped I recognized him, he was Raf Vallone. He was picking up flowers for his wife. That was my first meeting with Raf Vallone.  – Michele Di Bella

Turin 1952 – a nice and happy picture of Raf and Elena.

 11. How his wife remember Raf - "Elena Varzi"  - only for

21st June 2006. We had the pleasure to visit Elena Varzi in their house in Rome. She told us they bought the house in 1954. In that period she was pregnant of the two twins, Saverio and Arabella. Saverio told us that they all grew up in that house. We had the opportunity to visit the house where Raf lived; the terrace with a beautiful view of St. Peter, the Jacuzzi Raf adored and the office where he studied and exercised his voice and his memory.

We understood the cultural richness of Raf. His office was full of papers, books, pictures and plates from all over the world.

>>====> side

 Mrs Elena with her grandson,

 Raffaele Vallone, Saverio’s son

Mrs Elena told us: “When the twins were born, I stopped my job to take care of my children. She kindly

answered to all our questions regarding her life with Raf.

In one of the plates we read:

"To Raf Vallone

An extraordinary interpreter of the Italian life"

The city of Bari

1st March 1992        Mayor

Dr. Daniela Mazzucca

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Rome June 18th 2006 What do you want that people remember about an extraordinary man as your husband Raf.

Varzi:    His poetry, his honesty, his intelligence, his shyness, his internal and external beauty. He was and he still is unique.  How was your life, always surrounded by great personalities of theatre and cinema ?

Varzi: It was interesting, we met several people of different countries and different languages. It was a period of great emotions.  How do you feel when you decided to leave your job and take care of your family ?

Varzi: I used to read my husband’s papers, he wanted my opinion, so I always felt part of that world. When

I refused job’s requests, I demonstrated my love to Raf. Directors never forgot me and I felt honoured. In the same time I was happy to take care of my kids. Who were the most important people you met ?

Varzi: Alfonso Gatto, Oriana Fallaci, Silvana Magano, Anthony Quinn, Marlene Dietrich, Simone Signoret, Ives Montand, Gregory Peek, Carla Del Poggio, Henry Fonda, Sidney Lumet, Vittorio De Sica, Rodolf Nurayev, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalì, Alida Valli. I saw those people several times. What did you remember about Tropea.

Varzi: Tropea is beautiful. I saw it the first time from Poro hill. What I remembered ? Its beautiful view, the Norman Cathedral. Raf lived in Turin and in summer he used to go to Tropea, to his grandmother’s house. In that period his best friends were: Prof. Giuliano Toraldo of France, Pasqualino Adilardi, Angelina Adilardi, (Pasqualino’s wife), Bice Toraldo Sorrentino. I have beautiful memories of that period. What do you remember about Poro hill? What do you think about its culture and tradition ? What do you like and what you don’t like of “calabresi” (people from Calabria) ?

Varzi:  the place is wonderful; people are lively, intelligent and obstinate. They should respect the beautiful place of Poro. I am crazy for the sound of the sea and its colours. I have never seen such colours in other seas. I knew very well also Capo Vaticano. We used to go there with our kids, we enjoyed eating the sea urchins fished by Raf. It is a wonderful memory. Then we used to go to the beach and we ate grapes and figs. That was the most beautiful breakfast of our life.  Arthur Miller said Raf was a great interpreter in two plays, “Uno sguardo dal ponte” and “Il Prezzo”. What do you think? Were Miller and Raf also good friends ?

Varzi: Miller was really similar to Raf. They got along very well. I saw him several times, in Rome, in Paris, in Sperlonga, in Los Angeles and in New York. We used to meet in our house in Speronga. He was with his wife Inge Morath  and his daughter Rebecca. She had the same age of my two kids, Saverio and Arabella. Once in Los Angeles some students played “Uno Sguardo dal Ponte” and they invited Miller and Raf. The students asked Miller to talk about the play, but he preferred to let Raf speaking. “Vallone will explain the characters better than me.” How did Raf relate with the poor people of his home town ?

Varzi: Raf’s family was rich, but his father, Giovanni Vallone, gave almost all his money to the emigrants.

Raf did everything by himself, he helped his parents, at the beginning playing football, then working as journalist, actor in theatre and translator of poetries. He perfectly knew Greek, French and Latin. He used to speak in Latin with French, Dutch and American directors. Then he studied English and he played “Uno sguardo dal Ponte” in English for the BBC.

To pay his studies at University, he worked in advertisement, so he knew the value of money.

When he was in Los Angeles, he taught at the University of UCLA and he was very successful, but he had to come back to Italy. He had a degree in Law and Philosophy.

He had noble origin and he had a noble soul, so he loved and respected farmers and the working classes, who are more sensible than others. Everyone makes  mistakes during his life. Which are Raf’s most important mistakes and his most important success ?

Varzi: He was very successful in all the things he did: football, player, journalist, translator, movie actor, theatre actor and directors in France, Italy, US, Greece, Canada, Germania, Spain. You cannot desire more.

When Raf cooked, we all followed his orders. It was a pleasure to see him cooking. He was able to cook few things, but they were delicious: spaghetti pasta alla carbonara (eggs and bacon), meat, fil tartar.

However, Raf would had liked to be a music director. He loved Mozart, Mahler, Bach, Ciaikovsky, Beethoven, Chopin, Rossini and Verdi. What do you like more about your husband’ character ?

Varzi: He perfectly understood me, just looking at me, without speaking. We were very similar, we both were sensible. He loved flowers, like me. Our zodiac signs helped us, he was Aquarius and I was Sagittarius. What do you want to keep in your kids’ memory ?

Varzi: I want that my sons, Eleonora, Saverio and Arabella always think of their father. Raf was an extraordinary father and also a good educator, he was very strict and he couldn’t accept any mistake for incapacity or insensibility. My kids had to study a lot.

Raf played with our kids and supported them doing sports. While we were skiing he asked them to play

Alfonso Gatto’s poetries. Raf personally knew Alfonso Gatto. They worked together at the journal “Unità di Torino”.

Raf used to say "we are five, like the hand’s fingers." Do you mind tell us how did you fall in love with Raf ?

Varzi: The movie last 6 months, we spent lots of time together, as asked by papers.

I was Barbara and he was Saro. According to the papers I had to defend him from the antagonist. Unfortunately I hit Raf’s nose and he started blooding. I was upset for my mistake. I thought he hated me.

At the end of that day  all the others went back to the hotel, I stayed in the movie setting trying to understand my mistake. Suddenly Raf came to me and from that moment we were inseparable.

I had wonderful memories.

Elena Varzi Vallone

Elena Varzi was moved. Then she continued to tell us the nice moment with Raf...

We got along very well.

After “Il Cammino della Speranza” we went to Naples and Capri for one week. We spent all the money we earnt. In our way back to Rome we didn’t have money to eat, so we buy 2 apples, but we were happy.

Another memory: our first car was a Balilla, colour blue. We had an elegant bonnet, so we bought Gucci’s luggages. Raf loved cars. He had Balilla, Aurelia, Mercedes, Ferrari.

Coking: - When Raf cooked, he was very funny. Everyone was waiting for his orders. He cooked pasta in a funny way. We were very happy eating all together. Raf prepared zabaione with marsala wine really well.

Raf used to repeat noises and voices of Tropea. He liked to say "O!!!.. Ricott" (ricotta cheese), it was the voice of the sheep ward in Tropea. He also liked to say "U pinnalaru", as the fisherman.

I remembered a unique smell of tomato sauce in Tropea.

My movied with Raf:

1950 " Il Cammino della Speranza" directed by Pietro Germi                  (6 months)

1950 " Cristo Proibito"              directed by Ciurzio Malaparte             (3 months)

1951 " Roma ore 11"                directed by Giuseppe De Santis           (2 months)

1951 " Eroi della domenica"         directed by Mario Comencini              (2 months)

1952 " Los ojos dejan huellas"      directed by Louis Heredia                 (Spanish movie)

1954 " Delirio"                       (Orage) directed by Billon and Capitani  (French movie)

1954 " Siluri Umani"                 directed by Carlo Lizzani

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12. Woman and love

Woman is the most extraordinary person created by God, she can be either unreachable poetry and diabolic evil. I suffered a lot for Doris Dowling, my partner in “Riso Amaro.” She had a sense of disruption on her. She was completely different of me. I tried to lead her up to my level, my concentration, my behaviour, to teach her values, but those values were completely overturned by her arrogance.

Men had the control for years, now things are gradually changing and women are becoming powerful. I wrote on the Journal Ore:… woman could be judge in social life, as she already is in family.

Love is a present, a conquest, because you need to conquest it. Men who are able to love are very lucky, but they don’t know it.

Love means richness, expansion, dilatation of your being. It is like a little plant, it needs care. Men should dedicate imagination and fantasy to the women they love, as I did with Elena.

I understood the real meaning of love: a feeling for another person. Loving the other person, you love also yourself and you take care also of yourself.

People considered me a sex symbol, but I didn’t feel a sex symbol. I probably profit by my condition and my wife, Elena, had to be very patient.

It was 1959, I was playing “Uno Sguardo dal Ponte” at Theatre Antoine in Paris and I met Marlene Dietrich.

One evening we had dinner together and we became friend. I can describe her in one word: “Le Grandeur”.

She was really generous. If you ask her a present, she will give you 100. Journalist made rumours regarding our relationship, but we were just good friends. She loved poetry.

I met Brigitte Bardot in Paris in 1959. She saw my play six times. We had a flirt for one or two months.

We spent our first night in a convent turned in hotel close to Paris. Brigitte had a sensuous beauty.

There were several pictures of me and Brigitte, but, thanks to Oriana Fallaci, a good friend of my wife, they were never published.

I planned to go to Vienna with Brigitte to work for a movie. She used to send me cards to the Hotel Raphael.

Elena, my wife, found one of it. When I went back to our room, Elena was crying. She told me few words: “Why haven’t you told me anything?”  I felt her pain and I cancelled my journey and I broke up with Brigitte.

Nothing was more important than Elena’s Silent Tears.

It was the end of a dream, but the rebirth of my love with my wife.

Paris, Raf Vallone and Elena Varzi had dinner with Oriana Fallaci.         Back to the index

14. America, Hollywood and New York

I got along very well with Americans. They organized all the details of a movie and you cannot change

anything. But I missed Italy.

When I visited new cities, I used to go round to discover the place. The first time I went to New York I was

amazed by skyscrapers. I liked looking at them to understand their immensity.

Raf Vallone, Elena and their kids going to America

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If I hadn’t been an actor, I would have been an orchestra director. Since I was a sportsman, not only a football player, but also a skier and a swimmer, I have few regrets…

Vallone and Pablo Picasso

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15. The theatrical career

The relationship between Vallone and Miller’s theatre needs to be explained. At the beginning of 60s Raf was playing "Uno Sguardo dal Ponte" by Miller, directed by P. Brooks.  Raf changed the final scene.

In 1962 the play became a movie and Miller asked to have the final scene as in the play in Paris. Raf was honoured.

Uno sguardo dal Ponte - Final scene

Raf had a great success in Cinema, but he never forgot theatre.

His important plays: "Ornifle" by Anouilh and "Tommaso Moro" by Shakespeare.

He played in French in Vu du pont (Uno sguardo dal ponte), by Miller, directed by Peter Brook (580 representations). In London he played in English in "Duchess of Malfi" by Webster directed by Adrian Noble, working with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

When he came back to Italy he played again “Uno Sguardo Dal Ponte”. The female character was Alida Valli.

He played also in "Il Prezzo" by Miller, working with Mario Scaccia and Ferruccio De Ceresa and in “La Creazione del mondo” and other plays.

In the same time he worked also in cinema: "Uno Sguardo dal ponte" (Vu du pont 1961) by Sidney Lumet, “Il Cardinale” (The Cardinal, 1961) by Otto Preminger,”Fedra (Phaedra, 1962) by Julious Dassin, with Melina Mercouri and Anthony Perkins. Thanks to “uno Sguardo dal Ponte” he had a nomination for the Academy Awords and a  David of Donatello in Taormina.

In 1984 he debutted in Milan with “Nostalgia di Franz Jung” and 2 years later he played “La medesima strada”(I presocratici) directed by Klaus Micheal Gruber. He also played “Luci di Boheme” by Ramon del Valle- Inclan, directed by Mina Mezzadri. In 1989 he played in Rome “Tito Andronico” by William Shakespeare directed Peter Stein. In the same year he played “Stalin” by Gaston Salvatore at Eliseo Theatre in Rome.

Among the Italian actors, Raf was the only one to be member of the Academy of Motion Picture, and every year took part in the decision of the Academy Awards in Los Angeles.

Raf was also the author of several operas: “Norma” by Vincenzo Bellini,  played at the Grand Teatro in Turin, with Renata Scotto; “Adriana Lecouvreur by Cilea, directed by Gianadrea Gavezzeni, played at the Grand Teatro of S. Francisco and then at the Metropolitan of New York, with Renata Scotto and Placido Domingo; “La Traviata”  at Treatro Rendano of Cosenza, “UnoSguardo dal Ponte” played at Theatre of Montecarlo, with the music of Rossellini.

In 1992 he played in “Il Presidente of Rocco Familiari” directed by Krysztof Zanussi, in “Tommaso Moro” by Shakespeare.

He retired at the beginning of 1995. 

From “Alfabeto della Memoria” by Raf Vallone, Gremese Editore, Rome , 2001.

Arthur Miller and Raf Vallone in Sperlonga            Back to the index

16. Best friends in Turin

Alda Grimaldi - (Dada for G. De Santis)

That famous director had lots of memories of Raf.

“Raf” she said “was a wonderful man, either as actor and as a man. He was very sensible and nice. When we were in Sperlonga he used to get up early, wrote a poem for his wife and then went out to pick up figs for my husband. Raf. He had stories before Elena, but he loved her till the end.”

Alda continued: “In Raf’s house, in Sperlonga, I met several people, Curzio Malaparte, Arthur Miller, Brigitte Bardot, Olivia de Havilland, Marlene Dietrich, De Santis, Peter Brook and others.

Alda met Raf in 1943. They all belong to “good families” in Turin. She was fond of direction since she was a child. She studied Cinema in Rome. Her schoolmate were G. De Santis, Antonioni, Carla Del Poggio, Lattuada’s wife and others. They became the Neorealist directors.  Alda worked as actress, as dubber and as director at RAI in Turin. She told us that De Santis worked in Rome for the magazine Cinema directed by Vittorio Mussolini.

Cecilia Ciaffi,   Vincenzo Ciaffi’s sister told us about Raf Vallone.

“Theatre was Raf’s second love. His first love was "Woyezeck", a play of Buchner. She missed that period. Raf loved everything related with culture. “We talked a lot about painters, Paulucci, Casorati, Menzio, Carol Rama.

He had a strong presence on stage. He was the main actor of my brother’s company. The female character was Dori Monzani. They had a story.

Raf used to write about shows. Once he wrote a critic about Isa Miranda. She was really upset.”

Carol Rama, the great painter (88 years old) said: “Raf was nice and intelligent, women loved him. Nevertheless his great success, he never changed.

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17. Best friends in Tropea

Since he was a child, his best friend was Pasquale Adilardi.

Regarding friendship, Raf used to say “When I am bored by man, I relax and I listen to a dialogue between trees and wind. It is much more interesting than human talk.”

The sea in Tropea

When I went back to Tropea, to my uncle’s house, I saw dolphins in the sea. It was a beautiful view.

In Calabria there is a spectacular sea, it is very deep. Waves have a particular sound.

Last time I went to Tropea, that sound reminded me my childhood.

There is a dual nature in me: one is contemplative, the other is dynamic, it is a kind of fight to face nature.

Maybe one day I die in the sea. That means that my contemplative nature is the strongest. On the contrary, I won’t die. That means that my dynamic nature is the strongest.

Raf Vallone and Elena Varzi

on the speedboat >>====>

Pasqualino Adilardi, Raf Vallone’s good friend.

At the sea in Tropea during summer holidays.

Tropea – "Santa Maria dell’isola"

 Sanctuary >>====>

Fishers called me 'u smaniu, the eager man, because I used to face the rough sea with 'u guzzu (small boat).

That was my way to connect with nature.

Do You have regrets ? My answer is no.

Who is Raf Vallone today ?

I don’t know, a small thinking man in the dark.

 The balconies in Raf Vallone’s house,

 which was built inside a cliff >>====>

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18. Holy Mary in Romania

19. The Norman Cathedral

Although Raf Vallone was very busy, he always tried to came back with his family to celebrate The Lady of Romania, September 9th, in Tropea. He was very religious.

He used to come by car, he liked driving. During the way, he stopped to see beautiful landscapes. In that occasion he used to say to his family: “we are five, as the hands’ fingers.” They were very close.

The Cathedral Dome, external view

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Raf was always a great fun of the Cathedral Dome of Tropea, the wonderful Norman Cathedral.

20. Old Age The End

His vision:

I am afraid at the idea of becoming old.  You start loosing your physical independence and at the end you loose also your psychological independence.

If I couldn’t swim from an isle to another, if I couldn’t climb mountains in winter, I will feel psychologically poor.

Now I want to sit down on that chair and look at the sea and the sunset.

That idea of ineluctability makes me happy.

Raf and Elena  >>====>

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20. The End

October 31st 2002 Raf died in Rome.

His obsequies were celebrated in the Chiesa degli Artisti at Piazza del Popolo, Rome. Great personalities came to say him goodbye: Piero Fassino, DS secretary, Walter Veltroni, Rome mayor, Vallone, Tropea mayor and others.

November 12th 2002 the obsequies were celebrate also in Tropea. All the community took part.

Raf was buried in the private Chapel of his mother family, in Tropea.








Elena Varzi Vallone

Mrs Paola,

Saverio’s wife.

<=====<<  Saverio Vallone and Gaetano Vallone,

the mayor of Tropea, at the obsequies in Rome.

 Raf’s obsequies

 in Tropea Cathedral.

<=====<< Pictures of the obsequies in Rome and Tropea were kindly provided by the following web site

Deatiled information about the artistic career of Raf Vallone is available on that site.

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22. The book: "Memory's Alphabet"

The autobiography is available in bookshops from March 2001.


The "Alfabeto della Memoria" is a collection of autobiographic notes, edited by Franco Sepe. Raf collected all those notes during his life. He used the alphabetical letters to give an order to his notes: memories, stories, anecdotes, from his childhood, his career, to his retire in 1995. He talked about people he met in Italy, US, Europe, women, his wife, an extraordinary woman, his family, his friends: Pavese, Malaparte, Miller, Sinatra, and thers. Raf had a wonderful life.

The “Alfabeto della memoria” ended with a work, “Il volo di New York” by Raf Vallone. It should had been a movie directed by Mastroianni, but he never was, and 4 poems of Catullo, translated by the Author during the high school.

                                                           Back to the index

22. Memory  2003

Memory 2003

Elena Varzi, during the Rotonda del Cinema italiano in Venice gave the public a inedited  portrait of Raf Vallone and his private life. A unique opportunity to eye Raf’s life and his family ties: a wedding 50 years long, their first meeting in Pietro Germi’s set.  She was amazed by his beauty and his acute and shiny intelligence, and in particular by a physical detail: the back of his neck. It is something special that neither cinema, not international print have never noticed.

In Venice there were: Lizzani, Maselli, Interlenghi, Luadi, Foà, Capolicchio, Carla Del Poggio… Veltroni, Bornia, Fassino.

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23. How Eleonora remenbers Raf

Eleonora, as her father, had a great passion for poetry, as demonstrated by the poems she effortlessly wrote during her father illness and after his death, showing the melancholy of human being.

Eleonora Vallone

Eleonora, Raf’s oldest daughter, after a period of rehabilitation in swimming pool, created the Gym Nuoto, a new aquatic discipline of physical maintenance (health) in 1984.

Eleonora noticed that this discipline gives her good physical and psychological results, so she decided to teach it with the help of specialized doctors. First she created and tested that discipline, then she collected all the exercise (more than 2000) and created the Gym Nuoto.

Periodically Eleonora organizes courses with a special equipe for professional trainers.

Information A.S. ACQUA TEAM

Via dell' Acqua Traversa, 255

00135 Rome

Tel.- fax 0039 06.3312020

Cell. 0039 393.5555533


Biography and Careere

Eleonora Vallone


To my dad Raf   Tropea November 12th 2002

Yes you were a special man, too special, you were Raf, our Raf, your Raf, my father.

You were the son of this antique earth…

You hated mediocrity, scheme, banality, rites… and now we pay homage to you according to Human Customs…

Here, where You wanted, in Your Land, in Your Sea…in Tropea.

You have wanted to see it for long time; you have wanted to listen to the deep voice f the Sea, which takes You on the waves of time…far away…

With Your knowledge, Your culture, Your great values, Your love, Your poetry, You were a rebellious and pure in the same time: always impatient.

You must not go away…. I feel a terrible pain, it looks for me in the deeper, it breaks me, it tears me, it cut me in a subtle and acute way.

Sweet all the things you left us, terrible the empty sensation you leave us.

I will honour you, I will realize my dreams, your dreams, our dreams as you wanted…

I know you feel better now, your body didn’t work, you couldn’t play football or walk n the beach as you liked…

Maybe we will talk more… maybe you will visit me… I will always keep you with me…!!!

Now the cold dreams keep you, and you seem without time, happy.

Finally you are in Tropea, you can fly in your big spaces which are forbidden to us.

You will never know how much I love you…I loved, I will love you.

Goodbye Dad! Thank You for being at world!!

Your Tiepid Jasmine


It is a deep poem Eleonora wrote for her father during the last days of Raf’s life





October 31st 2004

Dad is like the sea in Tropea

Great, transparent

Sky-Blue, deep,

Unforeseeable, impetuous,

Wrapping, ancient,

Present, eternal…









Raf Vallone with his daughter Eleonora and his grandson Luca.

With my dad at Villa Pia, room 305,

Rome 27th October 2002

A night for you, a night with you,

a night for me…

Your breath talks to me, your breath gives me life… and you are suspended by that breath…

Your breath tells me you are tired…you fight and lived so much that…now you sigh sometimes.

Your look is severe even if your eyes are closed;

I’d like touch you, but I don’t want wake you up …and I want to wake you up!

I’d like to spend all the night with you…talking…without…television…anything around us…only me and you…

I would have liked to spend in a different way that night.

You cannot answer me, but you breathe, you don’t let me away…and that is enough for me

If I cry you won’t see me… I can cry.

Maybe I loved you more than you…never mind…unfortunately you will never know…You are sleeping.

A start, you move your head and I feel frozen and my heart beats.

A night for you, a night with you, a night all for me…but I didn’t want a night like that!

It is strange, you don’t move, but your breath makes everything moving.

I take you hand, it is warm, but it is sleeping… I put it close to my face and I have memories…. How many slaps you gave me… and now I would like to have one of those slaps, to feel that you are alive…

That night is a miracle…your breathe is solemn, maybe you are dreaming…

I am close to you in that night for you.

You don’t feel my tears, you have never felt them…

That night is a long … wonderful and terrible; it is a unique night for you and for me…

Dear dad how many dreams never realized, yours… mine… because of the world, which destroys dreams before letting them fly…

You leave me an ugly world, but I will try to find the beauty people cannot see…as that night with you, it is full of like because it is going to end…

It is almost daybreak … the sun will shine…goodbye dad!

Thanks for that night only with you…


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24. How Arabella remenbers Raf

Talking about my father ? I hope I could do it, it is very painful and I miss him very much; but I will try to say something.

It is sad without him; it is as living in a waste house, in a waste land.

I felt protected with him, he understood me, we often were wavelength and there were an intense respect and love between us. Sometimes there were incomprehension and he, thanks to his innate intelligence and humility, tried to understand, making shorter the distance of any misunderstanding, making love the a filter to understand as much as possible his children, he often didn’t succeeded.

Esteem was very important for him and fortunately he esteemed me, he couldn’t understand why I was so shy and unsure, nevertheless his love; after all the love of a father is not sufficient to make a person sure (without uncertainties). However he was obstinate and tried to encourage me in any way, I will always be grateful and loved him for that.

He taught me to tell and love the truth, which he appreciated more than everything. When I was a child he used to tell me: “if you always say the truth, I will never reproach you”, and that was how it went, he was always faithful to his word and I did the same.

For him and also for me saying the truth (don’t lie) means respect life, people, himself and much more.

His word was sacred, he wasn’t wrong, he never says a thing for another and that gave me strength and certainty. I was shocked when I understood, opening my eyes to world, how many people lie, without take notice of that. My father, instead, was limpid and coherent, he was a man of his word, profoundly honest, if he was wrong, he was the first to apologize.

His discipline was praiseworthy, as his iron will; he was like a captain with blue eyes, blue as the sea in Tropea. He was always ready for a smile and for a happy irony; his laugh was like a waterfall of fresh water in a torrent in summer.

As child I love him, and I did everything to make him feel good, but I was also ready to criticize him and he liked the idea that we have an equal relationship, intellectually speaking.

Personally I felt free to tell him everything, and I enormously thanked him, he never misunderstood me and understood my point of view. Certainly sometimes (rarely) we fight and each of us was both right and wrong, but we noticed that much later.

He didn’t have uncertainty of power and personality so he accepted and encouraged dialogue in me, he liked to deepen things and he was very respectful in listening to the other people’s opinion; I thanked him for his broad. Mindedness and for his democratic generosity, he in fact used to say that his children were all equal, and I never have the impression that he didn’t consider woman as he considered man.

Value had great importance for him, word, honesty, dignity, justice; among we brothers, if one was wrong with another, he suddenly set thing right (made order) and I felt happy. Those are the things I loved of my father.

Everyone knows about his life as professional, serious and tireless worker and as actor and everyone can judge his great charisma and his lovable presence. I esteemed very much the fact that in addiction to his two degrees, he was also a soccer player in the major leagues (serie A); he said that soccer taught him several things from all the points of view. Soccer, as the long crossing in his rowing boat, since he was fourteen, in the sea of his loved Tropea,   helped his tonic approach to things.

Things my father taught me are always with me and make my life nice, as love and contemplation of nature, his high emotion and respect for animals, his noble actions.

Every morning, at sunrise, (when he wasn’t away for his job) we went for long and wonderful walks, through mountains and scented hills, either with good and bad weather, in the snow, through the footpaths, completely immersed in the colours of beautiful landscapes.

He liked facing adversities with courage and force and I admired his pride. I also remember how enthusiastically he let visiting all the most important museum in Europe; he seemed to be nourished by all the things that showed beauty, expressivity and emotion.

Trough the Yoga’s discipline, he practised very day for all his life, he let me discover a deeper awareness of myself and a deeper breath; thanks to love poetries he played every day until he was 87 years old (to exercise his memory, he said), he stuffed his head with beautiful concepts he generously passed on to the others. Love for art, culture, intellectual research, his socially democratic spirit.

Perhaps, as he often confessed me, in the old age he was disappointed by all the things around him, he was sad and discouraged, but he never gave up the love for poetries, sunsets, and his anger for injustice and for false and overbearing people; I felt defended and protected by him, and unfortunately he isn’t with us any more.

Going to Tropea I was surprised and really grateful to discover how much love people felt for my father and how sweet (nice) they were with me, Fefe’ daughter (my father’s familiar short name).

My father’s obsequies in Tropea were silently beautiful, full of contents and great respect, on the contrary the obsequies in Rome were loud and worldly. I thank Tropeani (people from Tropea) for that.

Arabella Vallone   Rome 25.05.2006

Arabella Vallone

Arabella is a sensible woman, she had a special intellectual relationship with her father, as said by Raf Vallone during an interview by Giorgio Lazzarini in “Oggi Illustrato” n. 21 24th May 1976:

“Arabella looks like me more than the others, for her passion for nomadism, vagrancy and music.”

Arabella seems to be very close to her father, they were similar in passions, trend and belief in the vision and values of life.

Thanks to Yoga (she learned it from her father) she learned to breath in a deeper way and she experienced a new successful method for singing.

Information:  e-mail:

Biography and Career

Arabella Vallone finishes her musical studies at the Musical Center in Milan. As a professional singer she has lent her voice to a serie of successfull jingles such as an Opel advertisement (Rai's first prize) and has been "solist" for Francesco Loy's new age music, distributed by Prènatal in the whole world. She has also worked with some internationally known musicians such as Kuma Harada, Joan Armatrading's bass guitar, Roberto Gatto and Ludovico Einaudi ect…she composes songs.

Remembering her father's acting technique which he learned at the Actor's studio in New York and practiced all his life with daily voice control exercises, Arabella has created her own singing method based on the importance of awareness in laying stress on the diaphragm. Through many specific voice exercices which focus not only on intonation but also on body movement expression and emotivity control, Arabella’s method elaborates a link with Yoga's discipline helping the singer to overcome anxiety and insecurity and giving him not only a solid singing technique but also maximum expressivity.

That method has given many satisfactions. Many of her students and colleagues has used it and has become famous, for example: Valeria Rossi whose famous song "Tre Parole" and the CD which followed, Claudio Catalano who started in the Opera world as leading singer at the prestigious Spoleto Theater in “Cavalleria Rusticana” by P. Mascagni, at the Argentina Theatre in  Rome and in the most important theatre in Italy;  Davide de Leonardis composer and singer of the promising roman pop group "Masoko", who won the "Arezzo Wave festival" 2005, Pierluigi Colantoni a young pop-singer whose song "Spacciatori di Sogni" won first prize at the "Solo Musica festival" directed by Mogol; Eric Ranzoni who went on singing in various important London pubs, and other famous singers, such as Daniele Groff.

Arabella is writing a book regarding that healthy and winning singing method.


She can be considered a multimedia artist. She is also a painter; recently she exposed her paintings in three National Art Exhibitions.

Information:                                                  Back to the index

25. How Saverioremembers Raf

Rome June 2006

My Father was an extraordinary person, as man, as father, as actor, as director, as sportsman. He had a contagious charisma. His force and his will were unique. I was his only male son and he pretended a lot by me, but we were really good friends.

It was wonderful working with him in theatre. I had beautiful memories, that make my father still present. Since I was a child he made me love nature, sports, museums, history, books, theatre.

My father was intelligent and funny. I liked spending time with him, listening to him and listening to his meditative silence. We had a wonderful relationship; we understood each other in a blink. I would like to create the same relationship with my son Raffaele, who looks like him.

I remember many anecdotes of my father: football match in the beach, his wonderful relationship with the others, his

"first the duty, then the pleasure", "words need to be confirmed by facts"

And now I feel his presence in every moment, looking at the sea in Tropea, the sea which has the colour of his eyes. Reading a good book, I hear his voice.

Thank you Dad     Your son Saverio

Saverio Vallone       Back to the index

Saverio Vallone

Biography and Career

Saverio Vallone, Elena Varzi and Raffaele Vallone’s son. Since he was a child he demonstrated to have talent for theatre. Now he is a brilliant actor, he had the honour to work with his father.

 His Education:

  • Diploma at Liceo Scientifico

  • Diploma at the drama school “Akessandro Farsen”

  • Diploma at Dominic De Fazio “Theatre Hollywood Los Angeles”, where he worked as Prof. Fazio’s assistant.

  • Stage at the Action Studio New York

  • Workshop Saverio Vallone , Rome 1997-2006

Professional Experiences:


"La Pazza di Chaillot"

"La Creazione del mondo e altre cose"

"Ornifle" by Anouhil

"Osteria della Posta" by Goldoni

"Tommaso Moro"

"Il Desiderio sotto gli olmi" by O'Neill.

"Fine della corsa"  by John Le Carre.

"La Parigina"  by Rossana Patrizia Siclari

"L'Imbroglione" by Plauto.

"Tommaso Campanella"

"Tre Monete" by Plauto.

"La Maschera e il volto"

"Io e Annie"  by  Woody Allen


"A mezzanotte va la ronda del piacere"


"Un centesimo di secondo"

"Il Sommergibile più pazzo dl mondo"

"Passione D'amore"

"Vacanze d'estate"

"Una tenera follia"

"Matrimonio con vizietto (N°3)"

"The golden crew"

"Non scommettere con il cielo"

"Mosca addio"

"Biglietto solo andata"

"Cinecittà Cinecittà"

"Vacanze di Natale '90"

"Alta società"

"Agenzia cinematografica"

"Un amore impossibile"


"La storia di Pietro e Agnolella"

"L'uomo della sabbia"

"Intermezzo Veronese"

"Il Concilio di Trento"

Saverio and his father Raf Vallone.

Saverio and his son Raffaele Vallone

Visit Saverio Vallone's web site.


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Saverio Vallone played in "Thomas Moore" by Shakespeare with his father Raf.

Theatrical Season in Verona  -  Verona  July 25th 1993

26. Family live - Sperlonga and sea 



 and sea

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27. Interview

Interesting Interview

Enrico Roda interviews Raf Vallone from “Il Tempo”, XVIII, n. 51, December 20th 1956

To see the complete interviews visit the following web site:

Roda: What does make you curious ?

Raf: Life

Roda: What does make a man ridiculous with a woman ?

Raf: If he shows off like a peacock, he will be ridiculous.

Roda: Do you prefer losers or winners ?

Raf: I think we all are losers. Time will demonstrate it.

Roda: Among your contemporaries, who do you make a statue ?

Raf: All the liars. If the statues could be done by great artists, we will have good benefits. But I think there will be too many statues.

Roda: In your opinion which is the most representative panorama of Italy ?

Raf: Toscany, but also the foggy Pianura Padana and the yellow Sicily are Italian views.

Roda: Which is the secret for success ?

Raf: Generosity. It is the highest demonstration of intelligence and success.

Roda: What can offend you more than an insult ?

Raf: If someone tries to device me, I will feel very disappointed.

Roda: Which is the worst behaviour with a woman ?

Raf. Questioning her as she is an habitué is very offensive.

Roda thoughts: according to my experience, I understand that the well- knit character of an interview depends on the belief the person interviewed demonstrates. Good example have been given, for clear reasons, by politicians and only sometimes by men of letters, with catholic ideas.  Raf, who is neither a politician not a man of letter, answered as a crusader.  Answering to a question he proposed it in a different way; in other words, he reduced it to another question. That mechanism would be dangerous, the interview would become a fruitless game, if Raf was aware of it.  Raf answered with intuition and sincerity, and his answers don’t destroy or refuse the question, but on the contrary, they give it an unexpected strongeness.


Giorgio Lazzarini interviews Raf Vallone

from "Oggi Illustrato" XXXII, n. 21, May 24th 1976

Lazzarini: Your daughter Arabella often said you are a dictator.

Raf: I tried to teach my sons the value of freedom, which means also settle duties, it needs to be conquered day by day. I asked them to study; unfortunately they had to change several schools.

For me it was different. When I was 14 years old, the director of the Turin football team asked my father to let me play football. To convince my father I promised to be a good student. I conciliated very well my sport activities and my study, keeping the word to my father. Happiness means sacrifice. Nowadays that value seems to be overcome.

Lazzarini: which is the secret for an happy wedding ?

Raf: There isn’t a secret. You have to look for happiness day by day. Before our wedding, Elena and I lived together for 2 years, she learnt to know my bad parts and consequently I understood that she loved me as I was, nevertheless all my defects. Before meeting Elena I never thought to spend all my life with a woman. Of course the merit of such happiness belongs to Elena. In life you give everything and receive nothing. With my wife things are different, she gives me back all the love I give her.

Lazzarini: Did you have any problem during 25 years you spent together ?

Raf: No. I met “dangerous” women, but I always avoid any involvement.

Lazzarini: Are you satisfy of you career ? 

Raf: I have always worked in an honest way. Do you know why I retired from football? I played in the National Football team of students in Vienna and I discover that the football match was tricked for political reasons. I was very disappointed and I decided to give up. Football was not only a hobby for teenagers. I played an entire championship with the first team in Turin, trained by Herbestein, playing with Frossi and Olivieri. The trick in Vienna was one the biggest disappointment of my life.


Raf Vallone at Matilde Amorosi’ s University

from "Gente" XII, n. 51, December 23rd 1978 

Amorosi: Do you consider yourself an exemplary father ?

Raf: I think so. Nowadays, family, traditionally speaking, broke up. I understood it at my expense. I enthusiastically and lovely thought about my children’s education. I succeeded in teaching them the interest for art, but didn’t with studying. They were used to travel and to learn with me cultural situations, but they never wanted to deepen their knowledge with books.

Anyway time to fight is over. I understood I cannot ask people more than they could do.

Amorosi: Do you want to talk about your wife ?

Raf: Elena is a wonderful woman, I love her for her sense of poetry. She is the ideal partner; she could e the refuge from life’s difficulties for her man. Elena makes me feel good; I feel a peaceful sensation with her.  Our kids sometimes felt excluded by our relationship. I can understand them, but I am happy to have an exclusive and constant relationship with Elena.

Amorosi: When you met Elena, she was a famous actress. After your marriage did she decide to retire to take care of the family ?

Raf: I didn’t ask her to sacrifice her career. She had a serous heart operation. Violent emotion could hurt her. I decided she had to stop during a shot in Madrid. According to the papers I had to point a gun at her, but she fainted. I understood I had to protect her and I convinced her to retire.

Talking about his wife, Raf uses an lyric register. He tells us that Elena is always with him during his journey. He is completely sure that no woman could separate them.

Amorosi: However, it is rumoured that you flirted with Marlene Dietrich and Brigette Bardot. What can you say about those famous women ?

Raf: Marlene is intelligent, cultured and refined. She had a quality called “grandeur” (sense of greatness). She wanted me to work for the play “Il riposo del guerriero” and, to help me,  she typed the dramatization from my diction.

Brigitte too is an intelligent woman. She was known for her beauty and no one recognizes her intelligence.

She has a troubled sentimental life. In my opinion she doesn’t want to fall love, because that means loosing her freedom and consequently suffer. Once she tried to commit suicide and from that moment she is frightened by the idea of suffering.

Amorosi: Do you think you can feel in love and completely change your life ?

Raf: I don’t think it can happen. I can fall in love with another woman, but my wife will be the centre of my life for ever.

 Back to the index  

Tropea – "Santa Maria dell’isola" Sanctuary            Back to the index 

Following the list of works and roles Raf played.


28. Raf Vallone - Filmography:


Volver a vivir

Flash 03



Riso amaro


La Esclava del paraíso

The Desperate Ones


Cuori senza frontiere


The Italian Job


Non c'è pace tra gli ulivi

Il Cammino della speranza

Il Cristo proibito

Il Bivio


La Morte risale a ieri sera

The Kremlin Letter

Cannon for Cordoba


Le Avventure di Mandrin



A Gunfight


Roma ore 11


Carne inquieta

Gli Eroi della domenica

Camicie rosse

Uomini senza pace


Ricatto alla mano (Un Verano para matar)

Un Tipo con una faccia strana


La Spiaggia

Il Segno di Venere

Destini di donne (Destinées)


Teresa Raquin (Thérèse Raquin)


Ti cerca per ucciderti

La Casa della paura

Honor Thy Father  - Film Tv




Domanda di Grazia (Obsession)

Siluri umani


Small Miracle  - Film Tv


The Human Factor



That Lucky Touch


Il segreto di Suor Angela

L'isola delle capre

(Les Possédées)

Andrea Chenier


The Other Side of Midnight


Rose Bernd

Uragano sul Po (Liebe)


Des Teufels Advokat

The Greek Tycoon



Ho giurato di ucciderti


An Almost Perfect Affair


La bella fioraia di Madrid

(La Violetera)

La trappola si chiude (Le Piège)


Retour à Marseille

Lion of the Desert


La Garçonniere

Tra due donne


Sezona mira u Parizu


Uno sguardo dal ponte

La Ciociara

El Cid


A Time to Die

Scarlatto e nero - Film Tv





Christopher Columbus - Film Tv


The Cardinal


Der Bierkönig - Film Tv

Il Padrino Parte III


The Secret Invasion


Julianus barát III

Julianus barát II

The First Circle - Film Tv

A Season of Giants - Film Tv

Julianus barát I


Una Voglia da morire



Toni - Film Tv

Negli anni novanta partecipa a diversi Film Tv


29. Raf Vallone  Theatre:  (actor)                          Back to the index 


Regia di Vincenzo Ciaffi

Prima rappresentazione:7.1.1946

Teatro Gobetti di Torino

La morte di Danton

Regia di Vincenzo Ciaffi

Teatro Gobetti di Torino

Nozze di sangue

Regia di Vincenzo Ciaffi

Teatro Gobetti di Torino



Regia di Klaus Michael Gruber. Testo di Franz Jung. Al Piccolo Teatro di Milano.

Luci di Bohème

Regia di Mina Mezzadri. Testo di Ramòn del Valle-Inclàn.


Il berretto a sonagli

Regia di Vincenzo Ciaffi

Testo: Luigi Pirandello

Al Teatro Gobetti di Torino

Il piacere dell'onestà

Regia di Vincenzo Ciaffi.

Testo: Luigi Pirandello.

Teatro Gobetti di Torino.


La medesima strada

(I presocratici)

Regia di Klaus Michael Gruber

Al Piccolo Teatro di Milano.


Vu du pont (Uno sguardo dal ponte)

Regia di Peter Brook

Testo: Arthur Miller.

Teatro "Antoine" di Parigi.

Debutto in teatro in lingua francese. 580 furono le rappresentazioni.


Il Prezzo

Regia di Raf Vallone

Testo: Arthur Miller

Cooperativa Teatro di Sardegna

Traduzione: Raf Vallone

Prima 20.01.1987


Uno sguardo dal ponte

Regia di Peter Brook.

Testo: Arthur Miller. A Londra.

Debutto in teatro in lingua inglese.

The duchess of Malfi (La duchessa di Amalfi)

Regia di Adrian Noble

Testo: John Webster. Con la Royal Shakespeare Company. A Londra


Tito Andronico

Regia Peter Stein

Testo: William Shakespeare

Teatro dell'Ateneo di Roma

Teatro Stabile di Genova.


Testo: Gaston Salvatore

Teatro Eliseo di Roma


Il riposo del guerriero

Regia di Raf Vallone

Testo: Christiane Rochefort

Riduzione teatrale di Raf Vallone

Teatro "Théatre de Paris" di Parigi


Il Signor Ornifle

Regia di Salvo Bitonti

Rappresentata il 31.07.1991 Rassegna "Festival di Tropea".

Ardente pazienza

Regia di Rosalia Polizzi

Coop.tiva Teatro di Sardegna


Proibito? Da chi?

Regia di Raf Vallone

Testo: Raf Vallone

Debutto come autore


Frankie & Johnny

Regia di Raf Vallone

Testo di Terence Rattigan.


Sei personaggi in cerca d'autore

Regia di Raf Vallone

Testo: Pirandello

Compagnia di J. Bertheau


Il Presidente

Regia di Krzysztof Zanussi

Testo (dedicato a Raf Vallone) di Rocco Familiari.


Il costruttore Solness

Regia di F. Piccoli

Testo: Ibsen


Tommaso Moro

Regia di Ezio Maria Caserta

Testo apocrifo di William Shakespeare

Prima Rappresentazione all'Estate Teatrale Veronese: 25 luglio 1993.


Uno sguardo dal ponte

Regia di Raf Vallone

Testo: Arthur Miller.


Desiderio sotto gli olmi

Regia di Walter Manfré

Testo: Eugene O'Neil. Con Milla Sannoner.


30. Raf Vallone - Opera Director        Back to the index   


Regia di Raf Vallone.

Musica: Vincenzo Bellini.

Interprete: Renata Scotto.

Teatro Regio di Torino.


La Traviata

Regia di Raf Vallone.

Musica: Giuseppe Verdi.

Teatro Rendano di Cosenza.


Adriana Lecouvreur

Regia di Raf Vallone.

Musica: Cilea.

Gran Teatro di San Francisco.


Uno sguardo dal ponte

Regia di Raf Vallone.

Musica: Renzo Rossellini.

Teatro di Montecarlo.

 Back to the index 


Arabella, con il responsabile del sito, Elena e Saverio

To the top

A view of Tropea from Poro mountain.

Raf Vallone’s balcony falls sheer to the sea

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