Actor and casting agent (- Rome, Italy, 1.27.2009)
An Italian actor, presumably of mixed-race, Eritrean origins, Fernando Piazza was known mostly as casting agent, specialized in recruiting foreign actors and extras. His agency was located in Rome, via Emilio Morosini 18, Trastevere district and was open at least up to early 2000s. Among his actors, it is worth to mention Urs Althaus, Tomas Arana and Giorgio Pasotti, who launched him in Italy after his first roles in Hong Kong movies. He was sensible to the condition of Afrodescendant actors working in Italian cinema, and often forced to accept stereotyped roles, as it is documented in a declaration reported in an article on magazine Epoca in 1990.
Fernando starred also in some low budget, adventure pics, such as Le prigioniere dell’isola del Diavolo (Women of Devil’s Island, in US). He acted as well in two foreign productions shot in Italy, Joseph Losey’s Boom (1968) and Ron O’Neal’s Super Fly T.N.T. (1973). Starting from late 1960s, he had also some experiences in production department. Apparently, he would be credited under the section Special Thanks for the documentary Shedding the Skin (Kit Gavin, 2005). Piazza would appear uncredited also in three other costume films of the early 1960s, Gordon il pirata nero (Mario Costa, 1961), alongside Van Aikens and Wilbert Bradley, Una regina per Cesare (Domenico Paolella, 1962) and Maciste nelle miniere del re Salomone (Piero Regnoli, 1964).
The only other source available on the web concerning him, a part from IMDb, that reports him deceased in 2009 for a cancer, is a post by Matt Blake on his blog The Wild Eye.
Gordon il pirata nero (Mario Costa, 1961, ff, act), Le prigioniere dell’isola del Diavolo (Domenico Paolella, 1962, ff, act), Una regina per Cesare (Domenico Paolella, 1962, ff, act), Maciste nelle miniere del re Salomone (Piero Regnoli [Martin Andrews], 1964, ff, act), Tarzak contro gli uomini leopardo (Carlo Veo [Charlie Foster], 1964, ff, act), Gungala, la pantera nuda (Ruggero Deodato [Roger Rockfeller] 1968, ff), Il prezzo del potere (Tonino Valerii, 1969, ff, prse), Jesse & Lester: due fratelli in un posto chiamato Trinità (Renzo Genta, 1972, ff, pr), Gli eroi (Duccio Tessari, 1973, ff, prsu), Gli indifferenti (Mauro Bolognini, 1988, tvm, prse)
Frame taken from:
Le prigioniere dell’isola del Diavolo. Dir. Domenico Paolella. Documento Film, Louvre Films, Paris, 1962.
Contributors: Leonardo De Franceschi, with Sara Talevi and Nick Wale
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