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Dario Fo

Dario FoAKA Leggiuno Sangiano

Born: 26-Mar-1926
Birthplace: San Giano, Varese, Italy

Gender: Male
Religion: Atheist
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Playwright
Party Affiliation: See Note [1]

Nationality: Italy
Executive summary: Italian playwright and Nobel laureate

Dario Fo is a profane and frequently blasphemous playwright, theatrical producer, sometimes actor and costume designer, an atheist, Marxist, and recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1997. He studied drama and architecture, and during World War II he was drafted into the army of the Italian Social Republic, but escaped conscription by going into hiding. He broke into theater by designing sets, gradually becoming an amateur performer in the late 1940s. His wife, actress Franca Rame, comes from a family of traveling show people who have worked in Italian theater since the 17th century.

By the early 1950s Fo was performing humorous historical monologues on Cocoric˛, a popular Italian radio program. With his wife he founded the Fo-Rame Theater Company in 1959. He wrote and performed for Canzonissima, an Italian variety series on television, until he was fired midway through the 1962 season after complaints from the Vatican over Fo's mockery of Bible stories and Catholic history and hierarchy. Fo then developed a repertoire of bitingly satirical plays, which were frequently condemned for their open ridicule of political leaders and societal norms. Such controversies, of course, only added to his popularity.

His works have critiqued and lampooned anti-abortion laws, capitalism, dictatorship in Chile, 11 September 2001, endless unrest in the Middle East, Italian fascists, the murder of Aldo Moro, police criminality, the Tiananmen Massacre, and the assassination of John F. Kennedy, among myriad other topics certain to make authorities scowl. When a 1977 production of his play Mistero Buffo was shown on Italian TV, a Vatican press release condemned it as "the most blasphemous program ever televised". He was barred from entry to the United States until the late 1980s under the McCarran Act, legislation designed to suppress subversion.

Still, he was little known beyond Europe before winning the Nobel Prize in 1997, and most of his plays have not been published in an English translation. Fo said he was shocked to receive the honor, which praised him for "emulating the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden." His Nobel selection was, of course, harshly criticized by both the Italian government and Vatican officials.


[1] Communist Refoundation Party.

Father: Felice Fo (station master)
Mother: Pina Rota (author)
Brother: Fulvio
Sister: Bianca
Wife: Franca Rame (b. 18-Jul-1929, m. 24-Jun-1954, one child)
Son: Jacopo Fo (writer and filmmaker, b. 31-Mar-1955)

    University: Brera Art Academy, Milan
    University: Polytechnic University of Milan (attended)

    Sonning Prize 1981
    Nobel Prize for Literature 1997
    Draft Evasion (World War II)
    Stroke 17-Jul-1995
    Italian Ancestry

    FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
    Zero: An Investigation Into 9/11 (15-Jun-2008) · Himself
    Viva Zapatero! (16-Sep-2005) · Himself

Author of books:
Manuale Minimo dell'Attore (1987, non-fiction)
Il paese dei MezarÓt (2002, memoir, with Franca Rame)

Wrote plays:
Poer nano ed altre storie (1951)
Il dito nell'occhio (A Finger in the Eye) (1953)
I sani de legare (A Madhouse for the Sane) (1954)
Monetine da 5 lire (1956)
Ladri, manichini e donne nude (1957)
Comico finale (Corpse for Sale) (1958)
Un morto da vendere (1958)
La Marcolfa (1958)
Quando sarai povero sarai re (1958)
Chi l'ha visto? (1959)
Gli arcangeli non giocano a flipper (Archangels Don't Play Pinball) (1959)
Aveva due pistole con gli occhi bianci e neri (Two Pistols) (1960)
Chi ruba un piede Ŕ fortunato in amore (He Who Steals a Foot is Lucky in Love) (1961)
Isabrella, tre caravelle e un cacciabelle (1963)
La colpa e sempre del diavolo (1965)
Ci ragiono e canto (1966)
La signora Ŕ da butare (1967)
Grande pantomima con bandiere e pupazzi piccoli e medi (Grand Pantomime with Flags and Small and Medium-Sized Puppets) (1968)
Legami pure che tanto io spacco tutto lo stesso (The Boss's Funeral) (1969)
Misteri Buffo (The Comic Mystery) (1969)
L'operaio conosce 300 parole... (The Worker Knows 300 Words...) (1969)
Morte accidentale di un anarchico (Accidental Death of an Anarchist) (1970)
Vorrei morire anche stasera se dovessi pensare che non Ŕ servito a niente (1970)
Fedayn (1971)
Morte e resurrezione di un pupazzo (1971)
Tutti uniti! Tutti insieme! (1971)
Ordine! Per Dio.000.000.000 (1972)
Pum pum, Chi Ŕ? La polizia! (Knock, Knock, Who┤s There? The Police!) (1972)
Morte e resurrezione di un pupazzo (1972)
Basta con i fascisti (1973)
The Bawd (1973)
Guerra di popolo in Cile (1973)
Ballate e canzoni (1974)
Canzoni e ballate (1974)
Il caso Marini (1974)
No si paga! No si paga! (Can't Pay? Won't Pay!) (1974)
Porta e belle (1974)
Il Fanfani rapito (1975)
La guillarata (1975)
La marijuana della mamma Ŕ la piu bella (1976)
Il teatro di Dario Fo (1977, with Franca Rame )
Parliamo di donne (1977)
Tutta casa, letto e chiesa (Female Parts) (1978)
La storia di un soldato (1978, based on an opera by Igor Stravinsky )
Storia della tigre et altre storie (The Tale of a Tiger) (1978)
Dio li fa e poi li accoppa (1979)
Betty (1980)
Buona sera (1980, with Franca Rame )
Dedalo e Icaro (1980)
Clacson, trombette e pernacchi (About Face) (1981)
La professione della Signora Warren (1981)
L'opera dello sghignazzo (1981, with Franca Rame, based on an opera by John Gay)
Fabulazzo osceno (Obscene Fables) (1982, with Franca Rame )
Lucio e asino (1982)
Parpaja topola (1982)
Una madre (A Mother) (1982)
Coppio aperta, quasi spalancata (The Open Couple) (1983)
Diario di Eva (Eva's Diary) (1984)
Quasi per caso una donna: Elisabetta (Elizabeth: Almost by Chance a Woman) (1984)
Storia vera di Piero d'Angera (1984)
Hellequin, Harlekin, Arlechino (1985)
Il ratto della Francesca (Abducting Diana) (1986)
Una giornata qualunque (An Ordinary Day) (1986)
Manuale Minimo dell'Attore (The Tricks of the Trade) (1987)
La parte del Leone (1987)
Transmissione forzata (1988)
25 monologhi per una donna (1989, with Franca Rame )
Il papa e la strega (The Pope and the Witch) (1989)
Lettera dalla Cina (1989)
Parti femminili (1989)
Promessi sposi (1989)
Una lepre con la faccia da bambina (1989, with Franca Rame )
Coppia aperta (1990, with Franca Rame )
Zitti! Stiamo Precipitando (1990)
Parliamo di donne: L'eroina, grassa Ŕ bello (1991, with Franca Rame )
Settimo ruba un po' meno (1991)
Mamma! I sanculotti! (1993)
Sesso? Grazie, tanto per gradire! (1994, with Franca Rame, Jacopo Fo )
Bibbia dei villani (1996)
Il diavolo con le zinne (1997, with Franca Rame )
Bava Beccaris, fame e rabbia (1998)
Marino libero! Marino innocente! (1998)
Lu santo jullare Franšesco (1999)
Il porco (2000)
Il grande bugiardo (2001)
La Gazzetta (2001, based on an opera by Gioacchino Rossini )
Da Tangentopoli all'irresistibile ascesa di Ubu-Bas (2002)
Il viaggio a Reims (2003, based on an opera by Gioacchino Rossini )
Ubu-Bas va alla guerra (2003)
L'anomalo bicefalo (2003)



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