Character actor and director Tano Cimarosa died on the 24th of May, marking (hopefully) the end of a pretty desperate month in terms of deaths of figures from the Italian film industry.
Cimarosa was a Messinese, and made his first appearence in small scale comedies of the early sixties, such as Marcello Andrei’s La smania addosso (63) and Lucio Fulci’s I due para (65, with Franco and Ciccio). His real breakthrough, though, came with Damiano Damiani’s Mafia (67), which really capitalised on his dark, small appearence, making him a perfect choice for Neapolitan or Sicilian parts. Over the next ten years of so he appeared in numerous productions, and was a particular favourite of Damiano, who regularly cast him in his series of classy crime films (The Most Beautiful Wife (70), Un uomo in ginocchio (78), The Sicilian Connection (87)). After the collapse of the native film industry, jobs became more scarce, although he was still able to find employment as late as 2002’s Due Amici and on television with appearences in the likes of Don Matteo (an episode called Arabesque in 2006).
Cimarosa also directed three films: the giallo La vizio ha la calze nere (75), which pushed the implicit sex and violence of the genre to the fore, a crime film Death Hunt (77) and the obscure Uomini di parola (81). None of these were particularly memorable, although they’re not particularly bad either.