Franco Nero was born on the 23rd of November, 1941 in Parma, Italy. His real name is Francesco Sparanero. He had just arrived in Milan from his hometown Parma, and he started working in the energy company Edison Volta. In the mid-60s spaghetti westerns were gaining momentum worldwide and in 1966 Nero got the title role in Django directed by Sergio Corbucci. The eponymous hero – the lone shooter, dragging a coffin behind him, became renowned and Nero earned immense popularity. Over the years, Franco Nero divided his time between spaghetti westerns, police movies, horror movies and science fiction.
With the birth of political cinema Nero became one of the leading actors in this new direction, with films such as God with us (1970) of Giuliano Montaldo, Confessions of a Police Captain (1971), The Case is Closed: Forget It (1973), again D.Damiani, The Assassination of Matteotti (1973) by Florestan Vancini, The Last 4 Days (1974) by Carlo Lizzani. Meanwhile, and after the decline of the political cinema, Nero continued to shoot in purely commercial films too, albeit rarely – in productions of distinguished directors as Vistory March (1976) by Marco Bellocchio or Querelle (1982) of Rainer Werner Fassbinder. In the early 80s Nero started writing, directing and producing films. Between the film productions he managed to take time for the theater scene.
Today Franco Nero continues his active career as only in 2007 he appeared in five films, and in 2012 he was invited by Quentin Tarantino to appear in Django Unchained, inspired by the classic film by Corbucci. All directors who have worked with Franco Nero, described him as a „cinema-monster” and expressed pleasure of his presence on the set.
Franco Nero was awarded the Sofia Municipality Award for Outstanding Contribution to the world cinema in 2015.