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Vittorio De Sica: cause of death, how old was he, where was he born, movies, Oscars, wife, children, debts

Vittorio De Sica he is considered one of the fathers of neorealism and one of the greatest directors and performers of Italian comedy. Let’s find out the cause of his death and get to know him better.

Read also: Sophia Loren: age, children, sister, husband, where she lives, Oscar, Instagram

Who was Vittorio De Sica?

Among the most influential filmmakers in the history of cinema, director and screenwriter, he was also a theater actor and documentary maker. He is considered one of the fathers of neorealism and one of the greatest directors and performers of Italian comedy.

Vittorio De Sica with his sons Manuel and Christian / Photo: Corriere

Where he was born

He was born on 7 July 1901 in Sora, at the time part of the Campania province of Terra di Lavoro (since 1927 annexed to the new province of Frosinone in Lazio), in via Cittadella, in the district of the same name, by Umberto De Sica, an employee in the local branch of Bank of Italy, Salerno, originally from Giffoni Valle Piana, and Teresa Manfredi, a Neapolitan housewife. He received baptism with the names of Vittorio, Domenico, Stanislao, Gaetano, Sorano in the church of San Giovanni Battista, located right in front of the family home.

How old was Vittorio De Sica

Vittorio De Sica was born in a town in the province of Frosinone, in Sora, on 7 July 1901, under the zodiac sign of cancer. He died in France, a Neuilly-sur-Seine on November 13, 1974, at the age of 73.

Cause death

Vittorio De Sica died at the age of 73 following surgery to treat a lung tumor he suffered from, at the hospital of Neuilly-sur-Seine, near Paris. In the same year, Ettore Scola dedicated his masterpiece We had loved each other so much to him. As his son Christian recalled during an interview with The barbarian invasions, Vittorio De Sica was a communist, and this fact, obviously combined with the aforementioned marriage events, prevented him from receiving a particularly sumptuous funeral. His body rests in the monumental cemetery of Verano in Rome.

With Alberto Sordi / Photo: Movie Player


Scarlet roses (co-directed by Giuseppe Amato, also actor) (1939)
Magdalene … zero in conduct (also screenplay and actor) (1940)
Teresa Friday (also screenplay and actor) (1941)
A garibaldino at the convent (also screenplay and actor) (1942)
Children look at us (also screenplay) (1943)
The gate of heaven (also screenplay) (1944)

Shut up (1946)
Heart (co-directed by Duilio Coletti, also production, screenplay and actor) (1948)
bike thieves (also production and screenplay) (1948)
Miracle in Milan (also production and screenplay) (1951)
Umberto D. (also production) (1952)
Termini Station (also production) (1953)

The gold of Naples (also screenplay and actor) (1954)
The roof (also production) (1956)
Anna of Brooklyn (co-directed by Carlo Lastricati, also actor) (1958)
The ciociara (1960)
The universal judgment (also actor) (1961)
The kidnapped of Altona (1962)

The boom (1963)
Yesterday Today Tomorrow (1963)
Italian wedding (1964)
A new world (1966)
Fox hunting (1966)
Seven times a woman (1967)

Lovers (also screenplay) (1968)
Sunflowers (1970)
The garden of the Finzi Contini (1970)
We will call him Andrea (1972)
A short break (1973)
Travel (1974)

Poster of the film I Girasoli / Photo: Pinterest


His films Sciuscià (1946), Thieves of bicycles (1948), Yesterday, today, tomorrow (1963) and Il giardino dei Finzi Contini (1970) won the Oscar for best film in a foreign language, for which he was also nominated Italian wedding (1964). For the film La Ciociara (1964) she received the Oscar Sophia Loren as best female actress.

Film as an actor

There are really many films starring Vittorio De Sica as an actor. We remember only 20, among the most famous, in addition to the debut film, The Clémenceau trial, directed by Alfredo De Antoni (1917).

Bread, love and jealousy, directed by Luigi Comencini (1954)
The sign of Venus, directed by Dino Risi (1955)
Bread, love and … directed by Dino Risi (1955)
Il bigamo, by Luciano Emmer (1955)
Fathers and Sons, by Mario Monicelli (1957)

Count Max, directed by Giorgio Bianchi (1957)
Totò, Vittorio and the doctor, directed by Camillo Mastrocinque (1957)
Sunday is always Sunday, directed by Camillo Mastrocinque (1958)
Bread, love and Andalusia, directed by Javier Setó (1958)
The first night, directed by Alberto Cavalcanti (1959)
In the blue painted blue, directed by Piero Tellini (1959)

With Sophia Loren in the film Bread, Love and Andalusia / Photo: Vistanet

The moralist, directed by Giorgio Bianchi (1959)
General Della Rovere, directed by Roberto Rossellini (1959)
The policeman, directed by Luigi Zampa (1960)
The bay of Naples, directed by Melville Shavelson (1960)
The two marshals, directed by Sergio Corbucci (1961)
An Italian in America, directed by Alberto Sordi (1967)

The adventures of Pinocchio, TV miniseries, directed by Luigi Comencini (1972)
The Matteotti crime, directed by Florestano Vancini (1973)
We loved each other so much, directed by Ettore Scola (1974)

The wives

On 10 April 1937, in the church of Borgo San Pietro in Asti, De Sica married the Turin actress Giuditta Rissone, whom he had met ten years earlier and with whom he had his first daughter Emilia (1938-2021). In 1942, on the set of the film A Garibaldino al convent, he met the Catalan actress María Mercader, with whom he later went to live together. After the divorce from his first wife, Giuditta Rissone, obtained in Mexico in 1954, he married the Catalan actress in a first marriage in 1959 also in Mexico, but the union was considered nothing because it is not recognized by Italian law; in 1968 he obtained French citizenship and married María Mercader in Paris.

From his second wife he had two children: Manuel (1949-2014), musician, and Christian (1951), who will follow in his footsteps as an actor and director.

Vittorio De Sica with his second wife Maria Mercader and their son Christian in their home – January 1970 / Photo: Pierluigi Praturlon


Vittorio De Sica had three children. His first daughter Emilia (1938-2021) was born from the first marriage with the Turin actress Giuditta Rissone.

De Sica with her first daughter, Emilia / Photo: Tiscali Spettacoli

Manuel (1949-2014) and Christian (1951) were born from the second marriage with María Mercader. Although divorced, De Sica was unable to give up his first family. Thus began a double ménage, with double lunches at parties and a consequent wear and tear; it is said that on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve he set the clock two hours ahead in the Mercader house in order to toast at midnight. The first wife agreed to maintain a sort of apparent marriage in order not to deprive her daughter of the father figure. These aspects of his life are partly inspired by the film L’immorale, directed by Pietro Germi in 1967 and starring Ugo Tognazzi.

Complete second family of De Sica: father Vittorio, mother María, Manuel and Christian / Photo: Napoliflash24


His great passion for the game was known, for which he sometimes found himself losing even large sums, and which probably explains some of his participation in films not at his height; in the immediate post-war period he was a regular visitor to roulette in the Municipal Casino of the Castello di Rivoli. That for the game was a passion that he never hid and that indeed he reported, with great self-irony, in several of his film characters, such as in Il conte Max, An Italian in America or L’oro di Napoli.

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