Lino Ventura was an Italian actor who starred in French movies.
He was born in Parma, northern Italy. Lino Ventura dropped out of school at the age of eight and later took on a variety of jobs. At one point Ventura was pursuing a prizefighting and professional wrestling career but had to end it because of an injury.
Despite living most of his life in France and speaking Italian with a French accent, he never acquired French citizenship.
In 1953 Ventura entered the film industry in a gangster movie called Touchez pas au grisbi by Jacques Becker and started to build up an acting career in similar hard boiled gangster movies, often playing beside his friend Jean Gabin. His most famous roles include the portrait of corrupt police chief Tiger Brown in 1963's The Threepenny Opera and mob functionary Vito Genovese in The Valachi Papers. Although Italian, 'Cento Giorni a Palermo' (1983) was the only film he ever made in his native language which surprised Italian audiences, long used to seeing him dubbed into Italian from the original French release. Lino Ventura remained active until the year before his death caused by a heart attack in 1987 at the age of 68. Lino Ventura was also known for creating a foundation called 'Snowdrop' in 1966 that supports handicapped people.