Italian actor Carlo Pedersoli, better known under his nom de plume Bud Spencer, died peacefully in his home at the age 86 today, June 27th 2016.
A lot of our readers from the US and Canada and maybe even the UK won’t recognize the name, but Spencer was, together with his frequent onscreen partner Terence Hill (born as Mario Girotti) a movie legend and superstar in mainland Europe throughout the 70s and 80s, whose legacy lives on on Saturday afternoon TV.
He and Hill starred in several buddy comedies of varying quality, but he was also very successful with his solo outings, like the Banana Joe movies. Spencer usually played the grumpy brawler with a heart of gold, who had to reluctantly team up with the jokester and sly dog played by Hill. The recipe of their movies was simple yet effective, they persiflaged all kinds of popular genres, from cop movie to Western to spy movie and added pretty elaborate slapstick fisticuffs that always remained child-friendly in terms of depicted violence. The German dubbing usually added some excellent jokes.
My favourite movies with them is the pitch-perfect Spaghetti Western spoof Trinity Is Still My Name from 1971, a rare case of a sequel (to They Call Me Trinity, 1970) that is better than the original and the almost surreal spy comedy Go For It! (1983).
Bud Spencer aka Carlo Pedersoli had a very interesting life outside his movie-stardom too, he was swimmer at the Olympic Games 1952, musician and later even dabbled in politics. My he rest in peace, nobody hit ’em like him.