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Massimo Troisi
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    (February 19, 1953-June 4, 1994)
    Born in San Giorgio a Cremano, Italy
    Best known for portraying the title role (Mario Ruoppolo) in 'Il Postino' ('The Postman,' 1994)
    Directed, wrote and acted in the Italian films 'Ricomincio de tre' (1981), 'Scusate il ritardo' (1983), 'Non ci resta che piangere' (1987) and 'Pensavo fosse amore, invece era un calessie' (1991)
    Last name pronounced 'troy-EE-zee'
    'Il Postino' director Michael Radford said it took months to understand his heavy Neapolitan accent.
    He ignored his doctor's orders and postponed heart transplant surgery to make 'Il Postino.'
    He died one day after filming ended and two days before he was scheduled to leave for England to undergo surgery.
    He gained recognition outside Italy only after his death.
    As a child, he suffered rheumatic fever, which damaged his heart.
    He underwent quadruple bypass surgery at age 19.
    He was nicknamed 'the Steve Martin of Italy.'
    You couldn't accuse him of lacking dedication.
    He received posthumous Oscar nominations for Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay.
    Jennifer Beals -- who had befriended him when they were making films on adjoining lots -- said of his posthumous success, 'I'm sure he's somewhere laughing. Just knowing his name is being pronounced -- or mispronounced -- by Americans must give him satisfaction.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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