Roberto Remigio Benigni Pronunciation., Knight Grand Cross OMRI (born 27 October 1952) is an Italian actor, comedian, screenwriter and director of film, theatre and television.
Benigni was born in Manciano La Misericordia (a frazione of Castiglion Fiorentino), Italy, the son of Isolina Papini, a fabric inspector, and Remigio Benigni, a bricklayer, carpenter, and farmer. He was raised Catholic and served as an altar boy. His first experiences as a theatre actor took place in 1971, in Prato. During that autumn he moved to Rome where he took part in some experimental theatre shows, some of which he also directed. In 1975, Benigni had his first theatrical success with Cioni Mario di Gaspare fu Giulia, written by Giuseppe Bertolucci.
Benigni became famous in Italy in the 1970s for a shocking TV series called Onda Libera, on RAI2, by Renzo Arbore, in which he interpreted the satirical piece "anthem of the melted body" (L'inno del corpo sciolto, a hymn to defecation). A great scandal for the time, the series was suspended due to censorship. His first film was 1977's Berlinguer ti voglio bene, also by Giuseppe Bertolucci.