Vittorio De Sica (7 July 1901 or 1902 – 13 November 1974) was an Italian director and actor, a leading figure in the neorealist movement.
Born into poverty in Sora, Lazio (in either 1901 or 1902 - sources are divided), he began his career as a theatre actor in the early 1920s and joined Tatiana Pavlova's theatre company in 1923. In 1933 he founded his own company with his wife Giuditta Rissone and Sergio Tofano. The company performed mostly light comedies, but they also staged plays by Beaumarchais and worked with famous directors like Luchino Visconti.
His meeting with Cesare Zavattini was a very important event: together they created some of the most celebrated films of the neorealistic age, like Sciuscià (Shoeshine) and Ladri di biciclette (Bicycle Thieves, released as The Bicycle Thief in the U.S.A.), both of which De Sica directed.