Vittorio Gassman (Italian pronunciation: [vitˈtɔːrjo ˈɡazman]; born Gassmann; 1 September 1922 – 29 June 2000), popularly known as Il Mattatore, was an Italian actor, director and screenwriter.He is considered one of the greatest Italian actors, whose career includes both important productions as well as dozens of divertissements.
Gassman married three times, all to actresses: Nora Ricci (with whom he had Paola, an actress and wife of Ugo Pagliai); Shelley Winters (mother of his daughter Vittoria); and Diletta D'Andrea (mother of his son Jacopo).While rehearsing Hamlet, he began an affair with Anna Maria Ferrero, his 16-year-old Ophelia, which ended his marriage to Winters. He and Winters were forced to work together on Mambo just as their marriage was unraveling, providing fodder for tabloids all over the world.From 1964 to 1968 he was the partner of French actress Juliette Mayniel (mother of his son Alessandro, also an actor). Through Alessandro, he is the grandfather of singer-songwriter Leo Gassmann.On 29 June 2000, Gassman died of a heart attack in his sleep at his home in Rome at the age of 77. He was buried at Campo Verano.
Gassmann was born in Genoa to a German father, Heinrich Gassmann (an engineer from Karlsruhe), and a Jewish mother, Luisa Ambron, born in Pisa. While still very young, he moved to Rome, where he studied at the Silvio D'Amico National Academy of Dramatic Arts.Gassman suffered from bipolar disorder.