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Paolo Bonacelli’s career in Italian cinema and television began in the 1970s, and continues apace.
Among his dozens of films, Mr. Bonacelli’s most notorious role was as the Duke in Pier Paolo Pasolini’s controversial Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom. His other notable movies include Alan Parker’s Midnight Express; Tinto Brass’ Caligula; Marco Bellocchio’s Enrico IV [Henry IV], adapted from the Pirandello play; Liliana Cavani’s Francesco, with Mickey Rourke; Jim Jarmusch’s Night on Earth, opposite Roberto Benigni in the Rome segment; Asia Argento’s Scarlet Diva; and J.J. Abrams’ Mission: Impossible III.
In 1992, his performance in Roberto Benigni’s Johnny Stecchino won him a Silver Ribbon award from the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists.