Elderism #38

February 19th, 2009

81 year-old Italian actor and comedian Oreste Lionello passed away today in a Rome hospital after a long illness. Lionello achieved his greatest fame as a dubber of voices in American movies shown in Italy.

A career as a dubber is rooted in a kind of self-deflection or self-abnegation–Lionello gave voice to, among others,¬† Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator, Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins, Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove, and Gene Wilder in Young Frankenstein. So it’s a delightful¬† irony that in Lionello’s case, all this self-asiding¬† gave way to a rather bold act of self-definition. To wit, Lionello would sometimes answer his home phone,

“I am the voice of Woody Allen.”

(Chicago Tribune)