Franco Nero, a leading actor in international cinema, was born in Parma (Northern Italy).
His inclination for acting had already become obvious in his teenage years when he began organizing and participating in student plays.
After a short stint at a leading theatre school he moved to Rome, where he joined a small group of friends for the purpose of making documentaries. Still unsure of his ultimate vocation, he worked various jobs on the crew.
The role as Abel in John Houston's film The Bible (1966) marked a crucial point in his career.
A few months later he had his big break as the title character in the internationally acclaimed cult-classic Spaghetti Western Django. The following year Joshua Logan cast him as Lancelot du Lac in the film version of Camelot (Warner Bros), opposite Vanessa Redgrave, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe award.
Nero has appeared in more than 185 movies around the world and has worked with Europe's top directors, such as Luis Buñuel, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Claude Chabrol, Sergei Bondarciuk, Michael Cacoyannis, Elio Petri, Marco Bellocchio, just to mention a few. He has also played the role of leading national heroes such as Garibaldi (Italy), Árpád (Hungary), and Banovic Strakigna (former Yugoslavia). In the USA he has been seen in successful mini-series such as The Pirate (Warner Bros), The Last Days of Pompeii (CBS), Young Catherine (TNT), Bella Mafia (CBS), The Painted Lady, Saint Augustine and movies such as The Legend of Valentino, 21 Hours to Munich, Force Ten from Navarone, Enter the Ninja, The Versace Murder, Die Hard 2, and recently Letters to Juliet.
At the beginning of the 1980s he also began producing, writing and directing.
Between films, he participates in various theatrical events.
Over the last 45 years, he has been a benefactor of the Don Bosco orphanage in Tivoli.
He has received many awards and in 1992, for his artistic merits, a Knighthood of the Italian Republic was bestowed on him by the President of Italy.
In 2011 he was honoured by Brunel University of London with the Honorary degree of Doctor of Letters honoris causa and in Toronto (Canada) with a star on the Italian Walk of Fame.