Bud Spencer

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Bud Spencer
Bud Spencer cropped 2009.jpg
Spencer in December 2009
BornCarlo Pedersoli
(1929-10-31) 31 October 1929 (age 85)
Naples, Italy
Other namesBud Spencer
OccupationActor, filmmaker
Years active1951–present
Spouse(s)Maria Amato (1960–present)
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For the American sprinter, see Emerson Spencer.
"Pedersoli" redirects here. For the firearm company, see Davide Pedersoli.
Bud Spencer
Bud Spencer cropped 2009.jpg
Spencer in December 2009
BornCarlo Pedersoli
(1929-10-31) 31 October 1929 (age 85)
Naples, Italy
Other namesBud Spencer
OccupationActor, filmmaker
Years active1951–present
Spouse(s)Maria Amato (1960–present)

Bud Spencer (born Carlo Pedersoli; 31 October 1929) is an Italian actor, filmmaker and a former professional swimmer. He is known for past roles in action-comedy films together with his long-time film partner Terence Hill. Growing from a successful swimmer in his youth, he got a degree in law, and has registered several patents. Spencer also became a certified commercial airline and helicopter pilot, and supports and funds many children's charities, including the Spencer Scholarship Fund.[1]

Bud Spencer and Terence Hill both appeared in, produced and directed over 20 films together and thus became and still remain best friends to this present day.

In a recent interview, Spencer commented: "Terence is like a brother to me, and like brothers we don't always agree, and he can be a pain in the neck sometimes." [laughs] "... our relationship I suppose is reflected in our movies, but he can always count on me as I can on him. We always enjoyed working together, probably why we made so many films together."


Spencer was born in Santa Lucia, a historical rione of the city of Naples.

From 1947 to 1949 he worked in the Italian consulate in Recife (Brazil),[2] where he learned fluent Portuguese. He changed his screen name in 1967, reportedly choosing to pay homage to Spencer Tracy as well as his favorite beer, Budweiser. Other sources report that he found it funny to call himself "bud" despite his weight and his imposing height at almost 6 ft 4 in (193 cm).[1]

Swimming and water polo career[edit]

A professional swimmer in his youth, Spencer was the first Italian to swim the 100 m freestyle in less than one minute. He achieved this on 19 September 1950, when he swam the 100 m in 59.5 s.[3]

In the 1951 Mediterranean Games, he won a silver medal in the same 100 m freestyle event.[4]

Spencer participated in the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland, reaching the semi-finals in the 100 m freestyle (58.8 s heats, 58.9 s semi final).[5] Four years later, in Melbourne, he also entered the semi-finals in the same category (58.5 s heat, 59.0 s semi final).[6]

As a water polo player, he won the Italian Championship in 1954, with S.S. Lazio. His swimming career ended abruptly in 1957.

On 17 January 2005 he was awarded with the Caimano d'oro (Gold Caiman) by the Italian Swimming Federation.[7]

On 24 January 2007, he received from the Italian Swimming Federation's president Paolo Barelli, swim and water polo coach diplomas.[8]

Acting career[edit]

Spencer's first movie role was in Quel fantasma di mio marito, an Italian comedy shot in 1949 and released in 1950. Then he played a member of the Praetorian Guard in Quo Vadis, a film shot in Italy, in 1951.[1] During the 1950s and part of the 1960s, Spencer appeared in some Italian films but "his career was strictly minor league until the late 1960s."[1]

Spencer met his future film partner, Terence Hill, on the set of Hannibal in 1959. They went on to work together on over 20 films, including (named using their most common US titles):

  1. Hannibal (1959), as Carlo Pedersoli together with Mario Girotti
  2. God Forgives... I Don't! (1967), first time as Bud Spencer together with Terence Hill
  3. Ace High (1968)
  4. Boot Hill (1969)
  5. They Call Me Trinity (1970)
  6. Blackie the Pirate (1971)
  7. Trinity Is Still My Name (1971)
  8. All the Way, Boys (1972)
  9. Watch Out, We're Mad (1974)
  10. Two Missionaries (1975)
  11. Crime Busters (1976)
  12. Odds and Evens (1978)
  13. I'm For the Hippopotamus (1979)
  14. Who Finds a Friend Finds a Treasure (1981)
  15. Go For It! (1983)
  16. Double Trouble (1984)
  17. Miami Supercops (1985)
  18. Troublemakers (1994)

Films with Spencer alone include:

  1. The Five Man Army (1969)
  2. The Fifth Day of Peace (1969)
  3. It Can Be Done Amigo (1972)
  4. Flatfoot (1973)
  5. They Call Him Bulldozer (1978)
  6. The Sheriff and the Satellite Kid (1979)
  7. Everything Happens to Me (1980)
  8. Banana Joe (1982)
  9. Bomber (1982)
  10. Superfantagenio (1986)

Many of these have alternative titles, depending upon the country and distributor. Some have longer Italian versions that were edited for release abroad. These films gathered popularity for both actors, especially in Europe.[1]

The main dubber of Bud Spencer in Italy is Glauco Onorato who, with his characteristic voice, successfully enriched the character of Bud Spencer. Sergio Fiorentini dubbed Spencer in Troublemakers, To the Limit (1997) and the series of Detective Extralarge), (1991–93) while in the movie Everything Happens to Me the dubber is Ferruccio Amendola

Spencer also wrote the complete or partial screenplay for some of his movies. His feature film career slowed down after 1983, shifting more toward television. In the 1990s, he acted in the TV action-drama "Extralarge". His autobiography was published by Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf in 2011.

Personal life[edit]

Spencer married Maria Amato in 1960, with whom he had three children: Giuseppe (1961), Christine (1962) and Diamante (1972). After appearing in Più forte, ragazzi!, Spencer became a jet airplane and helicopter pilot.[1] He established Mistral Air in 1984, an air-mail company that also transports pilgrims, but later sold it to Poste Italiane to buy a textile mill that produced clothes for children.

Career in politics[edit]

In 2005, he entered politics, unsuccessfully standing as regional counselor in Lazio for the Forza Italia party. Spencer has stated: "In my life, I've done everything. There are only three things I haven't been – a ballet dancer, a jockey and a politician. Given that the first two jobs are out of the question, I'll throw myself into politics."[1] The opposition criticised him for engaging in "politica spettacolo" ("showbiz politics").[1]


Quo Vadis (as Carlo Pedersoli)1951Imperial Guard
Siluri umani (English title: Human Torpedoes) (as Carlo Pedersoli)1954Magrini
Un Eroe dei nostri tempi (English title: A Hero of Our Times) (as Carlo Pedersoli)1955Fernando
Il Cocco di mamma (English title: Mamma's Boy) (as Carlo Pedersoli)1957Oscar
A Farewell to Arms (as Carlo Pedersoli)1957Carabiniere
Annibale (English title: Hannibal) (as Carlo Pedersoli)1960
Dio perdona... Io no! (English title: God Forgives... I Don't!)1967Hutch Bessy
Oggi a me... domani a te! (English title: Today We Kill, Tomorrow We Die)1968O'Bannion
Al di là della legge (English title: Beyond the Law)1968James Cooper
Ace High (Italian title: I Quattro dell'Ave Maria)1968Hutch Bessy
Dio è con noi (English title: The Fifth Day of Peace)1969Cpl. Jelinek
Un Esercito di cinque uomini (English title: The Five Man Army)1969Mesito
La Collina degli stivali (English title: Boot Hill)1969Hutch Bessy
Lo chiamavano Trinità (English title: They Call Me Trinity)1970Bambino
Il Corsaro nero (English title: Blackie the Pirate)1971Skull
...continuavano a chiamarlo Trinità (English title: Trinity Is Still My Name)1971Bambino
4 mosche di velluto grigio (English title: Four Flies on Grey Velvet)1971Godfrey "God"
Torino nera (English title: Black Turin)1972Rosario Rao
Più forte, ragazzi! (English title: All the Way Boys)1972Salud
Si può fare... amigo (English title: It Can be Done Amigo)1972Hiram Coburn
Una Ragione per vivere e una per morire (English title: A Reason to Live, a Reason to Die)1972Eli Sampson
Anche gli angeli mangiano fagioli (English title: Even Angels Eat Beans)1973Charlie Smith
Piedone lo sbirro (English title: Flatfoot)1973Inspector "Flatfoot" Rizzo
Porgi l'altra guancia (English title: Two Missionaries)1974Father/Padre Pedro
Altrimenti ci arrabbiamo (English title: Watch Out, We're Mad)1974Ben
Piedone a Hong Kong (English title: Flatfoot in Hong Kong)1975Inspector "Flatfoot" Rizzo
I due superpiedi quasi piatti (English title: Crime Busters)1976Wilbur Walsh
Il soldato di ventura (English title: Soldier of Fortune)1976Hector Fieramosca
I due superpiedi quasi piatti (English title: Crime Busters)1977Wilbur Walsh
Piedone l'africano (English title: Flatfoot In Africa aka The Knock-Out Cop)1978Inspector "Flatfoot" Rizzo
Lo chiamavano Bulldozer (English title: They Called Him Bulldozer)1978Bulldozer
Pari e dispari (English title: Odds and Evens)1978Charlie Firpo
Uno sceriffo extraterrestre – poco extra e molto terrestre (English title: The Sheriff and the Satellite Kid)1979Sceriffo Scott (Sheriff Hall)
Piedone d'Egitto (English title: Flatfoot in Egypt)1979Inspector 'Flatfoot' Rizzo
Io sto con gli ippopotami (English title: I'm for the Hippopotamus)1979Tom
Chissà perché... capitano tutte a me (English title: Everything Happens to Me)1980Sheriff Hall
Occhio alla penna (English title: Buddy goes West)1981Buddy
Chi trova un amico, trova un tesoro (English title: Who Finds A Friend Finds a Treasure)1981Charlie O'Brien
Cane e gatto (English title: Cat and Dog)1982Sergeant Parker
Banana Joe1982Banana Joe
Bomber1982Bud Graziano
Nati con la camicia (English title: Go For It)1983Doug O'Riordan alias Mason
Double Trouble (Italian title: Non c'è due senza quattro)1984Greg Wonder/Antonio Coimbra de la Coronilla y Azevedo
Miami Supercops1985Steve Forest
Superfantagenio (USA title: Aladdin)1986Genie
Big Man (TV Series)1988–1989Jack Clementi
Extralarge (TV Series)1990–1993Jack "Extralarge" Costello
Un piede in paradiso (English title: Standing In Paradise aka Speaking of the Devil)1991John "Bull" Webster
Botte di Natale (English title: The Fight Before Christmas aka Troublemakers)1994Moses
Noi siamo angeli (English title: We are Angels) (Mini TV Series)1997Orso
Fuochi d'artificio (English title: Fireworks)1997The blind singer
Al limite (English title: To the Limit)1997Elorza
Hijos del viento (English title: Sons of the Wind)2000Quintero
Tre per sempre (English title: 3–4 Ever)2002Bops
Cantando dietro i paraventi (English title: Singing Behind Screens)2003Il vecchio capitano
Padre Speranza (English title: Father Hope) (TV)2005Padre Speranza
Mord ist mein Geschäft, Liebling (English title: Murder is my Business, Honey)2009Pepe
I delitti del cuoco (TV Series)2010Carlo Banci

Writer (1990s)[edit]

(in the 1980s, he was credited as Carlo Pedersoli)

Image gallery[edit]


External links[edit]