Nino Castelnuovo, the Italian hunk who painted Italian heritage on the face of the world by attaining fame in Hollywood, died at the age of 84.

Nino Castelnuovo, the symbol of Italian cinema, the famous television and film star who found fame outside his home country died peacefully in Rome. Simone Oppi, his representative, confirmed his death.

Castelnuovo found soaring success after hitting the jackpot by performing in a French musical “the Umbrellas of Cherbourg”, and there was no looking back from there.

He was the star who lived through Italian cinema’s golden era. There was a time when he was equally famous in Hollywood and back in Italy. He was lucky enough to collaborate with Italian giants such as Vittorio De Sica and Luchino Visconti to direct him and acted amongst the greatest of Italian actors namely Claudia Cardinal and Alberto Sordi.

Ironically, Nino Castelnuovo first got famous outside Italy through “the Umbrellas of Cherbourg” and later on got recognition in his own country.

His acting talent was recognized in Italy in 1967 when his portrayal as Renzo in the television show “the betrothed” became an instant hit. The television series was based upon a literary bestseller of 1827 by the great Alessandro Manzoni. The series was based upon a young man going through the ordeal of living during the times of plague set in the 17th century.

The show broke new records of fame that Castelnuovo claimed that “Pope Paul VI became a fan and requested to meet him.”

Nino Castelnuovo became a household name in Italy in the early 1980s and clinched newer levels of fame through his roles in both film and television.

Nino’s real name was Francesco Castelnuovo and was born in Lecco, Italy on 28th October 1936. Growing up in a humble household, he started working as a house painter and a mechanic initially when youth touched him. Luck and fame found him when he moved to Milan to study theatre at Piccolo Teatro.

Nino Castelnuovo is survived by wife Maria Cristina Di Nicola, sister Marinella and son Lorenzo.