Considered to be one of the greatest Italian actors of all time, he received the award for Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival in 1975 for Profuma di donna.
He was born in Genoa and later moved to Rome, where he studied at the Accademia Nazionale d'Arte Drammatica. He made his debut on stage in Milan in 1942 in Nemica.
He earned the nickname Il Mattatore for his acclaimed performance in the TV series of the same name, and he voiced the character of Mufasa in the Italian version of the iconic animated film The Lion King.
He married three times and had four children. His second marriage was to the actress,
He performed in a production of A Streetcar Named Desire, a play written by Tennessee Williams.