Walter no longer had a face like a kid, but when he laughed it seemed that the years disappear. The many wrinkles, their eyes were opened and found themselves the ancient flare. One thing never changed: the loquacity. Had this to say about him Indro Montanelli, who knew him well: "A court would give you thirty years for the serious waste of your talent you do. A blasphemy against those who gave it to you, a theft from the public. In no stage of the world I have seen a playmaker capable of "inventing" every night ".
In the 80s his adventures were now memories. Trips to Australia to chase Ava Gardner, the love with Lucia Bose, perhaps the deepest, marriage with Alida Chelli and the birth of Simon in '71. Going further back, in 1945/46, when twenty-one supports the role of Boy in the company of Marisa Maresca, busty showgirl adopting and compromises the young man in the fullest sense. No longer attends the gym, but finds time to escape the pressure of Marisa that the brand across the board, to slip on the canal with the rowers take part in the trial of the Olona or winter, always on the Naviglio.
How many loves, professional and sentimental, so to speak. The Chronicles have swept the names, besides the already mentioned: Mina, Delia Scala, Elsa Martinelli and Maria Gabriella of Savoy, to link up with Patrizia Caselli, a lot of years younger than him, after the marriage ended after less than three years. I say this to make young people understand the character, unique and unsurpassed. Assets film 119, for 40 years has walked every theater, including Broadway. He loved people, but often he was alone and sad. The inventor of the "sarkiapone" that impassioned Italy in the '60s and '70s, roaring twenties on TV, with all the most important women of the small screen. Between 88 and 90, takes up the tune with the film, then asks the road as the author, with less success.
When I went to bring him the book he greeted me like an old friend. He leafed concerned. Commented on the photo, especially the great boxers of the past: "They must have an incredible strength, which champions Joe Louis and Marciano, Sugar extraordinary Robinson, my favorite (mine too), there are Spoldi and Bosisio, even Orlandi, sin. Watch Duilio, a genius of the ring, even talented Welcome Mazzinghi Arcari and I saw him a few times on TV.
I'm friends with Bossi. You know I've done boxing for four years? ". I knew, I told him several times. This time he added something:" I spent my childhood in Adria (Rovigo), when the war broke out we moved to Milan. Enza My mother was a teacher, my father Carmelo Puglia of birth, pinned on Public Safety. He was taken to the Isotta Fraschini, was 1939. I was 15 and played football. A lightning strike, but so thin that they suggested I go to the gym to put some muscle. In fact I fell alone in speed, I was so slight. In the factory I worked a recreational club, very popular. When I approached the first time I found one with a round face and red Croc seemed, was the instructor but I did not know. I asked if they taught in that space to pull punches. He looked at me quite seriously: "My son does not see? Do not think it is a resale of mints. Want to try it too?". "No thanks, I was wrong" I said. The night could not sleep. I thought if I had to go to that guy, or run away as soon as he saw again. The next day I showed up and at attention, I asked to learn to do boxing. "
I take what I told Libero Cecchi, then a teacher at the after-work "Isotta Fraschini," which was held in the then Walter Annichiarico baptism, not as an actor in theater and cinema, but as a boxer: "Despite being a breadstick, possessed an incredible vitality and spoke with all. I had to yell to be quiet, otherwise I would send the boys into a tailspin. He found topics on anything. But not apply more than others. High six feet, struggling to exceed 54 pounds. A Ghandi. In the following months put some muscle not too many because he was never stopped. I did make her debut as bantamweight, featherweight and then passed in as such in the '40s competed championships Lombard youth, and defeated them as well. It never went to the absolute, because he had begun to theater or something like that. If I remember correctly, as a dancer, as a row. He lived in the Garibaldi area, but moved on the canals, were born in those parts of magazine companies, where there existed well beyond the dancers and the dancers were very attentive Walter another part of the apple. Once he told me he had taken part in all '"Now the amateur", I thought it was a boxing tournament, but was selected for the magazine. argued that audition Olympia Largo Cairoli, that no longer exists. " He had quality boxing?
"It was not denied, took quick shots and powerful, he won several times by KO, moved around a lot. He could also tie, did not want to be scoring in the face. But what was disconcerting was his inventiveness. Already actor in the gym. Among a break and the other lasted until '42, putting together more than thirty meetings. Then, after the last "fantasy", a friend advised him to choose the theater. " He accepted my advice, perhaps waiting for that invitation, to give vent to the true vocation.
Also Available Cecchi has made a good career. He founded a stable immediately after the war. In 1956 he piloted the bantamweight Mario D'Agata, deaf and dumb from birth, to the world after 14 years in the '70s, reached the same goal conCarmelo Bossi between the average jr. In thirty years the corner, drove hundreds of athletes, flanked by his son Francis in the last decade. Just to mention the recent significant achievements that have touched remember Giancarlo Gabelli, Mario Vecchiatto, Charles Duran, Paul Curcetti and Renato Galli. Once retired he led the "Pizzeria Cecchi" with his son on a purple, not far from Central Station. Smoke as the best in Tuscany, had a heart of gold.
"When I invited Walter and his friend Grilli, what brought him to the gym, I had to be careful because I ate even chairs. Not to mention the evening after the gym. I recommended me not to associate with bad company. And they know what to respond ? "Master we stand, she is our knight." Translation: the cinema or at any other place, I paid for three. Benedetti boys. How many have combined the Walter. One evening I take the gloves with Samson, a heavyweight no evil (in 1945 in Novara became Italian champion amateur), but not naive enough to believe. In the middle of recording the power fails, it remains in the dark. After a few minutes and as the current returns, we have witnessed an incredible scene: Walter is twisted to strings like a sausage. An amazing job, in absolute silence. General laughter. Samson, the most surprised, is accused of being the author of the crime. Walter once "disconnected" it warns to wash the shame. Samson so "brainwashed" that begins to think that it was he. It takes the beauty and goodness to convince him of the joke. not speak of the faces, when he fought. Even opponents laughed. He was also an issue for the arbitrator, unprepared for such a situation. I got to promise cappuccino and brioche, if the stop. It lasted a recovery, then began again. "
Walter adds some other gem: "One evening in Novara, Mr. Free, tells me that the opponent is pretty small." See to be a bit 'curved, at least initially. "In those days we do not really weighed, went to eye . In fact it was really low, say below the armpit. I climb into the ring and when the referee calls us, I curl up under the towel so well that I look smaller than the other. While doing the sermon, I begin to grow up at the right height, the arbitrator shall be astonished, incredulous of my rising in a few seconds. ".
At the time of the "Dolce Vita" Not only fists. I am confident that many of the storiespassed on the stage were born during the transfers as a boxer.
"The" hick "to the ball game, the imitation of Hitler and others are checked when I despair of Mr. Free. The story of the submarine was born on the train Milano-Lodi, where the team was going to fight. I was attached to the handle of 'repeated alarm and ready, andgot up, amid the laughter of his companions. Over time the perfezionai ". That was a habit of curl tried several times.
This is confirmed by Cecchi: "A night at the movies, went to the cashier and childish voice, barely showing his face, he paid half the ticket. So crooked if he did tear up the mask, so shocked she got up the courage to respond."
It has been nearly 15 years after his death, and 23 from my visit to Walter. At that time it seemed perfectly normal. The long talk and modest housing, he had stayed in the most luxurious hotels in the world, in the heart of the '50s had its apogee with Ava Gardner, one of America's most beloved star.
Looking back, I did not realize to enjoy the friendship of a great artist of the stage light. What people prefer. Now I understand and I thank him. Who knows what the end will have made my book autographed.
For a sample, inside and outside the ring.