Monday, June 27, 2016

R.I.P. Bud Spencer

Bud Spencer has died. It's been brought to my attention that not everyone here has had the privilege of seeing Bud Spencer's movies or TV series. Carlo Pedersoli represented Italy in the 1952 Olympics as a swimmer. In the later '50s, he turned to acting and took the name Bud Spencer, combining the names of his favorite beer with the first name of his favorite actor, Spencer Tracy.

Throughout the 1960s, Bud became more and more popular in international productions such as FIVE MAN ARMY with Peter Graves and James Daly. He also appeared with a young actor named Terence Hill in several serious spaghetti westerns and then in a surprisingly comical one, THEY CALL ME TRINITY. TRINITY became a huge success throughout the world and begat one official sequel with the pair. 

Throughout the '70s and '80s, Bud became a major international superstar in nearly every country except the US. Many of his films were released here but few were big successes. In time he made at least 20 pictures with Hill, all light hearted features that found the pair not just as cowboys but as soldiers of fortune, pilots, policemen, and even priests!

Using his real, heavily accented, voice, he appeared in a couple of police drama TV series. In one, his partner was MIAMI VICE star Phillip Michael Thomas, later replaced by POLICE ACADEMY's Michael Winslow.

In retirement, Bud wrote several books, maintained a website, and even ran for political office (he lost).

He had a great sense of comic timing and even though his movies often contained fight scenes, he was on record as being against explicit violence and so the scenes were almost always comical and included his trademark "knock 'em on the head" move.

So if you haven't yet had the pleasure, the man may be gone but his legacy on film lives on. Find his clips and movies on YouTube and elsewhere from time to time online and enjoy!


  1. Nice tribute to Bud Spencer. It would be even better if you told us who he was. I, for one, have never heard of him.

  2. I meant to write something and can't believe I didn't! Thanks. Updated now!

  3. I'm old enough to remember his spaghetti westerns, many of them with his frequent co-star Mario Girotti (aka Terence Hill). They made both straight Westerns (Boot Hill, Ace High), and comedies (They Call Me Trinity, Trinity Is Still My Name).

    I also remember seeing him in The Five Man Army and Massacre at Fort Holman (aka A Reason to Live, a Reason to Die). And a tongue-in-cheek cop movie, released in the US as "Flatfoot." He played a detective who did not carry a gun, which may have reflected his disapproval of excessive violence in movies.

  4. Ah, now I know why I didn't know him. I've never been a fan of spaghetti westerns. I find the pace of the films (the few I've seen) incredibly slow. Worse, I can't abide dubbing and the voice acting (trying for western accents) abominable. The music is the best part of the films I saw, and some of it have become classic.
    Regarding the dubbing issue: In the late'60s, at the end of his Hollywood stardom, Tab Hunter made an Italian Arabian Nights film, The Golden Arrow. Hunter's reedy voice was dubbed by an actor with (dare I say it?) a more masculine voice even for the American release. That voice got in the way of enjoying the film, and was like a nail in the coffin of Tab Hunter's Hollywood career.