Author

Eduardo Scarpetta cover

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

Eduardo Scarpetta

Italian actor and playwright

1853   -   1925

country of citizenship: Kingdom of Italy
languages spoken, written or signed: Neapolitan, Italian
occupation: actor, dramaturge
www.eduardoscarpetta.it

Eduardo Scarpetta (13 March 1853 – 12 November 1925) was an Italian actor and playwright from Naples, Italy.Although not from a theatrical family, he was on the stage by the age of four and is today best remembered as the creator of a character that became his stage alter-ego: Felice Sciosciammocca, a typical, good-natured Neapolitan. The name "Sciosciammocca" translates from Neapolitan as "breath in mouth"—thus, with "Felice" (Happy) the name conveys something like wide-eyed and perhaps a bit scatter-brained. The character was a break with the traditional portrayal of the Neapolitan streetwise Everyman and, as an implied stereotype, invites comparison to the well-known, darker historical Neapolitan "mask" of Pulcinella. The character appears prominently in Scarpetta’s best-known work, Miseria e Nobiltà (Misery and Nobility) from the year 1888. The work is well known, too, as a 1954 film featuring Neapolitan comic Totò as Felice Sciosciammocca; the film also features a young Sophia Loren.Scarpetta dedicated much of his early activity to translating into Neapolitan the standard Parisian farce comedy of the day, such as Hennequin, Meilhac, Labiche and Feydeau. His own original comedies comprise some 50 works. He was the illegitimate father of actor and playwright Eduardo De Filippo as well as of Eduardo's brother and sister, Peppino and Titina. He was also a mentor to the actor Gennaro Pantalena who appeared as part of his company.
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