Ezio Pinza Overview:

Actor, Ezio Pinza, was born Fortunato Pinza on May 18, 1892 in Rome, Italy. Pinza died at the age of 65 on May 9, 1957 in Stamford, CT and was laid to rest in Putnam Cemetery in Greenwich, CT.

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He was honored with one star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of Recording. Ezio Pinza's handprints and footprints were 'set in stone' at Grauman's Chinese Theater during imprint ceremony #102 on Jan 26, 1953.

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Ezio Pinza Facts
Incredibly enough, for all his success in opera and musical comedy, Ezio Pinza was unable to read music, and conductor Arturo Toscanini, with whom Pinza sometimes worked, often insisted on his singers performing every note as written! Everything Pinza sang, from the most complex operatic role to the simplest popular song, was memorized laboriously, note by note. As Pinza himself once said, "I'm no musician. I just know how to make nice sounds." Commenting on his working relationship with Toscanini, he once told an interviewer, "I always promise that I will not sing [Beethoven's] "Ninth Symphony" with that man, but when he calls, I cannot resist.... You have to sit for forty-five minutes and then you have to start [with an extremely difficult bass-baritone solo]".

At the Metropolitan Opera, his most famous role was as Mozart's "Don Giovanni".

In 1943, at the height of his fame as a Metropolitan Opera star, he was arrested by the FBI on charges of being an enemy alien. The charge, based almost entirely on circumstantial evidence and innuendo, was thought to have been made by a rival singer with the company. After much legal wrangling and testimony from friends and colleagues, Pinza, who spent several months interred on Ellis Island, was cleared of all charges. Although he never commented on the incident, his wife was convinced that the stress brought on by it was an indirect cause of his comparitively early death fourteen years later.

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