Mario Lanza Overview:

Legendary actor, Mario Lanza, was born Alfred Arnold Cocozza on Jan 31, 1921 in Philadelphia, PA. Lanza died at the age of 38 on Oct 7, 1959 in Rome, Italy .


Handsome, dark-haired American operatic tenor, enormously popular with audiences and record-buyers alike in the early fifties. After portraying his idol, Caruso, Lanza's career was undone by weight problems and his own temperament. Died from a coronary thrombosis following a crash diet.

(Source: available at Amazon Quinlan's Film Stars).



He was honored with two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the categories of Recording and Motion Pictures. Lanza was never nominated for an Academy Award.

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By Aurora on Oct 7, 2014 From Once Upon a Screen

I’ve been listening to varied broadcasts of “The Show” on old-time radio on and off for some time. ?In fact, it is by way of these shows that I know anything about the actor/singer at all not having seen any of his films, including the mega-hit THE GREAT CARUSO directed... Read full article

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Mario Lanza Facts
His wife, Betty, was the sister of Lanza's army buddy. He was interested in her picture, and the buddy introduced them.

He was supposed to play Prince Karl in the film The Student Prince (1954), but his weight problems and fiery temperament got him fired. Edmund Purdom starred in the role, lip-synching to Lanza.

Although greatly admired by generations of opera stars, including Plácido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, José Carreras and Roberto Alagna, Lanza himself only performed two operatic roles on stage - Fenton in Nicolai's "The Merry Wives of Windsor" at the Berkshire Festival in Tanglewood, and Lt. Pinkerton in Giacomo Puccini's "Madama Butterfly" for the New Orleans Opera Association. He received rave reviews for both efforts, with Noel Straus of the New York Times hailing him as having "few equals among tenors of the day in terms of quality, warmth and power." He sang over 150 concerts in his brief career, and at the time of his death had agreed to appear in the 1960-61 Rome Opera season as Canio in "Pagliacci".

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