Roberto Remigio Benigni Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI (born 27 October 1952) is an Italian actor, comedian, screenwriter, and director. He gained international recognition for writing, directing, and starring in the holocaust comedy-drama film Life Is Beautiful (1997), for which he received the Academy Awards for Best Actor (the first for a non-English speaking male performance) and Best International Feature Film.
Benigni made his acting debut in 1977's Berlinguer, I Love You, which he also wrote, and was directed by Giuseppe Bertolucci. Benigni's directorial debut was the 1983 anthology film Tu mi turbi, which was also the acting debut of his wife, Nicoletta Braschi. In 1986, Benigni made his first English-language film, Down by Law, written and directed by Jim Jarmusch, with whom Benigni would make two more films: Night on Earth (1991) and Coffee and Cigarettes (2003).
In 1988, Benigni was acclaimed for the film The Little Devil, which he directed, wrote, and starred in. Costarring American actor Walter Matthau and Braschi, the film was shot in alternating takes in both Italian and English. Benigni continued to have success and acclaim as a director with Johnny Stecchino (1991) and The Monster, and portrayed Inspector Clouseau's son in Son of the Pink Panther (1993), an American-Italian co-production filmed in English, directed by Blake Edwards.
While he has not directed another film since 2005, Benigni has continued to act on stage and film, touring Italy with his one-man show TuttoDante, and starred in the films To Rome with Love (2012), directed by Woody Allen, and as Mister Geppetto in Matteo Garrone's 2019 adaptation of Pinocchio.