Petrolini, Ettore

BORN 13 Jan 1884, Roma, Lazio - DIED 29 Jun 1936, Roma, Lazio
CAUSE OF DEATH angina pectoris
GRAVE LOCATION Roma, Lazio: Cimitero Monumentale del Verano, Piazzale del Verano, 1 (Vecchio Reparto, viale Principale, riquadro 12, tomba 51)

Ettore Petrolini was the son of a of a blacksmith from Ronciglione. During his youth he attended theatre performances in Rome and when he was fifteen years old he left home to become an actor. He worked at Trastavera and he performed in small provincial theatres under the stage name of Ettore Loris. From 1903 he appeared at theatres and café-chantants where he staged parodies of well known actors and opera personalities. In that year he met Ines Colapietro, who was fifteen at the time. She became his collaborator and companion. They performed as the comic duo Loris-Petrolini until 1911 and performed in South America. They had two children.

In 1910 he was engaged by Giuseppe Jovinelli for his theatre and in 1915 he formed his own stage company. His character Fortunello was based on a cartoon character and the Futurists liked it so much that he was asked to participate in their events. In 1918 he made his film debut in "Mentre il pubblico ride". In the 1920s he met the dancer Elma Criner (b.1884) who became his wife. As a playwright he creatred short versions of stage plays and he appeared in London, Berlin and Vienna. In Paris he staged "Il medico per forza" at the Comédie Française.

He was liked by Mussolini, although his character Nerona was perceived as a parody of Mussolini. He supported the regime but he didn't exclude it from his satires. Another well known character was Gastone. After an attack of engina pectoris he quit the stage in 1935 and he died in Rome in 1936. He was buried at the Verano cemetery in Rome, where his chapel was destroyed on 19 July 1943 during the bombing of Rome. His coffin was damaged, but his grave was restored afterwards.

Related persons
• cooperated with Durante, Checco
• cooperated with Piovani, Pina


The grave of Ettore Petrolini at the Cimitero Monumentale del Verano, Rome.
Picture by Androom (21 Feb 2020)


Il Verano - Vivi San - Roma
Ettore Petrolini - Wikipedia

Pettenkoffer, Max von

Published: 01 May 2021
Last update: 30 Apr 2023