Adriano Celentano

The creative career of the world-renowned Italian Adriano Celentano is rich and diverse. The talented idol of women combines a charismatic appearance with an expressive character.

His low, raspy voice complements his ability as an actor to give a unique characterization to any role he plays. His directorial and screenwriting work, film editing, and work as a TV host reveal the passionate Italian’s exceptional abilities and temperament. In 2023, the beloved actor turned 85.

Key Milestones of His Biography

Веселый Адриано Челентано с неподражаемым смехом и улыбкой

Adriano’s parents, Giuditta and Leotino Celentano moved to the northern capital of Italy from northeastern Apulia. Twenty years later, in a working-class district on Via Gluck in Milan, the future sex symbol of Italy and the entire world was born on January 6, 1938.

The newborn was small and weak, and his parents were not sure he would survive, so they did not even prepare a crib.

When the infant cried, they cut swaddling clothes from men’s shirts and crafted a crib from available materials. The sensitivity and emotionality of his nature manifested in Adriano, thanks to the excessive love he received from his own family and the constant care they provided.

Giuditta was 44 then and had already raised four children, each with a love and talent for music. Unlike his brothers, sisters, and parents, Adriano considered watchmaking to be a worthy occupation. His uncle owned a watch shop, where the boy became an apprentice at 12, dropping out of school.

How It All Began

The mother of the future star, hoping to instill a love of music in her younger son, played a rock-n-roll record every morning before going to work. She gradually increased the volume to ensure her son woke up on time. She called out to the boy, “Adriano, it’s already eight o’clock!” announcing every five minutes that passed. Each morning for breakfast, the boy drank a cup of coffee with a piece of butter, accompanied by a roll dipped in olive oil.

The habit of drinking coffee with butter still surprises many waiters at the restaurants the Italian visits.

One day, Adriano had the idea to create a parody of the singer Louis Prima and show it to his relatives in the workshop. The performance was so successful that the watchmaker’s apprentice, inspired by the success, began writing his own songs at 16. At 17, the young man won a look-alike contest portraying Jerry Lewis and won one hundred thousand lire. The concert was amateur; his sister took several photos and sent them to the jury, where they were duly appreciated.
Young Adriano Celentano

Rock-n-roll was a fashionable trend at that time among the working youth of Milan, with musical groups being organized everywhere. Adriano, along with his friend Michele, following the trends, also formed a music group called the Rock Boys.

On May 18, 1957, at the Milan “Giaccio” Sports Palace, the 1st festival in Italy dedicated to rock-n-roll took place. As the preparation time was limited, all the bands performed well-known compositions, and only the Rock Boys presented their own song, called “I’ll Say Ciao to You” (Ciao ti dirò). The success was incredible; the song topped the charts, and the festival paved the way for Adriano into the world of music and cinema.

Acting Career

Actor Adriano Celentano eating spaghetti in a movie
Numerous victories in music competitions earned the singer and composer a legion of female fans. His works topped the charts in the 1960s, were translated into other languages, and listened to with bated breath. Today, the singer has recorded 42 albums of Italian songs, distributed in millions of copies.

 Adriano Celentano – a famous Italian actor and singer
In 1959, the fashionable performer was given a role in a comedy, marking the start of his film career. The first film, “Guys and the Jukebox,” and subsequent films of the 70s made Celentano the most in-demand actor in Italy. Later, audiences saw 41 films created with his participation, in four of which he also served as a director.

The best films with Celentano have stood the test of time; they are masterpieces of Italian comedy cinema, embraced by audiences worldwide.

Rise in Popularity

  • In 1960, the first agreement was signed with the German record company “Jolly,” which recorded his album. After the first recording, the artist was drafted into military service.
  • In 1961, Adriano participated in the Sanremo Festival, where he won second place. To do this, he had to obtain the consent of the Minister of Defense. The song “42,000 Kisses” became another hit. Buoyed by victory, he terminated the agreement with “Jolly” and established his own record studio, naming it Clan Celentano.
  • In 1962, he recorded an album in his own studio, and Adriano again won a prize at Cantagiro with the song “You’re Far from Me.” This was followed by the first tour in France and a TV show recording in Spain.
  • In 1964, Adriano Celentano and Claudia Mori (actress) got married.
    Adriano Celentano and Claudia Mori's wedding
    The couple met during the filming of “Some Strange Type.” Despite hordes of female fans and numerous temptations, Adriano lived with his wife for over 40 years, raising three children. His wife continually fueled the public’s interest in her husband, turning him into a true macho and ladies’ man. Claudia serves as the executive director at Clan Celentano.
  • By the early 80s, the handsome Italian’s career had reached the pinnacle of show business. His songs are known worldwide, and his films have become genre classics.

At the Height of Fame

In the latter half of the 1980s, A. Celentano ceased his acting career but remained in demand. From the late 1980s to the mid-2000s, he hosted his own TV shows: Fantastico, Francamente me ne infischio, and Rockpolitik. In these shows, he addressed the most pressing and relevant political and social issues. The ratings of these shows consistently showed steady growth.
In 1987, Celentano and Claudia visited the Soviet Union (USSR), where the premiere of the film “Joan Lui” took place.

Thanks to the huge fees from their creative activities, the couple leads a rather affluent lifestyle in an estate near Milan.

Adriano still receives many European offers, including invitations to private parties, which he can afford to decline. You can’t put all the money in your pocket, and Celentano fears flying. However, in 2009, he was persuaded to perform in Ukraine for a sum of six zero dollars, and he was transported in a separate train carriage.


Since 1959, Celentano has starred in 41 films in leading and supporting roles. In six of them, he played himself, edited and was the composer for three, and wrote the screenplay and directed four. Celentano’s films are mainly of the comedy genre.
He played himself in:

  • “Guys and the Jukebox” (1959);
  • “Come on, Johnny, Come on!” (1959);
  • “Screamers in Court” (1960);
  • “The Jukebox Cries of Love” (1960);
  • “La Dolce Vita” (1960);
  • “Some Strange Type” (1963).

He directed:

  • “Super Robbery in Milan” (1965);
  • “Yuppi Du” (1974, featuring Celentano, his wife, and children);
  • “The Madcap Cripple” (1978);
  • “Joan Lui” (1985).

Additionally, he wrote the script and music for the last three films and was involved in their editing.
Adriano also wrote the screenplay for “Jackpot” (1992).

In the films:

  • “Hey, Let’s Twist” (’61);
  • “I Kiss… You Kiss” (’61);
  • “The Monk of Monza” (’63);
  • “Europe Sings” (’66);
  • “The Most Beautiful Couple in the World” (’68);
  • “Love and Anarchy” (’71);
  • “White, the Yellow, and the Black” (’72);
  • “The Funny Face of the Godfather” (’73);
  • “Rugantino” (’73);
  • “The Five Days” (’73);
  • “Ecco noi per esempio” (’75);
  • “Noble Venetian, Known as the Good Samaritan” (’76);
  • “Bluff” (’76);
  • “Bingo Bongo” (’82);
  • “Grand Hotel Excelsior” (’82);
  • “The Unbelievable Adventures of Italians in Russia” (’84);
  • “The Taming of the Scoundrel” (’80);
  • …and many more.

Celentano played a wide range of characters: from a singer to a monk, from a misogynist to a bus driver in love, even a man-ape. Regardless of the social status of his characters, they were invariably characterized by kindness, love of freedom, and openness.
Adriano Celentano

Best Movies

Today, the best films featuring Celentano continue to delight viewers; the jokes remain relevant, and the characters’ personalities are admirable. The film “Serafino” began his true acting career, . Still, Adriano initially failed his auditions, not meeting the requirements of director Pietro Germi. The actor’s appearance reminded him of a gangster, whereas a joyful and playful character was needed. At the second audition, Celentano showed a completely different side of himself. The film is about a kind-hearted country boy who, by fate, gets involved in a family dispute over an inheritance.


The film Bluff is another captivating movie featuring talented Italians. It will interest all fans of the gangster genre. The plot is full of card tricks (set up by the magician Tony Binarelli), mafia adventures, humor, and memorable jokes. More than 20 scenes were cut from the movie for its Soviet distribution.

The Taming of the Scoundrel

The title of the film “The Taming of the Scoundrel” is borrowed from Shakespeare. Ornella Muti (a city beauty) accidentally ends up in the home of an unsophisticated rural bachelor farmer.
Ornella Muti in love with Adriano Celentano
The girl’s goal is to seduce the committed bachelor and misogynist. Despite his disdain for women, the farmer is tender with his animals and genuinely loves nature.

Madly in Love

The legendary comedy “Madly in Love” tells a story of sincerity, kindness, and loyalty. Ornella Muti plays the role of a princess from a small state who is loved by a bus driver. The people of Rome help the young man overcome financial inequality. During the movie’s filming, a street in Rome was covered entirely with specially printed 10,000-lira banknotes.


The film “Ace” features scenes with a “Dnepr” motorcycle from the Kyiv Factory, to the delight of Soviet auto industry fans. The comedy shows the power of the love of a brilliant card player who continues to support his wife even after his death. A touch of mystique is added when the ghost of the murdered husband appears, bringing tension and intrigue to the film. The movie’s popularity helped Celentano raise significant money for cancer patients.

Bingo Bongo

“Bingo Bongo” is a film of incredible plausibility. A man-ape, brought from the jungle for research purposes, is wild, comical, silent, and constantly scratching.
Adriano Celentano in Bingo Bongo
Unofficially, viewers also start to scratch themselves while watching the film. The comedy has everything for an engaging plot: humor, love for a beautiful female biologist, environmental pollution issues, and even the taming of King Kong.

Distinguishing Features: Irresistible Handsome Man

“Distinguishing Features: Irresistible Handsome Man” is another popular comedy with A. Celentano. The main character is a writer and a handsome man who loves women but has no intention of marrying. All attempts by women to lead him to the altar are thwarted by his neighbor Micaela, whom the lothario has asked to pretend to be his daughter.


The Taming of the Scoundrel:

If we recall phrases from Adriano Celentano’s movies, this film is highly quotable. Take, for instance, Adriano’s promise to definitely marry Ornella or, at the very least, call her. And when she, trying to understand the bachelor’s behavior, asks if he’s really like that or just pretending, Celentano’s character responds that he is like that, he’s just pretending. From the film’s beginning, the viewers wish Ornella’s character luck and hope for her success. The farmer’s unexpected proposal that she stay with him for a while and go home in the morning is quite surprising.

Madly in Love:

The charming bus driver lets neither social nor financial barriers hinder his courtship of the beautiful princess. The young man earnestly declares that she is gorgeous, but he is much more handsome, which amuses and attracts the girl. His remark that in 20 years she will be 40, but he will somehow cope with that, humorously demonstrates to Ornella’s character the seriousness of his intentions. The readiness for compromise is evident when the princess agrees to his proposal, provided that one condition is met. To which the driver responds that he accepts no conditions and immediately asks, “Which one?”

Bingo Bongo:

Portraying a jealous lover of the female biologist, Bingo Bongo asks her annoying guest what he is doing there. When the guest replies, “Nothing,” A. Celentano suggests he goes to do nothing elsewhere.

Grand Hotel Excelsior:

The seemingly heartless hotel owner tries his best to resist the claims of a beautiful, sweet guest. He tells her not to believe it if someone tells her all sorts of horrible things about him, saying he’s even worse.


Ace, Celentano’s character, is a poker player who promises his beloved that he will change his lifestyle. However, before he can fulfill his promise, a hitman kills him. In one dialogue, Adriano mentions setting up a meeting in three thousand years, precisely at eight o’clock.

Distinguishing Features: Handsome Man:

Mattia, a successful writer, a hero-lover, and an opponent of marriage, concludes that a car is a vehicle for paralytics.

Most Popular Songs


Thanks to his mother’s influence, Adriano Celentano’s songs and music became his second “self.” Many compositions he wrote became hits, as the musician had a keen sense of what the audience wanted and delivered it. In 1968, the album Una carezza in un pugno featured the musical piece Azzurro (Blueness). Football fans of the Italian national team made it their anthem in the 2006 World Cup. Fans were attracted by the song’s name, similar to their society’s name, “gli azzurri” (the blues).


In the 1970s, Adriano introduced the unusual song Prisencolinensinainciusol, constructed from made-up words. It was an experiment in rap writing performed in a recitative style. Topping the charts in America and Europe, the single symbolized the disconnect among people who do not understand each other.


One of his most famous compositions is “Confessa” from 2002. It opened the album “Per sempre,” and a music video was made depicting the story of an older man’s unrequited love for a young woman. The video garnered over 7 million views on YouTube.

In 2012, A. Celentano presented a second version of this video on his official channel. Despite the track’s popularity, the artist does not highlight it or include it in compilations.


The famous song by Adriano Celentano, “L’italiano” (“Let me sing”), though not included in Celentano’s collections, was written for him. Initially, Adriano refused to perform the composition, but later, he presented it many times at his concerts.

The song was included in Toto Cutugno’s collection and took fifth place at the 33rd Sanremo Festival.

Non so più cosa fare

From his modern work, the musical piece “Non so più cosa fare” stands out and is included in the collection Facciamo finta che sia vero. A music video was created for the song, first presented on the show “Time.” The song incorporates a recording from Adriano’s TV show.

Significant Concerts

1987, Moscow

Celentano visited the Soviet Union in 1987, giving just two concerts at the CSKA “Olympic” Sports Complex. It was a beautiful, rich, and long-awaited concert in Moscow by Celentano. The performances were preceded by an 8-year hiatus from the stage.

2012, Arena di Verona

A significant treat for fans was Celentano’s concert at the Arena di Verona amphitheater after an 18-year break in 2012. Broadcasts on the fifth channel gathered over 9 million TV viewers. The concert featured old and new compositions and was performed live with luxurious stage decorations and a light show.

Currently, concert activities do not interest the Italian showman, and the only impersonator of the singer, Maurizio Cattelan, tours the world with his songs.

Family and Personal Life

Celentano has been married to his wife, Claudia Mori, for nearly 50 years. Her leadership talent and wisdom helped the couple avoid potential separations and bankruptcy. Even a fleeting romance with Ornella Muti in the early ’80s could not withstand the strong union.
Celentano and Ornella once rented an apartment together. Still, the passionate macho soon returned to his family, publicly apologizing to his wife. In 1983, Adriano had another affair with actress Federica Moro. The tactful Claudia Mori weathered this as well, seeing no reason for divorce in her husband’s flings.

The children of Celentano and Mori were born one after another. Their first child, daughter Rosita, was born in 1965 and has become a well-known TV and radio host, actress, producer, singer, and composer in Italy. Their son Giacomo was born in 1966, who later gave them a grandson, Samuele (2004), and has become an actor, singer, composer, and designer. Their daughter Rosalinda was born in 1968 and has developed acting, singing, composing, and painting talents.

Interesting Facts About Adriano Celentano

  1. Adriano Celentano currently lives with his wife 100 km away from Milan in their 20-room villa with a fountain and a statue of Claudia.
  2. Adriano Celentano’s height is 179 cm, and he maintains an optimal weight of 78 kg, engaging in his favorite hobby – repairing watches.
  3. He passionately supports the football team “Inter” from Milan, for which he gave a concert in 2008 to celebrate its centenary.
  4. The singer is skilled in cooking.
  5. Adriano enjoys photography. His main hobbies include chess, tennis, and billiards.
  6. He is a Catholic and a vegetarian, having spoken out in defense of animal rights multiple times.
  7. Claudia Mori is the director of the family’s recording studio, a talented image maker, and a creator of scandalous stories linked to her husband. The couple still loves and supports each other, leading a reclusive lifestyle, only going out for their children’s presentations and concerts.
  8. Adriano Celentano’s birthday on January 6 also coincides with that of actor Rowan Atkinson and top model Irina Shayk.
Guide, traveler, marathon runner, journalist, creator of the site ITALY FOR ME. I live in Rome and am in love with Rome. On the subject of the article, please ask questions in the comments. I try to answer everyone at least once a day.

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