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Toto set for Rome fest fete

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ROME -- Iconic Italian comic actor Toto will be honored at this year's RomaCineFest with a special retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of his passing.

Toto -- born Antonio Clemente -- entertained generations of Italians during a comedic career that started on the stage in the 1920s, expanded to cinema during the following decade, and lasted until his death in 1967 at the age of 69.

The Neapolitan actor appeared in more than 100 films, including Pier Paolo Pasolini's 1966 historical comedy "Uccellacci e Uccellini" (Hawk and Sparrows) and the 1958 crime story "I Soliti Ignoti" (Big Deal on Madonna Street). More than three dozen of his films featured his name in the title, a testament to his drawing power during Italian film's golden era.

The tribute will include screenings of several Toto films and the world premiere of a documentary about Toto's life directed by Diana de Curtis, the late actor's niece.

Toto moved to Rome in 1922, and was strongly identified with the city for most of his career. In 2006, the RomaCinemaFest's inaugural edition honored Roman director Roberto Rosselini on the 100th anniversary of his birth.