A great actor and a great man – listening comprehension B1

A great actor and a wonderful man

1. At university Bud Spencer studied ……

A) filming
B) law
C) sports

2. He was …..

A) an actor
B) an actor and a producer
C) an actor, a producer and a director

3. He was the fastest swimmer in 100m freestyle …..

A) in Italy
B) in the Helsinki Olympic Games
C) in the Melbourne Olympic Games

4. He won a gold medal …..

A) with his club
B) with the national team
C) with both

5. He first met Terence Hill …..

A) before 1967
B) in 1967
C) after 1967

6. The idea to change their names came from …..

A) Bud Spencer
B) Terence Hill
C) the film director

7. Bud Spencer’s name came from …..

A) the name of a beer
B) the name of an actor
C) both

8. He learnt to fly …..

A) airplanes
B) helicopters
C) both airplanes and helicopters

9. He never wanted to be …..

A) a ballet dancer.
B) a ballet dancer and a jockey
C) a ballet dancer, a jockey and a politician

10. He had five…..

A) children
B) grandchildren
C) great-grandchildren


A great actor and a wonderful man

Most people know that Bud Spencer, known for action-comedy roles with his long-time film partner Terence Hill was not American but Italian. His original name was Carlo Pedersoli and he was born in 1929 in Naples. Before his filming career he earned a degree in law and was also a successful professional swimmer and water polo player. But he became really famous as an actor. They appeared in, produced and directed over 20 films together and attracted millions to the cinemas of the world.

As a professional swimmer in his youth, Bud Spencer was the first Italian to swim the 100 m freestyle in less than one minute and won the Italian swimming championships in freestyle. He participated in the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland, reaching the semi-finals in the 100 m freestyle. Four years later, in Melbourne, he also entered the semi-finals in the same category. As a water polo player, he won the Italian Championship in 1954 with his club, Lazio, and the gold medal at the 1955 Mediterranean Games in Barcelona with the Italian national team.

His first film role was in an Italian comedy shot in 1949. During the 1950s and early 60s, he appeared in several films playing minor parts in Italian. In 1967 a film director, Giuseppe Colizzi, offered him a role in a film, where he met another unknown young actor, Mario Girotti, later known as Terence Hill. Although they had met before, this was the moment they went on to become a film duo. The two actors were asked by the film director to change their names, thinking them to be too Italian-sounding for a Western movie: Pedersoli chose Bud Spencer, with Bud inspired by Budweiser beer and Spencer by the actor Spencer Tracy.

He also became a certified commercial airline and helicopter pilot, and supported and funded many children’s charities. He said that in his life he had done everything and there were only three things he hadn’t been – a ballet dancer, a jockey and a politician. The first two jobs were out of the question for him but he tried to enter politics. However, he was unsuccessful and not elected as a regional councillor.

He died aged at the age of 86 on 27 June 2016 in Rome. As his son Giuseppe Pedersoli stated, his father “died without pain in the presence of his family and his last word was ‘grazie'” He was survived by his wife, three children, five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Key: 1.B 2.C 3.A 4.A 5.A 6.C 7.C 8.C 9.B 10.B


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