The Nobel Prize in Literature 1997
Born: 24 March 1926, Leggiuno-Sangiano, Italy
Died: 13 October 2016, Milan, Italy
Residence at the time of the award: Italy
Prize motivation: “who emulates the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden”
Prize share: 1/1
Dario Fo was born in Sangiano, Italy, near Lago Magiore. As a young man he trained as an architect, while at the same time taking an active part in amateur theater. He made his debut as an actor in 1952, and during the 1960s and 1970s, he was active in various theater groups. With the play Mistero Buffo (1969), he made a name for himself with his political and social satire. Fo collaborated very closely with his wife, Franca Rame (1929–2013).
Dario Fo is one of modern political theater’s leading figures. His work is based on medieval farce and the buffoonery of commedia dell’arte, and it was performed not only in the theater, but also in parks, prisons and schools. Fo was embroiled in many controversies in his native Italy—with the government, the police and the Catholic Church. His most performed plays include Accidental Death of an Anarchist (1970) and We Won’t Pay, We Won’t Pay! (1974).
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