Roberto Benigni was born in 1952 in Italy. He attended a seminary in Florence, planning to become a priest. He graduated from Instituto Tecnico Commericale Datini di Prato.After his movie Life Is Beautiful (1997) received seven Academy Award nominations, he met the Italian President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro and said, after shaking his hand: « Now I have the Oscar in my hand! ».He was the first actor to win a Best Actor Oscar for a non-English speaking role. With Laurence Olivier, they are the only two actors to have directed themselves in Oscar winning performances. He was candidate to be awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature for his explanation and recitations of Dante’s « Divina Commedia » (2007).He is also a respected poet, known for his poesia estemporanea, and singer-songwriter.
He was a supporter of the Italian Communist Party (PCI) and has become one of the most radical opponents to Silvio Berlusconi’s government and policy in Italy.