Mastroianni landed on the big screen in 1947 with a small part in the Italian version of Les Miserables and achieved national notoriety with White Nights (1957) and Big Deal on Madonna Street (1958). He exploded onto the world stage playing a cynical gossip columnist in La Dolce Vita (1960). Paired with cinema siren Sophia Loren in the 1961 black comedy Divorce Italian Style, Mastroianni earned the first of three Best Actor Oscar nods and followed with a superb turn as director Federico Fellini's alter ego in 8 1/2 (1963).
Mastroianni's other notable works include A Special Day (1977) and Dark Eyes (1987). He died in Paris Dec. 19, 1996, from pancreatic cancer.