Constantin "Tino" Rossi (29 April 1907 – 26 September 1983) was a
French singer and film actor.
Rossi, born in Ajaccio, Corsica, was gifted with a voice well suited
for opera. He became a tenor in the French cabaret-style. Later, he
appeared in various movies. During his career he recorded hundreds of
songs and he appeared in more than 25 films, the most notable of which
was the 1954 production,
Si Versailles m'était conté...
Si Versailles m'était conté... directed by
Sacha Guitry. His romantic ballads had especially women swooning and
his art-songs by
Jules Massenet (1842–1912), Reynaldo Hahn
(1875–1947), and other composers, sold out theaters wherever he
2 Personal life
4 Selected filmography
6 External links
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As a young man, Rossi played guitar and sang in many places of his
hometown of Ajaccio, but later he went to perform in
Marseille and at
resort clubs along the French Riviera. In the early 1930s he went to
Paris and within a few years achieved enormous success, joining a
Columbia Records roster that included the biggest stars of that time
such as Lucienne Boyer, Damia, Pills et Tabet, Mireille, and Jean
Rossi's success was greatly aided by songwriter Vincent Scotto
(1876–1952), who wrote his first hits and collaborated with him for
many years, composing and arranging many of Rossi's songs. Prior to
World War II, Rossi was a major box office attraction in the French
speaking world, and expanded his audience 1938 to North America and
Canada during a first visit there. Rossi began his film career with a
role in Les Nuits Moscovites (1934); his first real success came with
During the Occupation of France by Nazi Germany Rossi's film career
reached its peak, notably with Fièvres (1942), Le Soleil a toujours
raison (1943), Mon amour est près de toi (1943) and L'Île d'amour
(1944). Like many celebrities,
Tino Rossi was arrested on October 7,
1944 by several police officers in search of information on his close
Corsican friend, Etienne Leandri, suspected of active
collaborationnism. Following three months detention in the prison of
Fresnes, near Paris, during which he stubbornly refused the assistance
of a lawyer, he was freed from further detention by a judge, who
deemed the charge leveled against him void of substance. Tino Rossi
who, in October 1943, had loaned his personal car to a resistance
network to transport weapons and enable several escapes (including
that of a general), accepted – an extremely rare action at the time
– exceptional official apologies.
In 1946 he recorded song
Petit Papa Noël
Petit Papa Noël for an movie. The song
remained classic for the family and laterly sold several million
copies after being released on cd in 1992, and is the recipient of the
prestigious musical award Grand Prix du Disque.
Rossi is the most popular personality to ever come from Corsica other
than Napoleon Bonaparte.
Tino Rossi married Lilia Vetti, a young dancer he had met in
1941 thanks to revue leader Mistinguett. They had one son Laurent
(1948-2015) and remained married to each other until his death. In
François Mitterrand named Rossi a Commander of the
Legion of Honor for his contributions to French culture. That same
year Rossi gave his last public performance at the Casino de Paris, a
show that popular demand turned into a three-month stint.
Rossi died of pancreatic cancer in 1983 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France.
His body was transported to
Ajaccio for burial in the family grave.
His wife died in 2003 aged 79.
Ajaccio named a street and the sailing
harbor in his honor and in Nogent-sur-Marne, there is a square named
Tino Rossi Square. Tino Rossi's unique status on Corsica is reflected
in several (somewhat hidden) references to him in the comic book
"Asterix in Corsica" (1973) by Uderzo and Goscinny.
Lumières de Paris (1938)
Fièvres (fr) (1942)
The Island of Love
The Island of Love (1944)
Song of the Clouds (1946)
The Unknown Singer
The Unknown Singer (1947)
La Belle Meunière (1948)
Sending of Flowers
Sending of Flowers (1950)
Paris Still Sings
Paris Still Sings (1951)
Si Versailles m'était conté...
Si Versailles m'était conté... (1954)
^ Brown, Marisa. "
Tino Rossi profile". AllMusic.com. Retrieved 29
^ Last biography on
Tino Rossi by Emmanuel Bonini, Le Vrai Tino,
Didier Carpentier editor, 2013.
^ Laurent Rossi and Anne-Sophie Simonet, Tino - L'Étoile éternelle
(foreword of Mrs Marcel Pagnol), Nice-Matin editor, 2013.
^ The hero of the cartoon refers in particular to the success
"Raquel Bitton - de Piaf a Tino Rossi, frenchmorning.com; accessed 26
August 2015. (in French)
Rossi profile, fundacionjoseguillermocarrillo.com; accessed 26 August
2015. (in Spanish)
Tino Rossi on IMDb
Tino Rossi at Find a Grave
Tino Rossi biography, dutempsdescerisesauxfeuillesmortes.net; accessed
26 August 2015. (in French)
Amazon.com profile; accessed 26 August 2015.
ISNI: 0000 0000 8354 4476
BNF: cb13899206m (data)