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Mario Carillo

Mario Carillo
Mario Caracciolo di Melito

(1883-05-15)15 May 1883
Died3 December 1958(1958-12-03) (aged 75)
Rome, Italy
Years active1920–1930
SpouseMiriam Crosby (m. 1915)
Parent(s)Filippo Caracciolo di Castagneto, Duke di Melito[1]
Emilia Compagna dei Baroni Compagna

Mario Caracciolo dei Duchi di Melito (15 May 1883 – 3 December 1958), known professionally as Mario Carillo and in society events as Count [2] Mario Caracciolo di Melito, was an Italian actor who worked in silent films in Hollywood in the 1920s.[3][4]



Mario was born as Nobile Mario Caracciolo dei Duchi [of the Dukes] di Melito (aka "Count"[2][5] Mario Caracciolo di Melito) into the House of Caracciolo, a wealthy noble family in Naples, in 1883 (some sources claim his birth year as 1894).[6] He was the cadet son of Filippo Caracciolo di Castagneto (1843-1904), 1st Duke di Melito, and wife the Duchess di Melito, born Donna Emilia Compagna dei Baroni [of the Barons] Compagna.[1]

Mario served as an officer in the Italian cavalry before moving to the United States.[7] He worked as an attaché at the Italian embassy in Washington, D.C., where he met and married Miriam Crosby in 1915.[8][9] The pair had a son, Ludovico (1920-1941).[10]

Hollywood career

Around 1920, he headed out to Hollywood alone to seek work as an actor. He also worked as a physiotherapist at the Los Angeles Athletic Club, where he met Rudolph Valentino.[11][12] He also had a fling with a young actress named Lucille LeSueur (better by the stage name she took on later, Joan Crawford).[11] Over the course of the decade, he appeared in several dozen films before returning to Italy with the aim of starting his own production company[13] (it does not appear that he was successful in this endeavor).

Later life

Mario died in Rome, Italy, on 3 December 1958; he was survived by his wife.[10]

There appears to be a case of mistaken identity at the heart of stories in the press that he was the Mario Caracciolo who was given supreme command of the Italian army's technical service by Mussolini during World War II.[13] This man's full name appears to have been named Mario Caracciolo di Feroleto; the two were around the same age.

Partial filmography


  1. ^ a b Caracciolo de Castagneto, Famiglie Nobili delle Province Napolitane. Retrieved 30 August 2022.
  2. ^ a b The younger sons are not entitled to inherit the hereditary title of their father in the Nobility of Italy. They all usually bear from birth the junior titles of Nobile or Don.
  3. ^ Thorold, W. J.; Hornblow, Arthur; Maxwell, Perriton; Beach, Stewart (1922). Theatre Magazine. Theatre Magazine Company.
  4. ^ Brownlow, Kevin (1968). The Parade's Gone By. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-03068-8.
  5. ^ Mendola, Louis (2015). "Italian Titles of Nobility". Retrieved 30 August 2022.
  6. ^ Muscio, Giuliana (30 October 2018). Napoli/New York/Hollywood: Film between Italy and the United States (Critical Studies in Italian America). New York City: Fordham University Press. ISBN 9780823279388.
  7. ^ S. George Ullman (1926). Valentino: As I Knew Him. Media History Digital Library (3rd ed.). New York, Macy-Masius.
  8. ^ The Spur. Angus Company. 1922.
  9. ^ "Becomes Bride of Titled Italian". The Washington Post. 5 July 1915. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  10. ^ a b "Libro d'Oro della Nobiltà Mediterranea – Caracciolo di Castagneto". (in Italian). Retrieved 30 August 2022.
  11. ^ a b Bret, David (15 April 2009). Joan Crawford: Hollywood Martyr. Hachette Books. ISBN 978-0-7867-3236-4.
  12. ^ Bogdanovich, Peter (28 June 1978). John Ford. University of California Press. p. 41. ISBN 9780520034983. Retrieved 30 August 2022.
  13. ^ a b "Duce Gives High Post to Hollywood Ex-Actor". The Los Angeles Times. 12 January 1940. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
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Mario Carillo
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