Raffaello Balzo, born in Artegna, Udine, Italy on March 18, 1975, is an Italian actor and model.
Balzo lived at Artegna, a small town in the province of Udine, until the age of 18. Very close to his family, he remembers with affection his grandmother who, during the 1976 earthquake in the Friuli region, saved him from the rubble of the house that was collapsing around him and in doing so leaped to fame in the newspaper headlines.
Balzo was encouraged by his friends to make his debut in showbusiness, taking part in 1995 in the beauty contest “Photographic Model of the Year” and winning the national title. In the same year, he finished his studies at technical college and gained his diploma with a mark of 56 out of 60.
In 1998, Balzo won the title “Mr Friuli”. The recognition he got encouraged him in the following year to take part in the most important national contest for men, “The handsomest man in Italy”, winning the national final by a unanimous vote. For Raffaello, the doors to showbusiness were thrown wide open. He moved to Milan and began working as a model for the most important Italian and foreign designers, among whom Gianfranco Ferré, Versace, Ermenegildo Zegna, Vivienne Westwood, and treading in the process the catwalks of the whole world - London, Rome, New York.
Alongside his modelling career, Balzo has constantly committed himself to elocution and drama studies, strongly desiring a future in television and cinema. His first television appearance was as “Carramba Boy”, alongside Raffaella Carrà in the Rai Uno transmission “Carramba che fortuna!”
In December 2000, Balzo was cast as the star of “Schoolmates”, a Rai Due drama series in 12 episodes, working with experienced and talented actors like Massimo Lopez. It was Raffaello’s first real chance to put himself to the test and show off his talents.
In August 2002, Balzo was chosen as the new star of the soap “A Place in the Sun” (set in Naples), playing the role of physiotherapist, Matteo Consoli. Working in this soap was for a real training ground, through a daily engagement in which he was able to train to make his character real and credible, and which enabled him to express character and personality. The public learned to recognise him and grow fond of him, paying Raffaello back with affection and recognition for all the hard work and commitment he had put into the role. The intense experience lasted three years, after which he left Naples and moved to Rome.
In 2002, the noted film director Cinzia T H Torrini noticed Balzo's talent and chose him to play the role of Armand Benac in the TV drama series, “Elisa di Rivombrosa 2”. That great opportunity was a turning point in Raffaello’s career and he was definitively recognised as an up-and-coming talent in Italian cinema.
In September 2006, after numerous successes, Balzo was chosen by Simona Ventura as one of the shipwrecked in the fourth edition of the reality show “L'Isola dei famosi" (Island of the Celebrities). Surviving in extreme conditions would be his next challenge, in which he would make himself known not as an actor, but simply as Raffaello.
Balzo is 6' 2" tall. During his spare time, he loves to go to the beach and play soccer, which is his number one hobby.
Official Site: www.raffaellobalzo.com
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