One of the keystones in the history of Italian theatre and a great film actor. Born in Naples, in the Chiaia district, on 24 May 1900. He was the natural son of the playwright Eduardo Scarpetta and theatre seamstress Luisa De Filippo. Eduardo, along with Peppino and Titina had the surname of their mother since the parents were not married; Scarpetta was in fact married to Rosa De Filippo. Eduardo was treading the boards of the Teatro Della Valle in Rome already at the tender age of four in the operetta Geisha, held in the arms of an actor in the Scarpetta company. When Little Eduardo was twelve, the family moved to Via dei Mille and he his brother Peppino were sent to study at the Chierchia College in Foria. He tried to escape several times, and he also wrote a humorous ironic poem on the wife of the college director. After returning to Naples he decided to go and stay with an aunt in Rome to find odd jobs in films. Disappointed by his lack of success, he returned to Naples and began acting in the company of Rocco Galdieri and then in the Enrico Altieri troupe. At a certain point he got to know Totò, who became his great friend. In 1914 he worked in his half-brother Vincenzo Scarpetta's company'. Titina was already working there and Peppino soon arrived. The First World War broke out and immediately after the end of the conflict Eduardo did his military service with the Bersaglieri. While in the army he organised little shows, written, performed and directed by him. In 1920 he completed the script of his first real theatre comedy, Farmacia di turno (Duty Pharmacy), a one-act play staged a year later by the Vincenzo Scarpetta company. It was from the latter that Eduardo took the calm, earnest character he would have all his life. In 1922 he wrote 'Ho fatto il guaio? Riparerò' (Did I mess up? l'll fix it),which was staged years later under the name Uomo e galantuomo (Man and Gentleman). A Pirandello-inspired comedy. That same year he made his directorial debut with a piece by Enzo Lucio Murolo, Surriento gentile. Eduardo Scarpetta died in 1925 and Eduardo went live with Ninì, whom he wrote love poems. Intent now in doing theatre in standard language and not dialect, he joined Louis Carini's company. Eduardo also wanted Peppino to join but he preferred to take Eduardo's place in the Scarpetta company. Eduardo then thought better of his decision and in 1926 returned to writing in dialect with a comedy called I mort non fanno paura(May His Soul Rest). In 1928 he married an American woman from Philadelphia, Dorothy Pennington, in Rome (the marriage was annulled in 1952) and with his brothers founded the De Filippo – Comical Campania Napolitano d'être Modern. At this point the La Rialto Gaia group was created from the ashes of the Molinari Company, now without Totò. In 1931 the three were finally able to have their own company, called "I De Filippo", and Natal in casa Cupiello (Christmas at the Cupiello's)noas produced. In 1932 he starred in a film by Mario Bonnard, Tre uomini in frac (Three Lucky Fools), also starring Peppino, in addition to the celebrated tenor Tito Schipa in the lead role. In 1940 he made his directorial debut with the film In campagna è caduta una stella (In the Country Fell a Star). After the war he wrote many memorable comedies, such as Napoli milionaria, Questi fantasmi (These Ghosts), Filumena Marturano and Sabato, domenica e lunedì (Saturday, Sunday and Monday ). All were adapted for the screen as being performed all over the world. In 1950 he directed Napoli Milionaria, starring with Totò. He acted alongside Vittorio De Sica in such films as A Slice of Life and Gold of Naples. On the subject of Filumena Marturano (already directed for the cinema by Eduardo in 1951), the play was later adapted by De Sica with a screenplay by Eduardo and the new title of Marriage Italian Style. With a final film in 1966, Eduardo thereafter adapted his comedies for TV. It was on television that he gave his final acting display as the old master in the drama Cuore, directed by Luigi Comencini. Pier Paolo Pasolini had thought him for Porno-Teo-Kolossal, a film that remained unmade following the death of the Friuli poet and director. In the sixties, in addition to a long theatre tour in eastern Europe, he won the Feltrinelli Award for lI sindaco del rione Sanità (The Mayor of Sanità District), which was adapted as a film in 1997 with Anthony Quinn and produced by brothers Antonio and Pupi Avati. In 1973 Gli esami non finiscono mai (Exams Never End) was a big theatre success in Rome. In 1981 he was appointed Life Senator. Troisi and Dario Fo are among the many who have been influenced by De Filippo. He and his wife Thea Prandi (they were married in 1956) had two children, Luca and Luisa. Luca has become a respected theatre director. Writer and screenwriter Isabella Quarantotti, whom he married in 1977, was his last wife. There was always a degree of conflict with his brother Peppino and although he mourned him after his death, Eduardo said he considered him more as a friend and dear colleague than a brother. Eduardo passed away on 31 October 1984 in Rome.