Gianni Garko

Biography

Gianni Garko (born Giovanni Garcovich July 15, 1935 in Zadar (then part of Italy) and often billed as John Garko) is an Italian actor who found much fame as a leading man in Spaghetti Westerns. He is perhaps best known for his lead role as Sartana, starting with the first official film If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death and starring in three sequels as this character. Early life and career Garko moved from Zadar to Trieste, and later Rome to attend University and Drama School. His first prominent film role was a small but important part in the Oscar nominated Kapò (1959). He continued to play parts in several Italian productions including a sword and sandal epic with Steve Reeves. His big break came when he had role in Il Compagno Don Camillo (1965). Spaghetti Western Era Garko became an instant breakout star in Europe in 1966 in the successful Spaghetti Western starring alongside Anthony Steffen in Blood at Sundown. In this movie, he played an antagonist named Sartana. He would later play an unrelated protagonist named Sartana in the famous Sartana series of films. Other notable westerns he starred in were $10,000 Blood Money (1967) as an unofficial Django, Veangeance is Mine/$100,000 for a Massacre (1967), They Call Him Cemetery (1971) alongside William Berger as well as a supporting role in Bad Man's River with Lee Van Cleef. During this time he had achieved considerable fame in Germany, Italy, and Spain. Outside of the western genre, Garko starred in Five for Hell (1969) with frequent co-star Klaus Kinski, a small role in Waterloo as the brave and energetic French artillery commander Antoine Drouot, and The Heroes, both with Rod Steiger. He also starred in a highly memorable episode of Space: 1999 in 1975. Post Spaghetti Western Career Like many of his contemporaries, his star diminished as Spaghetti Western genre began to decline. He was still able to get roles in several successful Giallo movies, sex comedies, and Poliziotteschi movies. Among these are Il Boss (1971), Sette note in nero (1977 with Jennifer O'Neill, Gli occhi freddi della paura (1971), Hercules (1983 with Lou Ferrigno). After appearing in Space: 1999 as Tony Cellini in the episode "Dragon's Domain", starting in the 80's Garko concentrated more on television, theatre, and TV commercials as quality roles in film became fewer and farther in between. Popular in Europe but little known in America, in an interview, Garko mentioned that he had turned down the lead role in Pretty Baby (1978 with Brooke Shields). To this day, Garko has amassed a sizeable cult following of fans for being one of the premiere leading men of Spaghetti Westerns back in the 1960s.

Expand
Person Photo

Birth Name

Giovanni Garcovich

Birth Place

Zara, Dalmatia, Italy [now Zadar, Croatia]

Birth Date

7/15/1935
Known For
Movie Poster

If You Meet Sartana, Pray for Your Death

Sartana (as John Garko)

Movie Poster

Light the Fuse… Sartana Is Coming

Sartana

Movie Poster

Have a Good Funeral My Friend… Sartana Will Pay

Sartana

Movie Poster

I Am Sartana, Your Angel of Death

Sartana (as John Garko)

Movie Poster

La Nuit des Diables

Nicola

Movie Poster

Der Teufel führt Regie

Commissario Torri

Movie Poster

Star Odyssey

Dirk Laramie

Movie Poster

Devil Fish

Sheriff Gordon (as John Garko)

Movie Poster

Five for Hell

Lt. Glenn Hoffmann (as John Garko)

Movie Poster

Como Lobos Sedientos

Django (as Gary Hudson)

Starring In
Movie Poster

Us And Them

Nicola

Movie Poster

The Sands of Time

Commander

Movie Poster

Body Puzzle

Police Chief

Movie Poster

Devil Fish

Sheriff Gordon (as John Garko)

Movie Poster

Hercules

Valcheus (as John Garko)

Movie Poster

The New Godfathers

Capitano Ivano Radovich

Movie Poster

Star Odyssey

Dirk Laramie

Movie Poster

Summer Night Fever

Jacky / Playboy

Movie Poster

The Psychic

Francesco Ducci

Movie Poster

Drei Schwedinnen in Oberbayern

Otto Gruber

Movie Poster

Vier Teufelskerle

Koran (as John Garko)

Movie Poster

Gli Eroi

Schreiber

Movie Poster

Der Teufel führt Regie

Commissario Torri

Movie Poster

His Name Was Holy Ghost

Spirito Santo / Holy Ghost

Movie Poster

La Nuit des Diables

Nicola

Movie Poster

The Price of Death

Mr. Silver

Movie Poster

Bad Man's River

Ed Pace (as John Garko)

Movie Poster

They Call Him Cemetery

Camposanto

Movie Poster

Cold Eyes of Fear

Peter Bedell

Movie Poster

Light the Fuse… Sartana Is Coming

Sartana

Movie Poster

Waterloo

Gen. Drouot

Movie Poster

Have a Good Funeral My Friend… Sartana Will Pay

Sartana

Movie Poster

Ein Bulle sieht rot

Dan Rover (as John Garko)

Movie Poster

Sartana Kills Them All

Sartana / Santana (as Johnny Garko)

Movie Poster

I Vigliacchi non Pregano

Bryan Clarke (as John Garko)

Movie Poster

I Am Sartana, Your Angel of Death

Sartana (as John Garko)

Movie Poster

Five for Hell

Lt. Glenn Hoffmann (as John Garko)

Movie Poster

Waterloo

Gen. Drouot

Movie Poster

Thunder from the West

Riccardo Cloro

Movie Poster

If You Meet Sartana, Pray for Your Death

Sartana (as John Garko)

Movie Poster

Red Roses for the Fuhrer

Alex Postov / Lieutenant Mann

Movie Poster

Promessa de Sangue

Johnny Forest (as Gary Hudson)

Movie Poster

Como Lobos Sedientos

Django (as Gary Hudson)

Movie Poster

Sartana

Sartana Liston

Movie Poster

Il compagno Don Camillo

Scamoggia

Movie Poster

Saul e David

David

Movie Poster

Il Giorno più Corto

Uomo alla stazione (uncredited)

Movie Poster

Pontius Pilatus

Jonathan

Movie Poster

La Leggenda di Enea

Turno, King of the Rutuli

Movie Poster

La voglia matta

Piero

Movie Poster

Violent Summer

Heinrich

Movie Poster

The Mongols

Henry de Valois

Movie Poster

Mole Men Against the Son of Hercules

Kathar - Kahab's Son

Movie Poster

Kapò

Karl, German Soldier

MobileIcon
app store google play