The Italian Almanac

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Gigi Rizzi and BB

Death of a Playboy

The jetset playboy who had an affair with Brigitte Bardot, Gigi Rizzi, died the day after 69th birthday. The businessman and actor was struck by sudden illness at the home of some friends in Saint Tropez where he and his wife Dolores Mayol were guests. Emergency medical assistance was unable to revive him.

Rizzi became a symbol of the Dolcevita in the late 1960's and early 1970's, partying with jetset friends from Cannes to Saint Tropez at the height of the French Riviera's golden years. A brief affair with Brigitte Bardot in the summer of 1968 shot Rizzi into the public eye.

Rizzi founded the discoteque Number One in Milan and Rome. The Roman disco shuttered its doors in 1972 after cocaine was found in its bathroom.

Rizzi also appeared in a number of films from 1969 to 1972. In the mid-1970s Rizzi abandoned his life of glitz and moved to Argentina where he bought a large animal-raising farm. There he lived for many years.

Rizzi eventually moved back to his home turf in the Italian coastal region of Liguria, and lived in the rural, hill-village of Lago in recent years.