Spaghetti western actor Tony Norton, real name Antonio Monselesan passed away at his home in Lucca, Tuscany, Italy. He was 73. Best known for his appearances as the black clad bounty hunter in several Terence Hill westerns he was actually a well-respected boxing coach. Supposedly he once fought for the Italian middleweight title, although I can find nothing on line as to his boxing record either under his real name or Tony Norton. He was revered as a boxing coach and left Rome in 2005 to return to the sport he loved. His son and nephew are continuing the tradition.
For many years Norton’s real name was unknown and therefore little could be found in print or on-line other than his filmography. It turns out he became an actor when a producer saw him during one of his boxing matches in Rome hired him as a stand in for an actor who was to be a boxer in his film. This film was Rose rosse per il führer (Red Roses for the Fuhrer) in an uncredited role as a German officer. He would go on to appear in over 40 films mainly uncredited and behind the scenes. Several were westerns such as the two Trinity films. In Trinity is STILL My Name it is Tony who gets slapped around by Terence Hill’s Trinity character in the classic showdown in the saloon scene where Trinity slaps Tony outdraws him and re-holsters his pistol multiple times before Norton can even go for his own gun, until Bud Spencer says, “Cut it out.”
For a long time Norton was thought to be an alias for Alfio Caltabiano and his real aliases Al Norton and Al Northon. Possibly British actor Tony Norton? Both of course proved to be false but finally a fan Davide Pulici started to investigate and was told he was another Italian actor. In the end credits is listed Antonio Monselesan and a check on the Internet produces a recent photo of the man and it’s obvious they are one and the same. Davide found a phone number and gave Antonio a call and interviewed him for Cinema Bis in September of 2013.
MONSELESAN, Antonio (aka Tony Norton) [8/2/1941, Libya – 2/25/2015, Lucca, Tuscany, Italy] – boxing trainer, boxer, master of arms, director, screenwriter, TV actor, married to ?, father of boxer Giulio Monselesan [1970- ], uncle of boxer Leonardo Monselesan.
Colorado Charlie – 1965
The Two Sergeants of General Custer – 1965
Ballad of a Gunman – 1967
Lynching – 1968 (Jess Tappman) [as Tony Norton]
Sonora – 1968 (José) [as Tony Norton]
The 5-Man Army - 1969 (Mexican officer)
They Call Me Trinity – 1970 (bounty hunter)
Drummer of Vengeance – 1971
Trinity is STILL My Name – 1971 (Wildcat Hendricks)
They Called Him Amen - 1972
Man of the East – 1972 (bounty hunter)
The Man Called Invincible – 1973 (Veleno/Poison/Twinkletoes) [as Tony Norton]
The Crazy Bunch - 1974 (Poison/Veleno/Twinkle Toes) [as Tony Norton]
Keoma – 1975
California - 1977