Massimo Troisi was a popular Italian film star and director during the 1980s. Internationally, Troisi is best-known for co-starring in Il Postino (The Postman) (1995) which was released after his death from heart failure in 1994. Troisi came from a large family in a town located near Naples and started out performing in local cabarets as part of La Smorfia, a three-person comedy/satire group. This led to appearances on television. Troisi made his acting and directorial feature film debut in Ricomincio da Tre (1980). It was a smash hit and led Troisi to quickly make four more films. He also occasionally appeared in other directors' films as in Ettore Scola's Splendor (1988).