Bud Spencer, Italian actor, film producer, pilot and former professional swimmer, signs copies of the German translation of his autobiography, Mein Leben, Meine Filme (My Life, My Films) on May 17, 2013, in Potsdam, Germany
Adam Berry—Getty Images
June 28, 2016 4:32 AM EDT

Bud Spencer, the Italian actor and filmmaker who made his name in the spaghetti western films of the 1960s and 1970s, died on Monday at the age of 86, the BBC and other media outlets reported.

Spencer was born in Naples in 1929 as Carlo Pedersoli, but changed his name early in his career to better market himself. “Spencer” was a nod to the actor Spencer Tracy; he chose “Bud” because he loved Budweiser beer, according to Euro News.

Spencer had a colorful career onscreen and off. He appeared in more than 20 films, but also dabbled in professional swimming — he was the first Italian to swim a hundred meters of freestyle in under a minute — and, later, aviation. An attempted stint in politics proved unsuccessful.

The BBC said he died painlessly in Rome.

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