Vittorio De Sica (7 July 1902 – 13 November 1974) was an Italian director and actor, a leading figure in the neorealist movement.
Four of the films he directed won Academy Awards: Sciuscià and Bicycle Thieves were awarded honorary Oscars, while ieri, oggi, domani and Il giardino dei Finzi Contini won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Indeed, the great critical success of Sciuscià (the first foreign film to be so recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) and Bicycle Thieves helped establish the permanent Best Foreign Film Oscar. These two films generally are considered part of the canon of classic cinema. Bicycle Thieves was cited by Turner Classic Movies as one of the 15 most influential films in cinema history.
Ironically, for an artist considered one of the Italian cinema's greatest and most influential directors, De Sica's sole Academy Award nomination was for acting, when he received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nod for playing Major Rinaldi in American director Charles Vidor's 1957 adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms, a movie that was panned by critics and proved a box office flop. De Sica's acting was considered the highlight of the film.