It's not a simple task to classify Viviani as an artist. His production ranges from drama to poetry, so we can not define him simply as a man of theatre. He was a singer, a playwright, an actor for the theatre and the cinema as well, and a poet.
He was born in Castellammare di Stabia in 1888. His was not a wealthy family, so he soon experienced the troubles of people longing to find their living.
He was only 4 years old when he made his first performance on the stage of a small theatre in Porta Capuana. Since then it was clear that acting and singing were his greatest attitudes.
During his youth Viviani makes several tours in northern Italy in order to become famous. Finally his performance at the Eden Theatre of Bologna was a great success. He was particularly skilled in the role of O' Scugnizzo, a funny character belonging to the Neapolitan macchietta (which is something like a character study). Viviani first played this role in 1904 and since then it became the most appreciated among Viviani's characters.
In 1907 he came back to Naples and he was on the New Theatre. He was then engaged by a theatre company of Budapest and became famous abroad too.
He was only 22 and he already was an actor, a playwright and a singer of outstanding fame.
In 1912 he married Maria Di Maio and they had 4 children. Viviani has always been affectionate to his family all his life long. When he was away to work he wrote them a letter or a telegram a day!
He was so successful that he was asked to make a tour in South America. He arrived in Buenos Aires in 1929, then he reached Uruguay and Brazil.
His sister Luisella co-operated with him during his career: first singing in duet, then on the stage and finally for the cinema. They were both engaged from a famous film-company at the beginning of the 20th century.
Viviani's most famous film is L'ultimo scugnizzo.
He deeply felt his passions until his death, in 1950.