Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Featured Icon: Claudia Cardinale - Actress

Claudia Cardinale (born 15 April 1938) is an Italian Tunisian actress, and has appeared in some of the most prominent European films of the 1960s and 1970s. The majority of Cardinale's films have been either Italian or French. She was also an iconic sex symbol of the 1960s.

In 1957, then sixteen year old Cardinale won the Italian embassy's 'Most Beautiful Italian Girl in Tunisia' contest. The contest included a trip to the Venice Film Festival, bringing Cardinale to the attention of the Italian movie industry. Her feature film debut was Goha (1957), a French-Tunisian co-production. After attending the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia of Rome for two months, she signed a 7-year contract with the Vides studios. In 1958, she had a role in the major international success I soliti ignoti (Big Deal on Madonna Street). Her early career was largely managed by studio producer Franco Cristaldi, to whom Cardinale was married from 1966 until 1975.

Throughout the 1960s, she appeared in some of the most acclaimed Italian and European films of the period, including Luchino Visconti's Rocco e i suoi fratelli (Rocco and His Brothers 1960) and Il Gattopardo (The Leopard, 1963), Philippe de Broca's Cartouche (1963), Federico Fellini's Otto e mezzo (8½ 1963), and Sergio Leone's epic Once Upon a Time in the West (1968). In her early Italian films, another actor dubbed for Cardinale, because her naturally deep voice (which later became one of the reasons of her success) contrasted with her feminine appearance. Not until 8½ was she allowed to dub her own dialogue.

Because Cardinale was not interested in leaving Europe for extended periods of time, she never made a real attempt to break into the American market. The list of her Hollywood films includes The Pink Panther (1963), Circus World (1964); Blindfold (1965); and The Professionals (1966).


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VIDEO: Movie Legends - Claudia Cardinale

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