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Monday, February 24, 2014

Edwige Fenech - 1948


Stunningly gorgeous and charismatic brunette actress Edwige Fenech was born as Edwige Sfenek on December 24, 1948 in Bone, Constantine, France to a Maltese father and Italian mother. Edwige began her show business career as a participant in beauty contests (she won the title of “Miss Mannequin de la Cote d’Azur” at age 16 and even won a Miss France beauty contest) and worked as a photo model prior to making her film debut in the 1967 comedy “All Mad About Him.” Fenech appeared in such saucy West German sex farces as “The Blonde and the Black Pussycat” and “Sexy Susan Sins Again” in the late 60’s. With her lustrous long black hair, lovely, sensuous face, full, shapely figure, and smoldering screen presence, Edwige soon became a very popular and much sought after actress in a diverse array of European productions made in Italy, France, Spain, and West Germany. Fenech achieved her greatest enduring cult cinema popularity by starring in several superior Italian giallos for director Sergio Martino: “Next!,” “Demons of the Dead,” and “Your Vice Is a Closed Room and Only I Have the Key.” (She was the onetime girlfriend of Martino’s producer brother Luciano.) Edwige also acted for Martino in a handful of racy Italian sex comedies and the Italian mini-series “Delitti Privati.”
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Other noted Italian film directors Fenech has acted in movies for are Mario Bava (“Five Dolls for an August Moon”), Guliano Carnimeo (“The Case of the Bloody Iris”), Andrea Bianchi (“Strip Nude for Your Killer”), Umberto Lenzi (“The Great Battle”), Steno (“Dr. Jekyll Likes Them Hot”), Dino Risi (“I’m Photogenic”), and Ruggero Deodato (“Phantom of Death”). She demonstrated her exceptional range and skill as an actress with enjoyably uninhibited performances in such amusingly bawdy Italian comedic romps as “The Naughty Nun,” “Ubalda, All Naked and Warm,” and “Sexy Schoolteacher.” Edwige became a television personality in the 80’s and made frequent appearances on an Italian chat show along with fellow giallo goddess Barbara Bouchet. Moreover, Fenech launched her own fashion line and founded her own film production company Immagine e Cinema S.r.l. with her son Edwin (she co-produced the 2004 movie “The Merchant of Venice” as well as various Italian TV mini-series and made-for-TV features). In the mid 90’s Edwige was engaged to famous Italian industrialist Luca di Montezemolo. More recently Edwige Fenech made a welcome return to acting with a funny small part as an alluring art class professor in Eli Roth’s “Hostel: Part II.”

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