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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Laura Antonelli - 1941


A voluptuous Italian screen siren, Laura Antonelli rated somewhere between Sophia Loren and Stefania Sandrelli in the earth mother/sex goddess category. She debuted in the cheesy sequel "Dr. Goldfoot & the Girl Bombs" (1966) and made her American debut as James Garner's girl in Vic Morrow's uneven Western "A Man Called Sledge" (1970). Claude Chabrol cast her as Mia Farrow's sexy sister in "Docteur Popaul" (1972) but it was her turn as a servant who comes between a widowed father and his son in "Malizia" (1973) that established her. She went on to grace numerous Italian sex farces, but also appeared occasionally in more distinguished outings. In Luchino Visconti's swan song, "L'Innocente/The Innocent" (1976), she was torn between Marcello Mastroianni and Giancarlo Giannini. She reteamed with Mastroianni for the erotic drama "Mogliamante/Wifemistress" (1977), as his repressed wife who undergoes a sexual awakening. Antonelli had one of her best screen roles as the married lover of an army officer who in turn is pursued by a neurotic woman in Ettore Scola's study of obsessive love "Passione d'Amore" (1981). She continued in similar roles throughout the 80s, but her career came to a standstill in May 1991 when she was arrested and sentenced to a three-and-one-half year jail term for possession of cocaine. Antonelli's last feature to date was in the sequel "Malizia 2mila" (1991), in which she delivered a lackluster and half-hearted performance.
In another words originally trained in Naples to teach physical education, Antonelli first appeared in Italian advertisements for Coca Cola and made her first film, Le sedicenni, in 1965, followed by her American debut, Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs (1966). Other roles followed; her breakthrough came in 1973's Malizia. She appeared in a number of sex farces such as Till Marriage Do Us Part/Mio Dio come sono caduta in basso!.She worked in more serious films as well: L'innocente/The Innocent (1976), and Mogliamante/Wifemistress (1977), as a repressed wife experiencing a sexual awakening. Later she appeared in Passione d'Amore (1981). Antonelli's most recent role was in the sequel Malizia 2000 (1991).She won the David di Donatello prize in 1973 and 1981 and the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists Award, Nastro d'Argento in 1974.In May, 1991, cocaine was found during a police raid on Antonelli's home. She was subsequently convicted of possession and dealing and sentenced to house arrest. She spent ten years appealing the conviction which was eventually overturned.

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