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Monday, September 30, 2013

Gloria Guida - 1955

Gloria Guida was born in Merano, Trentino-Alto Adige, to a family of Emilia Romagna origin. She moved with her family to Bologna as a child. She first began a singing career, starting in her father's dancing place on the Romagna's coast. Then she took up modeling, becoming Miss Teenage Italia in 1974.She subsequently went on to star in many sexy comedies. Her two early films La ragazzina (Monika in English-language release) and La minorenne, both shot in the summer of 1974, are the stories of young female characters in the phase of discovering their sexuality, often reluctant between mature admirers and younger lovers.

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She made her real breakthrough in 1975 with La liceale (Teasers). Another film of particular success was Avere vent'anni ("To Be Twenty") in 1978, where she starred with Lilli Carati.After her relationship and later marriage with singer and actor Johnny Dorelli, whom she met on the set of the film Bollenti spiriti, she left the cinema world. They have been married since 1991 and have a daughter.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Lea Massari - 1933

                      
Lea Massari is an Italian actress born 30 June 1933 in Rome. She turned many in France in the 70s with major directors such as Louis Malle: she played the incestuous mother's heart murmur which caused a scandal when it was released. But she is best known through his many roles in popular films with leading actors like Lino Ventura. In another words After a wealthy family, Anna-Maria Massatini takes the name Leah in memory of her fiancé Leo died at the age of 22. She left Italy for Switzerland, where she studied architecture. She became assistant designer Piero Gherardi and noted by Mario Monicelli while working on the set of one of his films. He offers her the female lead in the From Blood in the Sun (1956).Despite his lack of training as an actress, Lea Massari demonstrated a great talent for dramatic roles.

She turns to the camera Italian directors such as Mauro Bolognini, Dino Risi (A hard life in 1961), Sergio Leone (The Colossus of Rhodes 1961) but the role of Anna, the missing of L'Avventura (1960) in Michelangelo Antonioni who reveals to the public.
From the 70s, Lea Massari happening on the other side of the Alps. For his first French film by Alain Cavalier The Crossfire (1964), she starred with Alain Delon she end up in an Italian film Valerio Zurlini, Professor (1972). She plays under the direction of Claude Sautet (The Things of Life 1970) and a scandal in the role of an incestuous mother in the Heart Breath of Louis Malle (1971). But it is particularly known for the most popular films (The 7th target 1984) where she assists actors such as Lino Ventura.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Serena Grandi - 1958

                
Serena Grandi (born on March 23, 1958 in Bologna, Italy) is an Italian actress, who was once voted the sexiest woman in Italy. Serena Grandi is the stage name for Serena Faggioli. Her voluptuous measurements have led to comparisons with fellow Italian bombshells Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida, as well as the nickname the Italian Dolly Parton. She is perhaps most known for her starring roles in many erotic films directed by the famed Tinto Brass. In 1980, Serena got her first acting break with a supporting role in the comedy La Compagna di viaggio. But the movie that is often credited as her first film is Antropophagus (The Grim Reaper), a gory flick that received mixed reactions.The film that led to Serena being called the sexiest woman in Italy was Miranda (1985), directed by Tinto Brass. Serena played the title character, who loses her husband in World War II, and tests out other men as potential replacements. In the same year, Serena also starred in La Signora della Notte (Lady of the Night). Both of these films are noted for numerous scenes in which the busty Ms. Grandi bared all, with several full frontals, and a couple of almost-too-revealing crotch close-ups.Arguably, Serena Grandi's most erotic role is playing a housemaid in the 1987 French comedy L' Iniziazione (also known as Les Exploits d'un jeune Don Juan, or The Exploits of a Young Don Juan). When all the men in a country household are called away to war, the women become the objects of desire for young Roger (played by Fabrice Josso), who is left without any male competition.


At first his clumsiness with women leads to unsuccessful sexual attempts, but eventually Roger ends up having sex with all of the older women in his household, and impregnating them. When the men return from the war, Roger frantically tries to marry off the women and cover his tracks. Fabrice Josso was only 16 when he played Roger, and in his scene with Serena Grandi the film showed him suckling on her nipples. This particular interaction probably would not have survived American censors, but the film was never shown in the USA.The other major Serena Grandi film in 1987 is the giallo horror Delirium: Le Foto di Gioia. While she isn't nude quite as much as usual here, it does have a few topless scenes and some full frontal nudity.As the 80's wound down and the 90's started, Serena gradually shifted from starring to playing supporting roles, and her nude scenes became sparse. But fans could sometimes still find some brief glimpses of her famous mammaries, such as in the 1995 thriller La Strana Storia di Olga O. (The Strange Story of Olga O.). In 1998, director Tinto Brass reunited with Serena for the erotic yarn Monella (Frivolous Lola). There is a lot of nudity in that film, but Anna Ammirati is the actress supplying them, not Serena.In the late part of the 90's, she married Beppo Ercole, but they have since divorced. They have a son, Eduardo.
In 2005, Serena published her first book.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Eva Mendes - 1974

                  
A fiercely independent actress who refuses to be pressed into a conventional mode or typecast, Eva Mendes was studying marketing in the late '90s when an agent stumbled across her photo while perusing Mendes's neighbor's portfolio. Eva Mendes (born March 5, 1974) is an American actress, model, singer, and homeware and clothing designer. She began acting in the late 1990s, and after a series of roles in B movies such as Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror (1998) and Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000), she broke into the Hollywood mainstream with an appearance in Training Day (2001). She has since starred in many films, including All About The Benjamins (2002); 2 Fast 2 Furious, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Out of Time and Stuck on You (all 2003); Hitch (2005); Ghost Rider and We Own the Night (both 2007); The Spirit (2008); The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009); The Other Guys and Last Night (both 2010); Holy Motors and Girl in Progress (both 2012) and The Place Beyond the Pines (2013).Soon appearing in an Aerosmith video and making her film debut in Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror, Mendes worked her way through the gamut of aspiring actors to appear in such high-profile films as Urban Legends: Final Cut and Once Upon a Time in Mexico.
Dropping out of school soon after being randomly discovered by an agent, Mendes appeared in a few made-for-television productions and hammed it up with Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan in A Night at the Roxbury before being cast in a prominent role in Urban Legends: Final Cut. Working against typecasting despite her teen horror resumé, Mendes next took roles in Exit Wounds, Training Day, and All About the Benjamins. Mendes next began work on a children's book titled Crazy Leggs Beshee in which she wanted to introduce art, history, vocabulary, and values to children in a fun and easily comprehendable medium.In 2003, Mendes' career took off, with the actress taking on large roles in an ecclectic quartet of high-profile films. In 2 Fast 2 Furious she played a customs agent working with Paul Walker to bring down a Miami drug cartel. Out of Time found her reteaming with Training Day costar Denzel Washington. Flexing her comedic chops, Mendes was the love interest of half a pair of conjoined twins in the Farrelly brothers' Stuck on You. And in Once Upon a Time in Mexico she played another government agent, this time opposite Johnny Depp.Mendes would go on to appear in a number of films over the coming years, like The Wendell Baker Story, Hitch, Ghost Rider, The Other Guys, and Girl in Progress

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Romy Schneider 1938 - 1982

                

The life and career of the Austrian born actress Romy Schneider make a bewildering combination of fairytale and Greek tragedy.  One of the most beautiful and intelligent actors of her generation, she was hired by some of the greatest filmmakers of her time.   She had – and continues to have, more than two decades after her death – an immense popular appeal, and is loved and respected by film enthusiasts across the world, particularly in France and her native Austria.  Yet, blessed as she was in her professional career, her personal life was marked by a series of brutal tragedies that cut short her life and robbed cinema of one of its finest artistes. The life of Romy Schneider is a screenplay that no writer or producer could ever have conceived, a screenplay in which no one other than Romy could have played the lead role.Romy's career was mapped out for her from childhood.  She was born, on 23 September 1938, Rosemarie Magdalena Albach-Retty, to parents who were successful actors living in Vienna.  After her parents' divorce in 1945, she was brought up by her mother, Magda Schneider and her younger brother, Wolfgang.  She made her film début in 1953, a small part in Wenn der weiße Flieder wieder blüht.  Two years later she took on the role that would earn her instant stardom in Austria and Germany – the Empress Elisabeth of Austria – in the 1955 film Sissi.Having played Sissi in two subsequent sequels, Romy became nauseated by the saccharine "nice girl" image she had fashioned for herself and was determined to make a fresh start.  In 1957, Paramount Studios was ready to offer her a three year contract, but her family intervened, thwarting a promising career in America.

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Romy's chance of escape came in the form of Pierre Gaspard-Huit's 1958 lavish costume drama, Christine, where she starred opposite another young actor whose star was very much in the ascendant, Alain Delon.  This was the beginning of Romy Schneider's hugely successful film career in France.It was whilst making Christine that Romy and Alain Delon fell in love; their very public engagement was announced to the world in 1959.  Although the couple lived together for five years, they never married.  Delon had been having an affair with another woman, Nathalie Barthélemy, whom he chose to marry on learning she was pregnant with his child.  Although the separation was painful (Delon couldn't bring himself to face Romy at their parting; he just left her a note saying goodbye), the two actors later renewed their friendship and remained on the best of terms, with Delon dispensing both moral and financial support during periods of crisis.Meanwhile, Romy Schneider's film career forged ahead.  She achieved international fame through her part in Luchino Visconti's segment (Il lavoro) of the 1962 film Boccacio '70.  She would subsequently work again with Visconti on Ludwig (1972), where she once again portrayed Elisabeth of Austria, but in a very different vein to that of the earlier Sissi films of the 1950s.  Another legendary director, Orson Welles, was impressed by her talents, and cast her in his 1963 film Le Procès, an inspired adaptation of Franz Kafka's novel The Trial.In the mid-1960s, Hollywood beckoned and Romy Schneider made a few notable appearances, in Good Neighbor Sam (1964) and What's New, Pussycat? (1965).  Having failed to make much of a mark in America, Romy returned to France.  She had a starring role in L'Enfer (1964), although the film was aborted when its director, H.G. Clouzot, suffered a fatal heart attack.  In La Voleuse (1966), she appeared for the first time alongside the actor Michel Piccoli, who would become one of her closest friends.  By this time, Romy had married, to the theatre director Harry Meyen, and had given birth to a son, David.Romy's career was floundering a little but received a sudden boost when she starred with Alain Delon in Jacques Deray's stylish psychological thriller La Piscine (1969).  The same year, she appeared in Claude Sautet's Les Choses de la vie, again with Michel Piccoli.  Sautet was so taken with Romy Schneider that he gave her substantial roles in four subsequent films: Max et les ferrailleurs (1971), César et Rosalie (1972), Mado (1976) and Une histoire simple (1978).  It was for her moving portrayal of an independent woman in the latter film that Romy won her second César in 1979.Romy had previously won a César for her role in Andrzej Zulawski's controversial L'Important c'est d'aimer (1975), regarded by some as her finest performance.  Another notable hit was Le Vieux fusil (1975), directed by Robert Enrico and co-starring Philippe Noiret.  This film – an uncompromising wartime drama - was not just a huge commercial success, but it also took three awards at the first Césars Ceremony in 1976 (including best film).  Other notable film appearances in the 1970s include: Le Train (1973), Le Mouton enragé (1974) and the deliciously gory black comedy Le Trio infernal (1974).
 
Romy was also an outspoken defender of women's rights.  In an edition of the German magazine Stern in 1970, she added her name to a list of a hundred women who claimed to have terminated a pregnancy and who demanded the legalisation of abortion.The 1970s gave Romy Schneider some of her best career opportunities, but it also brought with it the first of the tragic blows that would ultimately drive her to an early grave.  In 1973, she parted from her husband Harry Meyen on bad terms – she had to surrender half of her personal fortune to him in a divorce settlement in order that she retain custody of their son.  Then, in 1976, shortly after marrying her second husband, Daniel Biasini, she lost her unborn child in a car accident.  April 1979 brought more devastating news: Harry Meyen decided to hang himself.  The impact of the suicide of her first husband can be seen in Romy's darker, more introspective performances in Bertrand Tavernier's La Mort en direct (1980), La Banquière (1980) and Garde à vue (1981).Then came the cruellest blow of all: a mother's worst nightmare.  In July 1981, Romy's 14 year old son David, the centre of her world, managed to impale himself on railings at his grandparents' home and bled to death.  The actress was almost destroyed by this calamity and she had but one thought: to escape.  Once she had finished work on La Passante du Sans-Souci (1982), she fled to the Seychelles with her daughter and new partner, Laurent Petin – relentlessly pursued by journalists.  She later returned to France, staying in Yvelynes, Paris, where she hoped to restart her life and career.   In her last television appearance in April 1982 (an interview with Michel Drucker), Romy said: “Life must go on.  My work gives me strength.”But it was not to be.  On the night of the 28th-29th May 1982, Romy Schneider suffered a fatal heart attack at the Paris apartment she shared with Laurent Petin.  She was 43.  There was widespread speculation that she had taken her own life, perhaps through an overdose of sleeping pills, but no evidence was given at the inquest to substantiate this.  Romy was buried in the cemetery at Boissy-sans-Avior in France, beside her beloved son.  Her passing was keenly felt, but she lives on in her films, remnants of a life that was both wonderful and cruel.

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.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sharon Stone - 1958

                     
Sharon Vonne Stone (born March 10, 1958) is an American actress, film producer, and former fashion model. She achieved international recognition for her role in the erotic thriller Basic Instinct by Paul Verhoeven. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress and won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama for her performance in Casino.Stone currently lives in Beverly Hills, California and owns a ranch in New Zealand. She married television producer Michael Greenburg in 1984 on the set of The Vegas Strip War, a television film he produced and she starred in. The couple separated three years later, and their divorce was finalized in 1990. In 1993, Stone met William J. MacDonald (aka Bill MacDonald) on the set of the film Sliver, which he co-produced. MacDonald left his wife Naomi Baca for Stone and became engaged to her. They separated one year later in 1994. While working on the film The Quick and the Dead in 1995, Stone met Bob Wagner (a second assistant director) and they became engaged.

After they separated, Stone returned the engagement ring via FedEx.On February 14, 1998, Stone married Phil Bronstein, executive editor of the San Francisco Examiner and later San Francisco Chronicle. They adopted a baby son, Roan Joseph Bronstein, in 2000. Bronstein filed for divorce in 2003, citing irreconcilable differences. The divorce became final in 2004, with a judge ruling that Roan should remain primarily with Bronstein, with Stone receiving visitation. Stone adopted her second son, Laird Vonne Stone, in 2005, and her third son, Quinn Kelly Stone, in 2006.In 2005, when asked during a television interview for her film Basic Instinct 2 about "life imitating art" (referring to her character's bisexuality), Stone said, "Why not? Middle age is an open-minded period". In 2011, Stone stated on Piers Morgan Tonight that she was never married to George Howe Englund, Jr., despite contrary internet rumors. It was announced on January 30, 2013, Stone, concerned about their huge age difference, had split with her boyfriend Martin Mica after dating for eight months.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Isabelle Huppert - 1955

                     
One of the most enduring and respected actresses in French cinema, Isabelle Huppert is known for her versatile portrayals of characters ranging from the innocent to the sultry to the comic. Born March 16, 1955, in Paris, Huppert graduated from the Paris Conservatoire d'Art Dramatique and made her first film, Faustine et le Bel Été, when she was 16. Her career accelerated rapidly, and she soon found work with such acclaimed directors as Bertrand Blier, with whom she made Les Valseuses (1974), a film also notable for making a star out of Gérard Depardieu; Otto Preminger, for whom she appeared in Rosebud (1975); and Claude Chabrol, with whom she would make a series of films, starting with 1978's Violette Nozière, for which she won a Best Female Performance award at the 1978 Cannes Film Festival. Also in 1978, she won a British Academy Award for Best Newcomer for her role in La Dentellière (The Lacemaker).Huppert's career in the 1980s commenced fairly inauspiciously, with a part in the legendary flop Heaven's Gate (1981), but it soon picked up with starring roles in Bertrand Tavernier's Coup de Torchon (1981), Jean-Luc Godard's Passion (1982), and Diane Kurys' celebrated Entre Nous (1983). Throughout the 1980s and '90s, Huppert made an impressive number of films in her native country, collaborating with Claude Chabrol on 1988's Une Affaire de Femmes (Story of Women), the widely acclaimed Madame Bovary (1991), and La Cérémonie (1995), for which she won a 1996 Best Actress César. Since the Heaven's Gate fiasco, Huppert's work in American film has been minimal, a worthwhile exception being her role as a nun-turned-nymphomaniac writer of pornographic fiction in Hal Hartley's Amateur (1994).

In her native France, Huppert has become something of an institution, continuing to work prolifically on such films as Benoît Jacquot's L'École de la Chair (1998) and serving as the 24th president of the César Awards in March 1999.Despite the fact that American audiences remained sadly unaware of Huppert's success overseas, her performances in Jacquot's False Servant and the historical drama Saint-Cyr (both 2000) found her meeting challenging roles head on to captivating effect. The sometimes disturbing films she appeared in may not have been the easiest for audiences to digest, but they certainly cemented her belief that the art of acting is a means of "living out one's insanity," and no matter what the subject matter or quality of the actual film, Huppert remained a consistently compelling screen presence. Huppert's success in Chabrol's Merci Pour le Chocolat (2000) came as no surprise to many given her successful track record with the enduring director, and the following year she would once again come under the international spotlight for her remarkable performance as a sexually repressed and self-destructive piano teacher in director Michael Haneke's confrontational drama The Piano Teacher (2001). Her fearless powerhouse performance shocked audiences worldwide and earned Huppert a Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival. The film was soon counterbalanced by director François Ozon's popular international black comedy 8 Women the following year. A campy, freewheeling musical mystery starring some of the biggest female stars in French cinema, the film came as an unexpected but infectious jolt of originality to audiences whose skin had been worn thin by a recent spat of heavy dramas. Huppert's performance as an opinionated hooker who forms an unexpected bond with her illegitimate daughter in 2002's Ghost River benefited the touching drama well, and the following year, she was back with Haneke for the disturbing The Time of the Wolf. As with many of Haneke's films, The Time of the Wolf sharply divided audiences -- some of whom saw the film as celluloid perfection and others who viewed it as unrelentingly downbeat garbage. In 2003, Huppert would appear under the direction of an American director for the first time since 1994's Amateur with a role in Three Kings director David O. Russell's comedy I Heart Huckabees.