Underrated Female #3: Anna Magnani

10/17/2008

Everything about this Italian fireball absolutely intoxicates me.

Italy’s best mid-century actress was sexy and sultry, but also a force to be reckoned with. As imposing physically as she was talent-wise, Magnani did not fit the traditional Hepburn starlet profile of the day. She was brought up in the slums of Rome, was large-framed, loud, overwhelming, and the farthest from demure. Having spent most of her life in poverty, she began singing at cabarets and nightclubs and was eventually dubbed the Edith Piaf of Italy.

Magnani starred in her first film, La Nemica e Scampolo, at the age of 19. At the time of her death in 1973, she had made over 43 films, had won an Oscar for her performance in The Rose Tattoo and was nominated for two BAFTA awards and a Golden Globe.

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