Underrated Female #6: Claudia Cardinale

10/25/2008

The brilliantly talented Tunisian Italian Claudia Cardinale has to be one of the most physically perfect human beings ever created. She was born Claude Joséphine Rose Cardin in 1938 and had her break into films after winning a Tunisian beauty contest in 1957. Despite her very voluptuously feminine appearance, she had a very deep voice and had her voice dubbed in her early films. Cardinale made her film debut in Goha (1958) and later appeared in over seventy Italian and French films including a slew of Fellini films, most notable of which might be silver screen phenomenon 8 1/2.

Cardinale never made a real attempt to break into the American market since she was not interested in leaving Europe for extended periods of time. Her Hollywood films include Circus World (1964), The Pink Panther (1964) Blindfold (1965) and The Hell With Heroes (1968).

Bob Dylan obviously found her as perfect a creature as I do – her photograph appeared on his album Blonde On Blonde in 1966, but since the photo was used without Cardinale’s permission, it was removed from the cover art in later pressings. Keep Reading!!!

Cardinale is an outspoken liberal with strong political convictions. She is involved in pro-women and pro-gay issues and has frequently stated her pride in her Arab roots – as evidenced by her appearance as herself in the Tunisian film Un été à La Goulette (A Summer in La Goulette). Cardinale has been UNESCO Good Will Ambassador for the Defense of Women’s Rights since 1999. In 2006 (World Water Year) she declared her devout support for Powerstock, a sustainable electronic music festival that proposes a “water-consciousness” for youth culture and seeks to make sustainability an integral part of mainstream culture. Brains, Body, and Balls. I love her.

Below, more Cardinale candy and a clip of Claudia in The Red Tent (1969)

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