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Vitti, Monica (1931—)

Italian actress and director . Born Maria Luisa Ceciarelli on November 3, 1931, in Rome, Italy; trained at National Academy of Dramatic Art, graduated 1953.

Selected filmography:

Ridere, Ridere, Ridere (Laugh, Laugh, Laugh, 1955); L'avventura (The Adventure, 1960); La Notte (The Night, 1961); L'eclisse (The Eclipse, 1962); Chateau en Suede (Nutty, Naughty Chateau, 1963); Il deserto rosso (Red Desert, 1964); Modesty Blaise (1966); La ragazza con la pistola (The Girl with the Pistol, 1969); Dramma dela gelosia (The Pizza Triangle, 1970); La pacifista (The Pacifist, 1971); A mezzanotte va la ronda del piacere (Guilty Pleasures, 1975); An Almost Perfect Affair (1979); (and author) The Flirt (1983); (and author) Francesca e mia (1986); (and director and co-author) Scandalo Segreto (Secret Scandal, 1989); Wind over the City (1996).

Monica Vitti is the stage name of Maria Luisa Ceciarelli, an actress born in Rome in 1931. Vitti appeared in a number of amateur plays from the age of 15 and went on to study at the National Academy of Dramatic Art, graduating in 1953. After her stage debut that same year in Machiavelli's La mandragora, Vitti made her name in both classical roles and in comedy and revue. In 1955, after she began appearing on television, she was awarded the Noce d'oro as the most promising actress in Rome. Vitti joined director Michelangelo Antonioni's theater group in the mid-1950s and appeared as Sally Bowles in his 1957 version of I am a Camera.

Vitti's reputation results chiefly from the numerous films she made in a movie career that began in 1955 with Edoarto Anton's Ridere, Ridere, Ridere (Laugh, Laugh, Laugh). Described as the perfect Antonioni heroine because of her ability to be intense, cool, and expressive, she is particularly known for her leading roles in his films L'avventura (1960), La Notte (The Night, 1961, with Marcello Mastroianni and Jeanne Moreau ), L'eclisse (The Eclipse, 1962, with Alain Delon), and Il deserto rosso (Red Desert, 1964). She worked mainly in Italy, where she became extremely famous, known for both her blonde beauty and for her comedy performances. She also appeared in Roger Vadim's Chateau en Suede (Nutty, Naughty Chateau) in 1963, Joseph Losey's Modesty Blaise with Dirk Bogarde in 1966, and Miklós Janscó's La pacifista in 1971. Vitti continued appearing in films throughout the 1970s and 1980s, writing the scripts for Flirt in 1983 and Francesca e mia in 1986; she also directed and co-wrote her own film, Scandalo Segreto (Secret Scandal), in 1989.

Paula Morris , D.Phil. Brooklyn, New York

Vitti, Monica (1931—)

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