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Anna Magnani

Anna Magnani

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Anna Magnani (ˈanna maɲˈɲani; 7 March 1908 – 26 September 1973) was an Italian stage and film actress. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress
Academy Award for Best Actress
Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

, along with four other international awards, for her portrayal of a Sicilian widow in The Rose Tattoo.

Born in Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, she worked her way through Rome's Academy of Dramatic Art by singing at night clubs. During her career, her only child was stricken by polio when he was 18 months old and remained crippled.

She was referred to as "La Lupa," the "perennial toast of Rome" and a "living she-wolf symbol" of the cinema. Time magazine described her personality as "fiery", and drama critic Harold Clurman
Harold Clurman
Harold Edgar Clurman was a visionary American theatre director and drama critic, "one of the most influential in the United States". He was most notable as one of the three founders of the New York City's Group Theatre...

 said her acting was "volcanic". In the realm of Italian cinema, she was "passionate, fearless, and exciting," an actress that film historian Barry Monush calls "the volcanic earth mother of all Italian cinema." Director Roberto Rossellini
Roberto Rossellini
Roberto Rossellini was an Italian film director and screenwriter. Rossellini was one of the directors of the Italian neorealist cinema, contributing films such as Roma città aperta to the movement.-Early life:Born in Rome, Roberto Rossellini lived on the Via Ludovisi, where Benito Mussolini had...

 called her "the greatest acting genius since Eleonora Duse
Eleonora Duse
-Life and career:Duse was born in Vigevano, Lombardy, and began acting as a child. Both her father and her grandfather were actors, and she joined the troupe at age four. Due to poverty, she initially worked continually, traveling from city to city with whichever troupe her family was currently...

". Playwright Tennessee Williams
Tennessee Williams
Thomas Lanier "Tennessee" Williams III was an American writer who worked principally as a playwright in the American theater. He also wrote short stories, novels, poetry, essays, screenplays and a volume of memoirs...

 became an admirer of her acting and wrote The Rose Tattoo
The Rose Tattoo
- External links :*...

specifically for her to star in, a role for which she received her first Oscar in 1955.

After meeting director Goffredo Alessandrini
Goffredo Alessandrini
Goffredo Alessandrini was an Italian script writer and film director. He also acted, edited, and produced some films.-Biography:...

 she received her first screen role in La cieca di Sorrento (The Blind Woman of Sorrento) (1934) and later achieved international fame in Rossellini's Rome, Open City (1945), considered the first significant movie to launch the Italian neorealism
Italian neorealism
Italian neorealism is a style of film characterized by stories set amongst the poor and working class, filmed on location, frequently using nonprofessional actors...

 movement in cinema. As an actress she became recognized for her dynamic and forceful portrayals of "earthy lower-class women" in such films as The Miracle (1948), Bellissima (1951), The Rose Tattoo (1955), The Fugitive Kind (1960), with Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando, Jr. was an American movie star and political activist. "Unchallenged as the most important actor in modern American Cinema" according to the St...

 and directed by Sidney Lumet
Sidney Lumet
Sidney Lumet was an American director, producer and screenwriter with over 50 films to his credit. He was nominated for the Academy Award as Best Director for 12 Angry Men , Dog Day Afternoon , Network and The Verdict...

, and Mamma Roma (1962). As early as 1950, Life magazine had already stated that Magnani was "one of the most impressive actresses since Garbo
Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo , born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson, was a Swedish film actress. Garbo was an international star and icon during Hollywood's silent and classic periods. Many of Garbo's films were sensational hits, and all but three were profitable...

"
.

Early years


There is uncertainty over Magnani's parentage and birthplace. Some sources hold that Magnani was born in Rome to Francesco Magnani and Marina Casadei. However, film director Franco Zeffirelli
Franco Zeffirelli
Franco Zeffirelli KBE is an Italian director and producer of films and television. He is also a director and designer of operas and a former senator for the Italian center-right Forza Italia party....

, who claims to have known her well, states in his autobiography that Magnani was born in Alexandria, Egypt to an Italian Jewish mother and Egyptian father, and that "only later did she become Roman, when her grandmother brought her from Egypt and raised her in one of the Roman slum districts." Her formal education lasted only until age 14, when she enrolled in a French convent school in Rome. There, she learned to speak French and play piano, which she later played expertly. She also developed a passion for acting from watching the nuns stage their Christmas play.

She was a "plain, frail child with a forlornness of spirit", which affected her grandparents who pampered her with food and clothes. While growing up she felt more at ease around "more earthly" companions, often befriending the "toughest kid on the block". This trait carried over into her adult life where she proclaimed, "I hate respectability. Give me the life of the streets, of common people."

At age 17, she went on to study at the Eleanora Duse Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 for two years. To support herself, Magnani sang in nightclubs and cabaret
Cabaret
Cabaret is a form, or place, of entertainment featuring comedy, song, dance, and theatre, distinguished mainly by the performance venue: a restaurant or nightclub with a stage for performances and the audience sitting at tables watching the performance, as introduced by a master of ceremonies or...

s leading to her being dubbed "the Italian Édith Piaf
Édith Piaf
Édith Piaf , born Édith Giovanna Gassion, was a French singer and cultural icon who became widely regarded as France's greatest popular singer. Her singing reflected her life, with her specialty being ballads...

". However, her friend, actor Micky Knox, writes that she "never studied acting formally," and began her early career singing in Italian music halls singing Roman songs. "She was instinctive," he writes. "She had the ability to call up emotions at will, to move an audience, to convince them the life on the stage was as real and natural as life in their own kitchen."

Stage
She was considered an "outstanding theatre actress" in Anna Christie
Anna Christie
Anna Christie is a play in four acts by Eugene O'Neill. It made its Broadway debut at the Vanderbilt Theatre on November 2, 1921. O'Neill received the 1922 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his work.-Plot summary:...

 and The Petrified Forest
The Petrified Forest
The Petrified Forest is a 1936 American film, starring Leslie Howard, Bette Davis, and Humphrey Bogart. A precursor of film noir, it was adapted from Robert E. Sherwood's 1936 stage play of the same name...

, and had a big career in variety shows.

Early film roles
In 1933 she was acting in experimental plays in Rome when she was discovered by Italian filmmaker Goffredo Alessandrini
Goffredo Alessandrini
Goffredo Alessandrini was an Italian script writer and film director. He also acted, edited, and produced some films.-Biography:...

. He was one of the first Italian filmmakers to make use of sound. He then directed her in her first major film role in La Cieca di Sorrento (The Blind Maid of Sorrento) in 1934. They were married the year before (1933). In 1941, Magnani starred in Teresa Venerdì, (Friday Theresa) which the writer and director, Vittorio De Sica
Vittorio de Sica
Vittorio De Sica was an Italian director and actor, a leading figure in the neorealist movement....

, called Magnani's "first true film". In it she plays Loletta Prima, the girlfriend of Di Sica’s character, Pietro Vignali. De Sica had called her laugh, "loud, overwhelming, and tragic".

Acting style


According to film critic Robin Wood
Robin Wood (critic)
Robert Paul "Robin" Wood was a Canada-based film critic and educator. He wrote books on Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawks, Ingmar Bergman, and Arthur Penn and was a member, until 2007, of the editorial collective that publishes the magazine CineACTION!, a film theory collective founded by Wood and...

 Magnani's "persona as a great actress is built, not on transformation, but on emotional authenticity... [she] doesn't portray characters but expresses 'genuine' emotions." Her style is notable by not displaying the more obvious attributes of the female star, with neither her face or physical makeup being considered "beautiful". However, she possesses a "remarkably expressive face," and for American audiences, at least, she represents "what Hollywood had consistently failed to produce: 'reality'". She was the atypical star, the "nonglamorous human being", as her genuine style of acting became a "rejection of glamour".

Her most distinguished work in Hollywood is in Wild is the Wind, according to Wood. Directed by George Cukor
George Cukor
George Dewey Cukor was an American film director. He mainly concentrated on comedies and literary adaptations. His career flourished at RKO and later MGM, where he directed What Price Hollywood? , A Bill of Divorcement , Dinner at Eight , Little Women , David Copperfield , Romeo and Juliet and...

, "the American cinema's greatest director of actresses," he was able to draw out the "individual essence" of Magnani's "sensitive and inward performance." Her other well-known Hollywood films were The Rose Tattoo, which she won the best actress Oscar for in 1955, and The Fugitive Kind
The Fugitive Kind
The Fugitive Kind is a 1959 American drama film directed by Sidney Lumet. The screenplay by Meade Roberts and Tennessee Williams was based on the latter's 1957 play Orpheus Descending, itself a revision of his unproduced 1939 work Battle of Angels....

.

Rome, Open City (1945)


Her film career had spread over almost 20 years before she gained international renown as Pina in Roberto Rossellini
Roberto Rossellini
Roberto Rossellini was an Italian film director and screenwriter. Rossellini was one of the directors of the Italian neorealist cinema, contributing films such as Roma città aperta to the movement.-Early life:Born in Rome, Roberto Rossellini lived on the Via Ludovisi, where Benito Mussolini had...

's neorealist milestone Roma, città aperta (Rome, Open City
Rome, open city
Rome, Open City is a 1945 Italian war drama film, directed by Roberto Rossellini. The picture features Aldo Fabrizi, Anna Magnani and Marcello Pagliero, and is set in Rome during the Nazi occupation in 1944...

, 1945). Her harrowing death scene remains one of cinema's most devastating moments. The film was about Italy's final days under German occupation during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 where Magnani gave a "brilliant performance" as a woman who dies fighting to protect her husband, an underground fighter against the Nazis.

In Italy (and gradually elsewhere) she soon became established as a star, although she lacked the conventional beauty and glamour often associated with the term. Slightly plump and rather short in stature with a face framed by unkempt raven hair and eyes encircled by deep, dark shadows, she smouldered with seething earthiness and volcanic temperament. Rossellini, whom she called "this forceful, secure courageous man", was her lover at the time, and she collaborated with him on other films.

The Miracle (1948)



Other collaborations with Rossellini include L'Amore
L'Amore (film)
L'Amore is an anthology film directed by Roberto Rossellini starring Anna Magnani and Federico Fellini. The two segments are "Il Miracolo" and "Una Voce Umana", the latter based on the play The Human Voice by Jean Cocteau...

, a two part film from 1948 which includes "The Miracle" and "The Human Voice" ("Il miracolo", and "Una voce umana"). In the former, Magnani, playing a peasant outcast who believes the baby she's carrying is Christ, plumbs both the sorrow and the righteousness of being alone in the world. The latter film, based on Jean Cocteau
Jean Cocteau
Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau was a French poet, novelist, dramatist, designer, playwright, artist and filmmaker. His circle of associates, friends and lovers included Kenneth Anger, Pablo Picasso, Jean Hugo, Jean Marais, Henri Bernstein, Marlene Dietrich, Coco Chanel, Erik Satie, María...

's play about a woman desperately trying to salvage a relationship over the telephone, is remarkable for the ways in which Magnani's powerful moments of silence segue into cries of despair.

The Golden Coach (1953)


In Luchino Visconti
Luchino Visconti
Luchino Visconti di Modrone, Count of Lonate Pozzolo was an Italian theatre, opera and cinema director, as well as a screenwriter. He is best known for his films The Leopard and Death in Venice .-Life:...

's Bellissima (1951) she plays Maddalena, a blustery, obstinate stage mother who drags her daughter to Cinecittà
Cinecittà
Cinecittà is a large film studio in Rome that is considered the hub of Italian cinema.-History:The studios were founded in 1937 by Benito Mussolini and his head of cinema Luigi Freddi for propaganda purposes, under the slogan "Il cinema è l'arma più forte"...

 for the 'Prettiest Girl in Rome' contest, with dreams that her plain daughter will be a star. Her emotions in the film went from those of rage and humiliation to maternal love. The film was made during the "grim period" of Italy's post-World War II recovery. She later starred as Camille (stage name: Columbine), a woman torn between three men, a soldier, a bullfighter, and a viceroy, in Jean Renoir
Jean Renoir
Jean Renoir was a French film director, screenwriter, actor, producer and author. As a film director and actor, he made more than forty films from the silent era to the end of the 1960s...

's film Le Carrosse d'or
The Golden Coach
The Golden Coach is a 1952 film directed by Jean Renoir that tells the story of a commedia dell'arte troupe in 18th century Peru. The screenplay was written by Renoir, Jack Kirkland, Renzo Avanzo and Giulio Macchi and is based on the play, Le Carrosse du Saint-Sacrement by Prosper Mérimée...

(also known as The Golden Coach, 1953). Renoir called her "the greatest actress I have ever worked with".

The Rose Tattoo (1955)


She played the widowed mother of a teenage daughter in Daniel Mann
Daniel Mann
Daniel Mann, also known as Daniel Chugerman , was an American film and television director.Daniel Mann was born in Brooklyn, New York. He was a stage actor since childhood, and attended Erasmus Hall High School, New York's Professional Children's School and the Neighborhood Playhouse...

's 1955 film,
The Rose Tattoo, based on the play by Tennessee Williams
Tennessee Williams
Thomas Lanier "Tennessee" Williams III was an American writer who worked principally as a playwright in the American theater. He also wrote short stories, novels, poetry, essays, screenplays and a volume of memoirs...

. It co-starred Burt Lancaster
Burt Lancaster
Burton Stephen "Burt" Lancaster was an American film actor noted for his athletic physique and distinctive smile...

, and was Magnani's first English speaking role in a mainstream Hollywood movie, winning her the Academy Award for Best Actress. Lancaster, who played the role of a "lusty truck driver", said that "if she had not found acting as an outlet for her enormous vitality, she would have become 'a great criminal'".

Film historian John DiLeo has written that Magnani's acting in the film "displays why she is inarguably one of the half dozen greatest screen actresses of all time", and added:
"Whenever Magnani laughs or cries (which is often), it's as if you've never seen anyone laugh or cry before: has laughter ever been so burstingly joyful or tears so shatteringly sad?


Tennessee Williams wrote the screenplay and based the character of Serafina on Magnani, as Williams was a great admirer of her acting abilities, and he even stipulated that the movie "must star what Time described as 'the most explosive emotional actress of her generation, Anna Magnani." In his Memoirs, Williams described why he insisted on Magnani playing this role:
"Anna Magnani was magnificent as Serafina in the movie version of Tattoo.... She was as unconventional a woman as I have known in or out of my professional world, and if you understand me at all, you must know that in this statement I am making my personal estimate of her honesty, which I feel was complete. She never exhibited any lack of self-assurance, any timidity in her relations with that society outside of whose conventions she quite publicly existed.... [s]he looked absolutely straight into the eyes of whomever she confronted and during that golden time in which we were dear friends, I never heard a false word from her mouth."


It was originally staged on Broadway with Maureen Stapleton
Maureen Stapleton
Maureen Stapleton was an American actress in film, theater and television.-Early life:Stapleton was born Lois Maureen Stapleton in Troy, New York, the daughter of Irene and John P. Stapleton, and grew up in a strict Irish American Catholic family...

 as Magnani's English was too limited at the time for her to star. Magnani won other Best Actress awards for her role, including the BAFTA Film Award, Golden Globes Award, National Board of Review, USA, and the New York Film Critics Circle Awards
New York Film Critics Circle Awards
New York Film Critics' Circle Awards are given annually to honor excellence in cinema worldwide by an organization of film reviewers from New York City-based publications. It is considered one of the most important precursors to the Academy Awards....

.

The Fugitive Kind (1959)


Magnani worked with Tennessee Williams
Tennessee Williams
Thomas Lanier "Tennessee" Williams III was an American writer who worked principally as a playwright in the American theater. He also wrote short stories, novels, poetry, essays, screenplays and a volume of memoirs...

 again in his 1959 film,
The Fugitive Kind
The Fugitive Kind
The Fugitive Kind is a 1959 American drama film directed by Sidney Lumet. The screenplay by Meade Roberts and Tennessee Williams was based on the latter's 1957 play Orpheus Descending, itself a revision of his unproduced 1939 work Battle of Angels....

(originally titled, Orpheus Descending) directed by Sidney Lumet
Sidney Lumet
Sidney Lumet was an American director, producer and screenwriter with over 50 films to his credit. He was nominated for the Academy Award as Best Director for 12 Angry Men , Dog Day Afternoon , Network and The Verdict...

, where she played Lady Torrance and starred with Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando, Jr. was an American movie star and political activist. "Unchallenged as the most important actor in modern American Cinema" according to the St...

. The original screenplay,
Orpheus Descending, was another play inspired by Magnani, although she similarly didn't act in the Broadway play. In the film, she played a woman "hardened by life's cruelties and a grief that will not fade." It also co-starred a young Joanne Woodward
Joanne Woodward
Joanne Gignilliat Trimmier Woodward is an American actress, television and theatrical producer, and widow of Paul Newman...

 in one of her early roles. In an article he wrote for
Life magazine, Williams discussed why he chose her for the part:
"Anna and I had both cherished the dream that her appearance in the part I created for her in The Fugitive Kind would be her greatest triumph to date... [S]he is simply a rare being who seems to have about her a little lightning-shot cloud all her own.... In a crowded room, she can sit perfectly motionless and silent, and still you feel the atmospheric tension of her presence, its quiver and hum in the air like a live wire exposed, and a mood of Anna's is like the presence of royalty."

In The Wild, Wild Women (1958) paired Magnani, as an unrepentant streetwalker, with Giulietta Masina
Giulietta Masina
Giulietta Masina was an Italian film and stage actress. She starred in La Strada and Nights of Cabiria, both winners of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, in 1956 and 1957, respectively...

 in a women-in-prison film. In Pier Paolo Pasolini
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Pier Paolo Pasolini was an Italian film director, poet, writer, and intellectual. Pasolini distinguished himself as a poet, journalist, philosopher, linguist, novelist, playwright, filmmaker, newspaper and magazine columnist, actor, painter and political figure...

's
Mamma Roma
Mamma Roma
Mamma Roma is a 1962 film directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini.- Story :An ex-prostitute, Mamma Roma , tries to start a new life selling vegetables with her 16-year-old son Ettore...

 (1962), Magnani is both the mother and the whore, playing an irrepressible prostitute determined to give her teenage son a respectable middle-class life. Mamma Roma, while one of Magnani's critically acclaimed films, was not released in the United States until 1995, deemed too controversial thirty years earlier. By now she was frustrated at being typecast in parts as poor women. Magnani in 1963 commented, "I’m bored stiff with these everlasting parts as a hysterical, loud, working-class women".

The Secret of Santa Vittoria (1969)


In one of her last film roles,
The Secret of Santa Vittoria
The Secret of Santa Vittoria
The Secret of Santa Vittoria is a 1969 film made by Stanley Kramer Productions and distributed by United Artists. It was produced and directed by Stanley Kramer and co-produced by George Glass from a screenplay by Ben Maddow and William Rose. It was based on the novel by Robert Crichton...

(1969), she co-starred with Anthony Quinn
Anthony Quinn
Antonio Rodolfo Quinn-Oaxaca , more commonly known as Anthony Quinn, was a Mexican American actor, as well as a painter and writer...

, and they played husband and wife in what
Life magazine called "perhaps the most memorable fight since Jimmy Cagney smashed Mae Clarke
Mae Clarke
Mae Clarke was an American actress most noted for playing Frankenstein's bride, chased by Boris Karloff in Frankenstein, and having a grapefruit smashed into her face by James Cagney in The Public Enemy, both released in 1931.-Early life and career:Clarke was born Violet Mary Klotz in...

 in the face with a half a grapefruit." Magnani and Quinn did feud in private outside view of the cameras, however, and their animosity spilled over into their scenes:
"By the time the movie makers were ready to shoot the fight scene, the stars were ready too. Magnani not only went for Quinn with the pasta and with a rolling pin, but with her foot; she kicked so hard she broke a bone in her right foot. She also bit him in the neck. 'That's not in the script', Quinn protested. Magnani snarled, 'I'm supposed to win this fight, remember?"


She later played herself (within a dramatic context) in Federico Fellini
Federico Fellini
Federico Fellini, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI , was an Italian film director and scriptwriter. Known for a distinct style that blends fantasy and baroque images, he is considered one of the most influential and widely revered filmmakers of the 20th century...

's Roma
Roma (1972 film)
Roma, also known as Fellini's Roma, is a 1972 semi-autobiographical, poetic film depicting director Federico Fellini's move from his native Rimini to Rome as a youth. It is formed by a series of loosely connected episodes. The plot is minimal, and the only character to develop significantly is...

 (1972). Towards the end of her career, Magnani was quoted as having said, "The day has gone when I deluded myself that making movies was art. Movies today are made up of…intellectuals who always make out that they’re teaching something".

Personal life



She married her first film director, Goffredo Alessandrini
Goffredo Alessandrini
Goffredo Alessandrini was an Italian script writer and film director. He also acted, edited, and produced some films.-Biography:...

, in 1935, two years after he discovered her on stage. After they married, she retired from full-time acting to "devote herself exclusively to her husband", although she continued to play smaller film parts. They separated in 1942.

Magnani had a love affair with the actor Massimo Serato
Massimo Serato
Massimo Serato, born Giuseppe Segato, was an Italian film actor with a career spanning over 40 years.Serato was born in Oderzo, Veneto, Italy and started appearing in films in 1938. He played leading roles in several historical dramas and sword and sandal epics, mainly Italian, as well as roles in...

, by whom she had her only child, a son named Luca. Magnani's life was struck by tragedy when Luca, who was born after her separation from Alessandrini, came down with crippling polio at only 18 months of age. He never regained use of his legs. As a result, she spent most of her early earnings for specialists and hospitals. After once seeing a legless veteran drag himself along the sidewalk, she said, "I realize now that it's worse when they grow up", and resolved to earn enough to "shield him forever from want".
In 1945 she fell in love with director Roberto Rossellini
Roberto Rossellini
Roberto Rossellini was an Italian film director and screenwriter. Rossellini was one of the directors of the Italian neorealist cinema, contributing films such as Roma città aperta to the movement.-Early life:Born in Rome, Roberto Rossellini lived on the Via Ludovisi, where Benito Mussolini had...

 while working on Roma, Cittá Aperta (AKA Rome, Open City
Rome, open city
Rome, Open City is a 1945 Italian war drama film, directed by Roberto Rossellini. The picture features Aldo Fabrizi, Anna Magnani and Marcello Pagliero, and is set in Rome during the Nazi occupation in 1944...

 (1945). "I thought at last I had found the ideal man... [H]e had lost a son of his own and I felt we understood each other. Above all, we had the same artistic conceptions." Rossellini had become violent, volatile and possessive, and they argued constantly about films or out of jealousy. "In fits of rage they threw crockery at each other." As artists, however, they complemented each other well while working on neorealist films. Eventually he promised to direct her in a film he was preparing which he told her would be "the crowning vehicle of her career". However, when the screenplay was completed, he instead gave the role for Stromboli
Stromboli (film)
Stromboli is a 1950 Italian-American film directed by Roberto Rossellini and featuring Ingrid Bergman...

to a Swedish star of U.S. films, Ingrid Bergman
Ingrid Bergman
Ingrid Bergman was a Swedish actress who starred in a variety of European and American films. She won three Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards, and the Tony Award for Best Actress. She is ranked as the fourth greatest female star of American cinema of all time by the American Film Institute...

, which resulted in Magnani's permanent breakup with Rossellini.

As a result, Magnani took on the starring role of
Volcano, which was said to have been deliberately produced to invite comparison: both films were shot in similar locales of Aeolian Islands
Aeolian Islands
The Aeolian Islands or Lipari Islands are a volcanic archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Sicily, named after the demigod of the winds Aeolus. The locals residing on the islands are known as Eolians . The Aeolian Islands are a popular tourist destination in the summer, and attract up to...

 only 12 miles apart; both actresses played independent-minded roles in a neorealist fashion; and both films were shot simultaneously.
Life magazine wrote, "... in an atmosphere crackling with rivalry... Reporters were accredited, like war correspondents, to one or the other of the embattled camps.... Partisanship infected the Via Veneto
Via Veneto
Via Veneto is one of the most famous streets in Rome, Italy.The official name is via Vittorio Veneto, after the Battle of Vittorio Veneto....

 (boulevard in Rome), where Magnaniacs and Bergmaniacs clashed frequently." However, Magnani still considered Rossellini the "greatest director she ever acted for".

Magnani was superstitious and consulted astrologers, as well as believing in numerology. She also claimed to be clairvoyant. Magnani had a stranger quirk still in her love of defleaing street kittens with her thumbnails. She ate and drank very little and could subsist for long periods on nothing more than black coffee and cigarettes. However, these habits often affected her sleep: "My nights are appalling," she said. "I wake up in a state of nerves and it takes me hours to get back in touch with reality." During Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

's rule, Magnani was known to make rude jokes about the Italian Fascist Party
National Fascist Party
The National Fascist Party was an Italian political party, created by Benito Mussolini as the political expression of fascism...

.

Death


She died at the age of 65 in Rome from pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer refers to a malignant neoplasm of the pancreas. The most common type of pancreatic cancer, accounting for 95% of these tumors is adenocarcinoma, which arises within the exocrine component of the pancreas. A minority arises from the islet cells and is classified as a...

. A huge crowd gathered for her funeral in a final salute that Romans usually reserve for Popes, even erupting into applause when her body was seen being carried out. She was provisionally laid to rest in the family mausoleum
Mausoleum
A mausoleum is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or persons. A monument without the interment is a cenotaph. A mausoleum may be considered a type of tomb or the tomb may be considered to be within the...

 of Roberto Rossellini
Roberto Rossellini
Roberto Rossellini was an Italian film director and screenwriter. Rossellini was one of the directors of the Italian neorealist cinema, contributing films such as Roma città aperta to the movement.-Early life:Born in Rome, Roberto Rossellini lived on the Via Ludovisi, where Benito Mussolini had...

, her favorite director and longtime friend. She was interred in the Cimitero Comunale, San Felice Circeo
San Felice Circeo
San Felice Circeo is a town and comune in the province of Latina, in the Lazio region of central Italy.It is included in that Circeo National Park...

, Lazio, Italy.

Filmography and awards

Year Title Role Notes
1928 Scampolo
1934 Anna, la sua amante
1934 Tempo massimo Emilia
1935 Quei due
1936 Cavalleria Fanny
1936 Trenta secondi d'amore
1938 Marietta, la cameriera
1940 Ivana, l'amante di Max
1941 Teresa Venerdì
Teresa Venerdì
Teresa Venerdì is a 1941 Italian comedy film directed by Vittorio De Sica.-Plot summary:The film is a comedy of errors in which the sweetly incompetent Dr. Pietro Vignali has been run deep into debt by his girlfriend, Loletta Prima...

Maddalena Tentini/Loretta Prima
1941 Wanda Reni
1942 Zizì
1942 Finalmente soli Ninetta alias "Lulù"
1943 Mary Dunchetti, la canzonettista
1943 Gli Assi della risata segment "Il mio pallone"
1943 Campo de' fiori Elide
1943 Virginia
1943 La mondana
1944 Maria Comasco, l'attrice
1945 Abbasso la miseria! Nannina Straselli
1945 Rome, Open City
Rome, open city
Rome, Open City is a 1945 Italian war drama film, directed by Roberto Rossellini. The picture features Aldo Fabrizi, Anna Magnani and Marcello Pagliero, and is set in Rome during the Nazi occupation in 1944...

Pina
1945 Quartetto pazzo Elena
1946 Abbasso la ricchezza! Gioconda Perfetti
1946 Lidia
1946 Avanti a lui tremava tutta Roma Ada
1946 Liana, la prostituta
1946 Adele
1947 Angelina Bianchi
1948 Assunta Spina
Assunta Spina (1948 film)
Assunta Spina is a 1948 drama film directed by Mario Mattoli and starring Anna Magnani.-Cast:* Anna Magnani - Assunta Spina* Antonio Centa - Federico Funelli* Maria Donini - Ernestina* Aldo Bufi Landi - Marcello Flaiano...

Assunta Spina
1948 */Nanni**
1948 Molti sogni per le strade Linda
1950 Volcano Maddalena Natoli
1951 Bellissima
Bellissima (film)
Bellissima is an Italian neorealism film by Italian director Luchino Visconti. The film is about and was shot at Cinecittà. Alessandro Blasetti, the film director, appears as himself....

Maddalena Cecconi Nastro d'Argento Best Actress
Nastro d'Argento Best Actress
A list of the Nastro d'Argento awards for Best Actress.*1946 - Clara Calamai - L'adultera*1947 - Alida Valli - Eugenia Grandet*1948 - Anna Magnani - L'onorevole Angelina*1949 - Anna Magnani - L'amore*1950 -...

1952 Camicie rosse Anita Garibaldi
1953 Camilla
1955 Serafina Delle Rose
1955 Carosello del varietà
1957 Wild Is the Wind
Wild Is the Wind
Wild Is the Wind is a 1957 film which tells the story of a rancher who marries his Italian sister-in-law after the passing of his wife, but she falls in love with his young ranch-hand. It stars Anna Magnani, Anthony Quinn and Anthony Franciosa....

Gioia
1957 Suor Letizia Sister Letizia
1957 Nella città l'inferno
Nella città l'inferno
Nella città l'inferno is a 1959 Italian film directed by Renato Castellani.-Plot:Egle is an inmate of a female jail. Lina is a nervous newcomer who is much more temperate, with some naiveness even...

Egle
1959 Lady Torrance
1960 Risate di gioia
Risate di gioia
Risate di gioia is a 1960 Italian comedy film directed by Mario Monicelli, starring Anna Magnani and Totò.-Cast:* Anna Magnani as Gioia Fabbricotti* Totò as Umberto 'Infortunio' Pennazzuto* Ben Gazzara as Lello* Fred Clark as The American...

Gioia Fabbricott
1962 Mamma Roma
Mamma Roma
Mamma Roma is a 1962 film directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini.- Story :An ex-prostitute, Mamma Roma , tries to start a new life selling vegetables with her 16-year-old son Ettore...

Mamma Roma
1969 Rosa Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1971 1870
1870 (film)
1870 is a 1971 Italian drama film directed by Alfredo Giannetti.-Cast:* Anna Magnani* Marcello Mastroianni* Osvaldo Ruggeri* Mario Carotenuto* Franco Balducci* Gastone Bartolucci* Silla Bettini* Duilio Cruciani...

Tersa Parenti Globo d'oro Best Actress
1972 Roma
Roma (1972 film)
Roma, also known as Fellini's Roma, is a 1972 semi-autobiographical, poetic film depicting director Federico Fellini's move from his native Rimini to Rome as a youth. It is formed by a series of loosely connected episodes. The plot is minimal, and the only character to develop significantly is...

Herself

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