Anna Magnani


Actor
Anna Magnani

About

Birth Place
Italy
Born
March 07, 1908
Died
September 26, 1973
Cause of Death
Pancreatic Cancer

Biography

A volatile, commanding star of post-war Italian cinema, Anna Magnani was once described by director William Dieterle as "the last of the great shameless emotionalists." She gained international attention for her impassioned performance in Roberto Rossellini's "Open City" (1945). Though her early career had encompassed repertory work, musical comedy and vaudeville, Magnani subsequently te...

Family & Companions

Goffredo Alessandrini
Husband
Director. Married in 1935; marriage annulled in 1950.
Massimo Serrato
Companion
Actor. Father of Magnani's son Luca.
Walter Chiari
Companion
Actor.
Roberto Rossellini
Companion
Director. Relationship ended c. 1949 when Rossellini became involved with Ingrid Bergman.

Biography

A volatile, commanding star of post-war Italian cinema, Anna Magnani was once described by director William Dieterle as "the last of the great shameless emotionalists." She gained international attention for her impassioned performance in Roberto Rossellini's "Open City" (1945). Though her early career had encompassed repertory work, musical comedy and vaudeville, Magnani subsequently tended to appear in tempestuous, earthy and maternal roles, such as the overbearing stage mother in Visconti's "Bellismima" (1951) and the passionate widow in her Oscar-winning Hollywood turn in "The Rose Tattoo" (1955), written by Tennessee Williams with her in mind.

Wild-eyed, with a dumpy, matronly figure, and a disheveled appearance, Magnani nonetheless became a symbol of seething, earthy, mature sexuality in the postwar years and throughout the 1950s. She was outstanding as the commedia dell'arte actress in Jean Renoir's "The Golden Coach" (1952) and her performance as a deranged peasant who believes herself impregnated by St. Joseph in Rossellini's "L'Amore" (1948) was condemned by American censors as blasphemous. Magnani's last really important performance in film came with her galvanizing work in the title role of Pier Paolo Pasolini's powerful "Mamma Roma" (1962), though she was quite pleasingly robust and lusty in the enjoyable comedy "The Secret of Santa Vittoria" (1969). Her last screen role was a cameo in Fellini's "Roma" (1972).

Life Events

1927

Toured Argentina

1927

Film debut in bit part in silent film, "Scampolo"

1934

Film acting debut in "La Cieca di Sorrento/The Blind Women of Sorrento"

1935

Came to attention of film director Goffredo Alessandrini who cast her in a small part in "Cavalleria" (1936)

1936

After marriage to Alessandrini, retired from stage and screen (except for "La principessa Tarakanova" 1938) because he felt her unsuitable as a screen actress; returned to stage in melodramatic roles

1941

Appeared in first important film, "Teresa Venerdi/Friday Theresa" (directed by Vittorio de Sica)

1950

"Il Miracolo/The Miracle" segment of the 1947 film "L'Amore/Love" was banned by the Commissioner of Licenses as "blasphemous" when it opened in New York in December

1955

Made first Hollywood film, "The Rose Tattoo"

1965

Returned to Italian stage in "La Lupa/She-Wolf" under the direction of Franco Zeffirelli

1966

Appeared on stage as Medea in Jean Anouilh's play, directed by Gian Carlo Menotti

1969

Final film performance in "The Secret of Santa Vittoria"

1972

Final film appearance in a cameo in "Fellini's Roma"

Videos

Movie Clip

Fugitive Kind, The (1960) - You Afraid I'll Snitch? Joanne Woodward as wayward heiress Carol Cutrere blows into a tiny Mississippi downtown (in a new-ish Jaguar XK), having recognized Marlon Brando as drifter “Snakeskin”, Maureen Stapleton as his new friend Vee, helping him land a job in the general store, Emory Richardson as the odd “Uncle Blessing,”in The Fugitive Kind, 1960, from Tennessee Williams’ play, directed by Sidney Lumet.
Fugitive Kind, The (1960) - You're Also Known As Snakeskin? Marlon Brando is largely alone, in the opening before the credits, Sidney Lumet directing, the screenplay by Tennessee Williams (from his poorly reviewed play Orpheus Descending) with Meade Roberts, from The Fugitive Kind, 1960, also starring Anna Magnani, Geraldine Page and Joanne Woodward.
Fugitive Kind, The (1960) - She Made A Mistake About Me After an evening with unglued local heiress Carol, Marlon Brando as drifter-musician “Snakeskin” Xavier introduces himself to Anna Magnani (who got top billing in the Italian release) as “Lady” Torrance, wife of the ailing owner of the general store, looking for work, at least, in The Fugitive Kind, 1960, directed by Sidney Lumet from a Tennessee Williams play.
Mamma Roma (1962) - I've Freed Myself From The Noose! A newly-retired hooker (Anna Magnani, the title character) steals the show at the wedding of her pimp (Franco Citti. as "Carmine") in the opening scene of Pier Paolo Pasolini's Mamma Roma, 1964.
Mamma Roma (1962) - Not Like Those Hicks Title character Anna Magnani, a just-retired prostitute, brings her son Ettore (Ettore Garofolo) home from the countryside to what has been her place of business in Pier Paolo Pasolini's Mamma Roma, 1964.
Open City (1946) - Well Done, Comrades! Roman resistance leader Manfredi (Marcello Pagliero), joined by Francesco (Francesco Grandfacquet) and his girlfriend Pina (Anna Magnani), when her son (Vito Annicchiraico) and his pals stage a raid, in Roberto Rossellini's Open City, 1946.
Open City (1946) - Wait For Your Pastries In Heaven Citizens of occupied Rome raiding the bakery, the first scene for Anna Magnani (as "Pina"), who then meets resistance leader Manfredi (Marcello Pagliero), early in Roberto Rosssellini's Open City, 1946.
Open City (1946) - You Have Pretty Eyes Spoiler, but the signature scene from director Roberto Rossellini, Pina (Anna Magnani) resists when the Germans arrest boyfriend Francesco (Francesco Grandfacquet), later rescued by Roman partisans, from Open City, 1946.
L'Amore (1948) - The Human Voice Anna Magnani is the only performer in the opening scene, and will be throughout this first segment of the film, titled, "Una Voce Umana" or "The Human Voice," from writer, producer and director Roberto Rossellini's L'Amore, a.k.a. "Ways Of Love," 1948.
L'Amore (1948) - The Art Of Anna Magnani Director and producer Roberto Rossellini begins with unalloyed, presumably sincere praise for his star, Anna Magnani, a shepherd who meets Federico Fellini, the young screenwriter, in his only appearance as an actor, in "The Miracle," the second segment of Rossellini's L'Amore a.k.a. "Ways Of Love," 1948.
Mamma Roma - Opening Credits Opening credits with Vivaldi music for Pier Paolo Pasolini's second film, Mamma Roma, 1964, starring Anna Magnani.

Trailer

Promo

Family

Francesco Magnani
Father
Egyptian.
Marina Casadei
Mother
Italian.
Luca Alessandrini
Son
Born in 1942; father, Massimo Serrato; later stricken with polio.

Companions

Goffredo Alessandrini
Husband
Director. Married in 1935; marriage annulled in 1950.
Massimo Serrato
Companion
Actor. Father of Magnani's son Luca.
Walter Chiari
Companion
Actor.
Roberto Rossellini
Companion
Director. Relationship ended c. 1949 when Rossellini became involved with Ingrid Bergman.

Bibliography