Family & Companions
Jaunty, wide-eyed Italian screen star, most typically cast as naive, hopeful waifs, best known for her roles in films by husband Federico Fellini. Masina's almost Chaplinesque ability to combine pathos and comedy was put to brilliant use as the strongman's devoted if simpleminded assistant in "La Strada" (1954), and as the optimistic prostitute in "Nights of Cabiria" (1957). She was also superb as the bored Roman housewife whose escape to the world of fantasy is the subject of Fellini's "Juliet of the Spirits" (1965). Masina's last collaboration with Fellini came with the wistful "Ginger and Fred" (1986), whose initials also suggest "Giulietta and Federico," about a fictional dance team, who gained fame in Italy imitating Rogers and Astaire, reunited after many years.
Masina's sporadic appearances in films by other directors have sometimes capitalized successfully on her fey charm, though the films themselves have been modest. Probably the best known of these was the all-star comedy misfire, "The Madwoman of Chaillot" (1969), a rare English-language feature for Masina, centering on the eccentrics antics of Katharine Hepburn in the title role.
Cast (Feature Film)
First collaboration with Federico Fellini, "Luci del Varieta/Variety Lights"
Rare English-language feature, "The Madwoman of Chaillot"
Last collaboration with Fellini, "Ginger and Fred"