Lorella De Luca
Lorella De Luca (September 17, 1940 – January 9, 2014) was an Italian film, television, and voice actress. One of the most recognized ingenues of Italian cinemaduring the mid-to-late 1950s, she is best known for having played naive young girls in dramas and comedies.
She was born in Florence, Italy and, following her "discovery" at age 14, made her acting debut in the Federico Fellini film Il bidone (1955). De Luca's breakout role, however, came a year later following her performance in Dino Risi's comedy Poor, But Beautiful (1956) and continued on in the genre, with appearances in Mario Monicelli films A Tailor's Maid (1957) and Doctor and the Healer (1957), as well as in Duccio Tessari's Spaghetti Westerns A Pistol for Ringo (1965) and its sequel The Return of Ringo (1965) with Giuliano Gemma.
Lorella De Luca was born in Florence, Italy on September 17, 1940. "Discovered" at the age of fourteen by a director who followed De Luca home, and convinced her father that she should be in films, she made her feature film debut in Federico Fellini's Il bidone (1955) as Patrizia, the young daughter of middle-aged con man Augusto (Broderick Crawford). She subsequently attended the prestigious "Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia" (Experimental Cinematography Center) in Rome, and the following year appeared in what would be her breakout role in Dino Risi's Poor, But Beautiful (1956) alongside other young actors Marisa Allasio, Renato Salvatori and Maurizio Arena. The success of the film made De Luca one of the most popular ingenues of Italian cinema; her freshness and grace endeared her to the public.
De Luca was one of several women romantically involved with her Poor, But Beautiful co-star Maurizio Arena. She co-starred with Arena in Il principe fusto (1960), a film which he co-wrote, produced and directed. Their relationship created a minor scandal when it was revealed by the Italian media that Arena, after publicly announcing his intention to wed Anna Maria Pierangeli, was also engaged to De Luca.
She specialized in the character of the naive young girl, a kind of an Italian Sandra Dee, and appeared in a series of hit comedies:Fathers and Sons (1957) and The Doctor and the Sorcerer (1957) by Mario Monicelli, the latter starring Vittorio de Sica and Marcello Mastroianni, Sunday Is Always Sunday (1958) by Camillo Mastrocinque, First Love (1958) by Mario Camerini, Gianni Franciolini's romantic comedy Love on the Riviera (1958), and many others. In 1958, De Luca joined Alessandra Panaro and Mario Riva as a show girl in the popular TV quiz show Il Musichiere (The Musician). She also had minor roles in "sword-and-sandal" and "muscleman" films, often being cast as a princess or slave girl, such as Sheba and the Gladiator (1959) and Sign of the Gladiator (1965).
With the beginning of the 1960s, De Luca received more and more roles in commercial films. She had a brief, but memorable, foray into the Spaghetti Western genre. In 1965, under the pseudonym "Hally Hammond", she had supporting roles in A Pistol for Ringo and its sequel The Return of Ringo, both directed by her future husband Duccio Tessari. De Luca appeared in nine other films directed by her husband, most notably, Una voglia da morire (1965) and Kiss Kiss...Bang Bang (1966), between 1965 and 1978. After 1967, with the birth of their two daughters Federica and Fiorenza Tessari, in addition to her losing interest as a character actor, she accepted only occasional parts during the next decade. Her last acting roles were in The Fifth Commandment (1978) and the 1984 television miniseries Nata d'amore. She was actively involved in her husband's later career and was first assistant director in his final film There Was a Castle with Forty Dogs (1990). De Luca made one last appearance inBonus malus (1993) and retired from the film industry after Tessari's death the following year.
De Luca died on January 9, 2014, aged 73.
As an actress Year Film Role Notes
1955 Il Bidone Patrizia 1956 Sette canzoni per sette sorelle Giulietta Napoli sole mio! Lorella
Roland the Mighty Alda/Aude
1957 Poor, But Beautiful Marisa L'ultima violenza Lisa Carani Gente felice Gioia Dinanzi a noi il cielo Amichetta di Tom
A Tailor's Maid Marcella Corallo I misteri di Parigi Maria, la Cantante
Doctor and the Healer Clamide Poor Girl, Pretty Girl Marisa
1958 È permesso Maresciallo Maria Paoletti Sunday Is Always Sunday Maria Luisa Gastaldi El hombre del paraguas blanco Esperanza Il bacio del sole Teresa
Love on the Riviera Lina 1959 Poveri milionari Marisa Agosto, donne mie non vi conosco Anna Moriconi
Sheba and the Gladiator Bathsheba, the Vestal Ciao, ciao, bambina Proietti, Gloria Costa Azzurra Lisa La duchessa di Santa Lucia Fernanda, la nipote di Carmela First Love Francesca Quanto sei bella Roma
1960 Il principe fusto Angela Caccia al marito Giulia 1961 Apolytrosis Eleni Beauty on the Beach
1962 Charge of the Black Lancers Samal La notte dell'innominato
1963 Taras Bulba, il cosacco Natalia
The Shortest Day Erede Siciliana
1964 Le fils de Tarass Boulba Nadia
1965 Una voglia da morire Marisa
A Pistol for Ringo Miss Ruby as Hally Hammond
The Return of Ringo Helen Brown/Hally Fitzgerald as Hally Hammond
1966 Kiss Kiss...Bang Bang Frida Kadar
1967 Per amore... per magia...
1971 The Bloodstained Butterfly Marta Clerici
1974 Tough Guys Anne Lombardo
1976 La madama
1978 The Fifth Commandment Mutter Redder
1993 Bonus malus Signora Altoviti
2009 A Greek Western Tragedy Herself Video documentary short As an assistant director Year Film Role Notes
1978 La morte risale a ieri sera (assistant director)
1978 Winged Devils (assistant director)
1990 There Was a Castle with Forty Dogs (first assistant director)
1984 Nata d'amore TV mini-series
De Luca starred in a total of nine films directed by Tessari, whom she married in 1971, in addition to working behind the scenes as an assistant director. Their two children, Federica and Fiorenza Tessari, both became actresses.
- Bertarelli, Massimo. Il cinema italiano in 100 film: i 100 film da salvare. Rome: Gremese Editore, 2004. ISBN 88-8440-340-5
- Bruschini, Antonio and Antonio Tentori, ed. Western all'italiana: The Specialists. Firenze: Glittering lmages, 1998.
- Giacovelli, Enrico. La commedia all'italiana. 2nd ed. Rome: Gremese Editore, 1995. ISBN 88-7605-873-7
- Giusti, Marco. Dizionario del Western all'Italiana. Italy: Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, 2007.
- Masi, Stefano and Enrico Lancia. Les séductrices du cinéma italien. Rome: Gremese Editore, 1997. ISBN 88-7301-075-X
Lorella De Luca (Firenze, 17 settembre 1940 – Roma, 9 gennaio 2014) è stata un'attrice cinematografica italiana.
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