‘Queen of Italian cinema’ Monica Vitti dies at age 90

ROME — Monica Vitti, the adaptable movie star of Michelangelo Antonioni’s “L’Avventura” and other Italian alienation films of the 1960s, and afterwards a primary comedian actress, has died. She was 90.

Her dying was introduced Wednesday on Twitter by a former lifestyle minister, Walter Veltroni, who reported he had been questioned to converse her demise by her husband, the photographer Roberto Russo.

“Goodbye to the queen of Italian cinema,” the current lifestyle minister, Dario Franceschini, wrote in a statement.

Vitti had been out of the community spotlight for years, dwelling quietly in Rome with her husband. She reportedly suffered from a sort of dementia.

In her glamour times in the 1960s, she was finest regarded for her starring roles in “L’Avventura,” “La Notte,” “Eclisse” (“Eclipse”) and “Red Desert,” all movies directed by Antonioni, her lover at that time. The two have been consistent targets of paparazzi.

“L’Avventura” won her worldwide interest and praise for her part as an icy great lady drifting into a relationship with the lover of her lacking girlfriend. In “Red Desert,” the last of the cycle, she performs a girl suffering from a deep, elusive neurosis as she struggled to offer with a remodeled industrial planet.

Vitti’s blond hair and blue eyes established her aside from classic Mediterranean display stars these types of as the brown-haired Sophia Loren.

Antonioni himself paid out tribute to her efficiency at a unique screening in New York’s Museum of Contemporary Artwork in 1999 to mark completion of a restoration venture for Italian movie.

“The protagonist, Giuliana, goes via a profound personalized disaster due to the fact of her inability to adapt,” he stated, in remarks read by his spouse, Enrica.

Soon after Vitti’s partnership with Antonioni ended, they failed to operate with each other once more until 1980. At that place, she transformed concentrate sharply and began creating comedies, performing with top rated directors and some of Italy’s leading actors, including Alberto Sordi, a tragi-comedian one, in movies whose people generally personified Italians’ strengths and foibles.

Even though a lot of of the movies did not acquire intercontinental distribution or acclaim, her performances were being greeted with accomplishment at house.

In 1970, Vitti starred with Marcello Mastroianni in Ettore Scola’s intimate comedy “Dramma della gelosia” (“The Pizza Triangle”). In 1974, she received the equivalent of an Italian Oscar, a David di Donatello award, for most effective actress in Sordi’s “Polvere di Stelle,” one particular of 5 these kinds of prizes in her job.

She starred in Luis Bunuel’s “Le Fantome de la liberte” (“The Phantom of Liberty”) in 1974, a surrealistic remedy of middle-class hypocrisies, regarded her very last key movie.

Her versatility distinguished her from other actresses of her period.

In a unforgettable scene in “Amore mio aiutami” (“Help me, my love”), she and Sordi roll in the sand buying and selling slaps and punches. In a single of her only two English-language movies, she uncovered herself in a spy spoof with Terence Stamp and Dirk Bogarde in the 1966 “Modesty Blaise.”

Vitti was born as Maria Luisa Ceciarelli in Rome in 1931. As a teenager, she appeared in amateur phase productions, then studied as an actor in Rome’s Countrywide Academy of Remarkable Arts. Her to start with movie part was in Scola’s “Ridere Ridere Ridere” (“Laugh Chuckle Laugh”) in 1954. Her last was “Scandalo Segreto” in 1989, which she wrote, directed and starred in.

Listed here past general public appearance was in 2002 for the premiere of “Notre Dame de Paris.”

In 1995, the Venice Movie Competition awarded her a Golden Lion award for vocation achievement.

Italian Premier Mario Draghi remembered Vitti as “an actress of wonderful irony and incredible expertise, who won above generations of Italians with her spirit, bravura and elegance. She brought prestige to the Italian cinema all over the globe.”


Victor L. Simpson retired from The Linked Push in 2013. Colleen Barry contributed from Milan.

Kenneth Proto

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