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Monica Vitti

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Biography

Rome, Italy (1931 – present)

Monica Vitti (born 3 November 1931) is an Italian best known for her starring roles in films directed by Michelangelo Antonioni during the early 1960s. After working with Antonioni, Vitti changed focus and began making comedies, working with director Mario Monicelli on many films. She has appeared opposite Marcello Mastroianni, Richard Harris, and Dirk Bogarde. Vitti won five David di Donatello Awards for Best Actress, seven Italian Golden Globes for Best Actress, the Career Golden Globe, and the Venice Film Festival Career Golden Lion Award.

Born Maria Luisa Ceciarelli in Rome, she acted in amateur productions as a teenager, then trained as an actor at Rome’s National Academy of Dramatic Arts (graduating in 1953) and at Pittman’s College, where she played a teen in a charity performance of Dario Niccodemi’s La nemica. She toured Germany with an Italian acting troupe and her first stage appearance in Rome was for a production of Niccolò Machiavelli’s La Mandragola.

Vitti’s first film role was in Ettore Scola’s Ridere Ridere Ridere (1954) but her first widely noted performance was at the age of 26 in Mario Amendola’s Le dritte (1958). In 1957 she joined Michelangelo Antonioni’s Teatro Nuovo di Milano and later played a leading role in his internationally praised and award winning film L’avventura (1960) as a detached and cool protagonist drifting into a relationship with the lover of her missing girlfriend.

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