Silvana Mangano (21 April 1930 – 16 December 1989) was an Italian actress. Raised in poverty during World War II, Mangano trained as a dancer and worked as a model before winning a “Miss Rome” beauty pageant in 1946. This led to work in films; she achieved a notable success in Bitter Rice (1949) and continued working in films for almost four more decades.
Born in Rome to an Italian father and an English mother (Ivy Webb from Croydon), Mangano lived in poverty caused by the Second World War. Trained for seven years as a dancer, she was supporting herself as a model.
In 1946, at age 16, Mangano won the “Miss Rome” beauty pageant and through this, she obtained a role in a Mario Costa film. One year later, she became a contestant in the Miss Italia contest. Potential actress Lucia Bosé became “The Queen”, among Mangano and several other future stars of Italian cinema such as Gina Lollobrigida, Eleonora Rossi Drago and Gianna Maria Canale.
Mangano’s earliest connection… read more