Anna Magnani was born in Rome, Italy (not in Egypt, as some biographies claim), on March 7, 1908. She was the illegitimate child of Marina Magnani and an unknown father, often said to be from Alexandria, Egypt, but whom Anna herself claimed was from the Calabria region of Italy although she never knew his name. Raised in poverty by her maternal grandmother in Rome after her mother left her, Anna worked her way through Rome’s Academy of Dramatic Art by singing in cabarets and nightclubs, then began touring the countryside with small repertory companies. Although she had a small role in a silent film in the late 1920s, she was not known as a film actress until 1941’s Teresa Venerdì(1941), directed by Vittorio De Sica. Her breakthrough film was Roberto Rossellini’s Roma, città aperta (1945) (aka Open City), generally regarded as the first commercially successful Italian neo-realist film of the postwar years and the one that won her an international reputation. From then on, she… read more
An actress known for her work for Italian post-war neorealism and an actress that has captured our attention through films such as "Rome Open City", "Mamma Roma", "The Fugitive Kind", "Bellissima", "The Rose Tattoo" and a list of films that are notable and memorable, even through her final year of making films in 1971, she was a professional and that gave her all. She will forever remembered as an actress who communicated through expression, an actress who was not afraid to speak her mind and an actress dedicated her life to cinema.
It kills me when I mention Magnani's name to someone and they don't know who she was. "The Golden Coach," "Bellissima," "Open City," "The Miracle." I also think it is time to reevaluate "Wild Is The Wind." I have read plenty of stories of how she was on set, but she expresses herself so fully on screen that whatever her mood, you are one with her.