Saturday, January 12, 2013

Mariangela Melato R.I.P.

Italian actress Mariangela Melato died on 11 January 2013 at the age of 71. The cause was cancer.

Mariangela Melato was born in Milan, Italy on 19 September 1941. She studied acting at the Milan Theatre Academy.  She made her film debut in 1970 in Thomas e gli indemoniati. Over the next few years she appeared in such films as Basta guardarla (1970), Per grazia ricevuta (1971), Mimì metallurgico ferito nell'onore (1972--The Seduction of Mimi in the United States), Film d'amore e d'anarchia, ovvero 'stamattina alle 10 in via dei Fiori nella nota casa di tolleranza (1973--Love and Anarchy in the United States), and La poliziotta (1974). It was in 1974 that she appeared in what was up to that time her biggest international success, Travolti da un insolito destino nell'azzurro mare d'agosto or, as it was called in English, Swept Away by an Unusual Destiny in the Blue Sea of August. While the film would be the centre of some controversy, it also received a good deal of critical acclaim. Miss Melato was singled out for her performance as a spoiled aristocrat. The late Seventies would see her appear in a few Hollywood films, as well as those made in Europe, including such films as Di che segno sei? (1975), Faccia di spia (1975), Todo modo (1976), Il gatto (1976), Casotto (1977), Oggetti smarriti (1980), and Flash Gordon (1980). She also appeared in the American mini-series Moses the Lawgiver.

In the Eighties she appeared in such films as So Fine (1981), Bello mio, bellezza mia (1982), Il petomane (1983), Figlio mio, infinitamente caro (1985), Notte d'estate con profilo greco, occhi a mandorla e odore di basilico (1986), and Mortacci (1989). She also appeared in such TV series and mini-series as Al paradise, Lulu, and Piazza Navona.  From the Nineties into the Naughts she appeared in such films as La fine è nota (1993), Panni sporchi (1999), Un uomo perbene (1999), L'amore ritorna (2004), and Vieni via con me (2005). She also appeared on the TV programme L'avvocato delle donne.

Miss Melato was an extremely talented actress with an incredible range. Indeed, she played extremely different roles in some of her best known films. In Mimì metallurgico ferito nell'onore she played the wife who takes revenge on her cheating husband. In Film d'amore e d'anarchia, ovvero: stamattina alle 10, in via dei Fiori, nella nota casa di tolleranza she played the prostitute Salome, who is involved in an assassination plot. In Travolti da un insolito destino nell'azzurro mare d'agosto she played a haughty aristocrat who is outspoken in her disdain of the political left. The three roles could not be more different, and yet they were all convincingly played by Mariangela Melato. She was definitely one of the most talented actresses of Europe in the late Twentieth Century.

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