Thursday, December 7, 2023

Marisa Pavan Passes On

Marisa Pavan, best known for her Oscar-nominated role in The Rose Tattoo (1955), her role in The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit (1956), and numerous television guest appearances, died yesterday, December 6 2023, at the age of 91. She was the twin sister of actress Pier Angeli.

Marisa Pavan was born Maria Luisa Pierangeli on June 19 1932 in Cagliari, Sardinia, Kingdom of Italy. She was born a few minutes after her fraternal twin Anna Maria Pierangeli, later to become known as Pier Angeli. They had a younger sister, Patrizia Pierangeli, who also became an actress. Their mother had wanted to become an actress, and she was a huge fan of Shirley Temple. She took the Pierangeli twins to see all of Shirley Temple's movies.The family moved to Rome in the mid-Thirties.

Her sister Pier Angeli was discovered by directors Léonide Moguy and Vittorio De Sica while walking home from art school when she was 16. She was cast in Vittorio De Sica's film Tomorrow is Too Late (1950). The role brought her to the attention of MGM, who cast her in her first American film, Teresa (1951). Marisa Pavan and Pier Angeli then moved to Los Angeles. Marisa Pavan then followed her sister into acting, and was signed to 20th Century Fox even though she had no acting experience. She made her film debut in What Price Glory? in 1952.

In the Fifties Marisa Pavan appeared in several movies, including her role in The Rose Tattoo (1955) for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She also appeared in the movies I Chose Love (1953), Down Three Streets (1954), Drum Beat (1954), Diane (1956), The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit (1956), The Midnight Story (1957), John Paul Jones (1959), and Solomon and Sheba (1959). She made her television debut in an episode of Fireside Theatre in 1954. She guest starred on the shows Studio One, Front Row Center, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Kaiser Aluminum Hour, ITV Television Playhouse, Climax!, The Frank Sinatra Show, and Playhouse 90.

With the Sixties Marisa Pavan's career largely shifted towards television. She guest starred on the shows Naked City, Breaking Point, 77 Sunset Strip, Combat!, Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, The F.B.I., Court Martial, and Seaway. She appeared in the movie Three Faces of Sin (1961). In the Seventies she guest starred on the TV shows Wonder Woman, McMillan, Switch, Hawaii Five-O, The Rockford Files, and La vie des autres. She starred in the mini-series Arthur Hailey's the Moneychangers. She appeared in the movie A Slightly Pregnant Man (1973).

In the Eighties Marisa Pavan had a recurring role on the daytime soap opera Ryan's Hope. She guest starred on the show Cinéma 16. In the Nineties she guest starred on the TV Shows Renseignements généraux and Haute tension.

Marisa Pavan was an immensely talented actress. She gave an incredible performance was the headstrong  Rosa Delle Rose, the daughter of Serafina Delle Rose (Anna Magnani), in The Rose Tattoo. She also gave a good performance as Maria Montagne, the Italian girl who had an affair with corporate executive Tom Rath (Gregory Peck) years ago. She was also impressive as the blind wife of Vince Angelino (Gene Reynolds), an average guy who found himself with a car theft ring, in the classic noir Down Three Dark Streets (1954). Marisa Pavan also gave great performances on television. In the Naked City episode "No Naked Ladies in Front of Giovanni's House!," she was good as the title character's long-suffering girlfriend Francesca. She also gave a great performance as a young housewife terrorized by a prison escapee in the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode "You Got Yo Have Luck." Marisa Pavan was a versatile and talented actress who was equally adept at both comedy and drama.

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