Italo-Greek Antonella Lualdi (1931) was the fascinating leading lady of many Italian and French films of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Since 1949 her luminescent beauty has graced over 90 films.
German postcard by Krüger/Ufa, no. 902/151. Photo: Fried Agency.
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris (French licency holder for Ufa (Universum Film A.G.), Berlin-Tempelhof), no. CK-159. Photo: Herbert Fried/Ufa.
Antonella Lualdi was born as Antonietta De Pascale in Beirut, Lebanon in 1931. She was the daughter of an Italian civil engineer and his Greek wife. She learned to speak Italian, French, Greek and a bit of Arabic. With her mother, her sister and her two brothers, Antonella went to live in Rome. At 17, she made her film debut in the musical Signorinella (1949, Mario Mattoli). That same year, she appeared in Canzoni per le strade/Songs for the Road (1949, Mario Landi). Immediately she was seen as a star of the same stature as Lucia Bosé and Gina Lollobrigida. In the early 1950’s she appeared successfully in films like Ha fatto 13 (1951, Carlo Manzoni), E Più Facile Che Un Camello/It is Easier for a Camel (1951, Luigi Zampa) with Jean Gabin, La cieca di Sorrento/The Blind Woman from Sorrento (1952, Giacomo Gentilomo), the comedy È arrivato l'accordatore/The Piano Tuner Has Arrived (1952, Duilio Coletti), and Il cappotto/The Overcoat (1952, Alberto Lattuada) - an adaptation of the classic Nicolas Gogol fable. During the shooting of I Vitelloni (1953, Federico Fellini), she met her future husband, Franco Interlenghi. Together they starred in several productions like Non c'è amore più grande (1955, Giorgio Bianchi), Gli innamorati/Wild Love (1955, Mauro Bolognini), which was feted at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival, and Padri e figli/Fathers and Sons (1957, Mario Monicelli). Without her husband she appeared opposite Marcello Mastroianni in the controversial Cronache di poveri amanti/Chronicle of Poor Lovers (1954, Carlo Lizzani), La notte brava/The Big Night (1959, Mauro Bolognini), I delfini/The Dauphins (1960, Francesco Maselli) starring Claudia Cardinale, and Il disordine/Disorder (1962, Franco Brusati) with Alida Valli.
Yugoslavian postcard by 3K, no. 3840.
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, no. 539.
Arthouse and Sword and Sandal Epics
Antonella Lualdi appeared also in many French films, including Adorable créatures (1952, Christian-Jaque) with Daniel Gélin, the successful Stendhal adaptation Le Rouge et le Noir/The Red and the Black (1954, Claude Autant-Lara) starring Gérard Philipe, the Film-Noir Mefiez-Vous Fillettes/Look Out Girls (1957, Yves Allégret), Une Vie/A Life (1958, Alexandre Astruc) based on a novel by Guy De Mauppasant, and Á Double Tour/Web of Passion (1959), a tale of murder and a dysfunctional family by Nouvelle Vague director Claude Chabrol. In the 1960’s she was seen in arthouse productions like Se permettete parliamo di donne/Let's Talk About Women (1964, Ettore Scola) with Vittorio Gassman, Comizi d'amore (1965, Pier Paolo Pasolini), and Made in Italy (1965, Nanni Loy) but also in sword and sandal epics like Arrivano i Titani/The Titans (1961, Duccio Tessari), I cento cavalieri/Hundred Horsemen (1964, Vittorio Cottafavi), and Columna/The Column (1968, Mircea Dragan) with Richard Johnson and the legendary Amedeo Nazzari. From the 1970’s on her films were less interesting with the exception of Vincent, François, Paul et les Autres/Vincent, Francois, Paul and the Others (1974, Claude Sautet). For a while she worked as an assistant director. In 1992 she made a come-back on TV as Lucia Cordier, the wife of the protagonist (Pierre Mondy) of the crime series Les Cordier, juge et flic, which was broadcasted for 13 seasons till 2005. Her role was continued in the series Commissaire Cordier (2005-2008). Antonella Lualdi and Franco Interlenghi separated in 1972, but never divorced. Nowadays, they're back together. They have two daughters, Stella Interlenghi and actress Antonella Interlenghi.
German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/111. Photo: Farabola.
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano (Milan), no. 62.
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 1032. Photo: Beauvarlet/D. Roger.
Sources: Sandra Brennan (Rovi), Notre Cinema (French), Wikipedia, and IMDb.