13 July 2012

Marisa Pavan

Italian born actress Marisa Pavan (1932) first became famous as the twin sister to film star Pier Angeli  before achieving film stardom on her own. She became known for her gentle, understated roles. Pavan won the Golden Globe and was Oscar-nominated for her supporting turn in The Rose Tattoo (1955).

Marisa Pavan
French postcard by Editions du Globe (E.D.U.G.), no. 532. Photo: International Press / Paramount.

Twin Sister
Marisa Pavan was born Marisa Pierangeli in Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy, in 1932. Her twin sister was Anna Maria Pierangeli, who later became film star Pier Angeli. Marisa studied briefly at Torquado Tasso college and made her first film appearance in an Italian satire of the Cold War, Ho Scelto L'Amore/I Chose Love (1952, Mario Zampi), before moving with her family to the United States. She made her American debut in 20th Century Fox's 1952 remake of the 1926 classic of What Price Glory? (1952, John Ford) playing a sweet village girl. She then impressed as a blind witness to a murder in Down Three Dark Streets (1953, Arnold Laven) opposite Broderick Crawford. Her breakthrough came in the film The Rose Tattoo (1955, Daniel Mann) as Anna Magnani's teen-age daughter. Her role was first assigned to her twin, who at the time was unable to play the part. When Magnani won the Oscar for Best Actress, Pavan accepted on her behalf as Magnani was not present at the awards ceremony. Pavan was nominated for best supporting actress, losing to Jo Van Fleet (for East of Eden). Both Magnani and Pavan won Golden Globe awards that year.

Pier Angeli
Pier Angeli. Dutch postcard by Takken, Utrecht, no. 1182. Photo: MGM.

Jean-Pierre Aumont
Marisa Pavan co-starred in several more Hollywood films, usually in gentle roles. She played the Native American childhood sweetheart of Alan Ladd in Drum Beat (1954, Delmer Daves). Pavan appeared as the scheming Catherine de Medici in the opulent costume drama Diane (1955, David Miller) starring Lana Turner, and she had an illegitimate child with Gregory Peck in The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit (1956, Nunnally Johnson). In 1956, she married, later divorced, and then again remarried the French actor Jean-Pierre Aumont. In the following years she appeared opposite Tony Curtis in the film-noir The Midnight Story (1957, Joseph Pevney) as leading lady to Robert Stack in the sea-faring historical epic John Paul Jones (1959, John Farrow), and as Abishag in the Biblical film adaptation Solomon and Sheba (1959, King Vidor). Her Hollywood days ended with the dawn of the 1960’s. With her husband, she sang in a supper club act that toured the United States, Canada and Mexico. She has been seen in several American TV productions, including The Diary of Anne Frank (1967, Alex Segal) with Max von Sydow, Cutter's Trail (1970, Vincent McEveety) with John Saxon, The Moneychangers (1976, Boris Sagal) starring Kirk Douglas, and The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald (1977, Gordon Davidson, David Greene).

Marisa Pavan
Dutch postcard, no. 2037.

Hit Record
Marisa Pavan returned to Europe and appeared in the French films L’Evenement Le Plus Important Depuis Que L’homme A Marche Sur La Lune/A Slightly Pregnant Man (1973, Jacques Demy) starring Marcello Mastroianni, and the romance Antoine et Sebastien/Antoine & Sebastien (1974, Jean-Marie Perier) with Jacques Dutronc. She had a hit record in 1974 with a French-language version of Burt Bacharach's Green Grass Starts to Grow. Later she guest-starred in episodes of popular American tv-series like The Rockford Files (1979), Hawaii Five-O (1977), McMillan & Wife (1977) and Ryan's Hope (1985). In 1983 she was interviewed for Stelle Emigranti/Wandering Stars (1983, Francesco Bortolini, Claudio Masenza), a revealing documentary about eight Italian actresses (including Gina Lollobrigida, Claudia Cardinale and Virna Lisi) who attained worldwide fame through films they made in Hollywood. Most of the eight agree that performers are treated better in Hollywood than in Italy, and that American efficiency and organization impressed them - but that in Italy, they had more challenging roles than was allowed in the USA. Marisa Pavan now lives in Paris, Jean-Pierre Aumont has died in 2001. The pair appeared for the last time together in the French TV-film Johnny Monroe (1987, Renaud Saint-Pierre). They had two sons, Jean-Claude and Patrick. Marisa Pavan is also the stepmother of actress Tina Aumont.

Sources: Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Wikipedia and IMDb.


One Mans Treasure said...

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Bob of Holland said...

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Ashot Arakelyan said...

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All the best