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20 February 2014

Franca Parisi

Beautiful and elegant Franca Parisi (1933) is an Italian actress who appeared in German and Italian films of the 1950s. During the 1960s she was mainly cast as a sexy but second rate Sophia Loren in low-budget Italian adventure and horror films.

Franca Parisi
Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg, Rotterdam (Dutch licency holder for Universum-Film Aktien-gesellschaft, Berlin-Tempelhof), no. 1086. Photo: Ufa/Film-Foto. Publicity still for Scampolo (Alfred Weidenmann, 1958).

Sexy Girlfriend


Franca Parisi, also known as Franca Parisi Strahl and Margaret Taylor, was born in 1933 in Palermo, Italy.

She attended the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome and appeared in supporting parts in such Italian films as Il prezzo dell'onore/Pride (Ferdinando Baldi, 1953), the religious Il figlio dell'uomo/The son of man (Virgilio Sabel, 1954) and L'angelo bianco/The white angel (Raffaello Matarazzo, 1955) starring Yvonne Sanson.

She also appeared in German co-productions like Die heilige Lüge/Sacred Lie (Wolfgang Liebeneiner, 1954), the Heimatfilm Heidemelodie/Melody of the Moors (Ulrich Erfurth, 1956) and the tearjerker Die Heilige und ihr Narr/The Saint and Her Fool (Gustav Ucicky, 1957).

She then appeared in two successful Romy Schneider films, the last part of the Sissi-trilogy, Sissi - Schicksalsjahre einer Kaiserin/Sissi: The Fateful Years of an Empress (Ernst Marischka, 1957) and Scampolo (Alfred Weidenmann, 1958) in which she appeared as the sexy girlfriend of Paul Hubschmid.

Franca Parisi
German postcard by WS-Druck, Wanne-Eickel. Photo: Berolina / Constantin / Wesel.

An Overcooked Pizza Roll with Eyes


Franca Parisi started the 1960s with the entertaining low-budget horrorfilm Seddok, l'erede di Satana/Atom Age Vampire (Anton Giulio Majano, 1960), produced by Mario Bava.

According to Cavett Binion at AllMovie this is a “less-stylish variant on Franju's classic Les Yeux Sans Visage, (which) borrows heavily from that film's plot to tell the tale of a scientist who employs a radical new procedure to restore the beauty of a young hoochie-koochie dancer disfigured in a car accident.

All goes well after the bandages come off... but (…) the young lass begins transforming into a monster - which, despite the title, is not really a vampire, but more like something resembling an overcooked pizza roll with eyes.” Franca appeared as the beautiful assistant of the mad scientist.

Next she co-starred in the adventure films Capitano di ventura/Rampage of Evil (Angelo Dorigo, 1961) with Gérard Landry, and L'ammutinamento/White Slave Ship (1961) starring Pier Angeli.

Franca Parisi
German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. A 1367. Photo: Berolina / Constantin / Wesel. Publicity still for Die heilige Lüge/Sacred Lie (Wolfgang Liebeneiner, 1954).

Biblical Epic


Franca Parisi appeared as Margaret Taylor in the Biblical epic Il vecchio testamento/The Old Testament (Gianfranco Parolini, 1962) starring bodybuilder Brad Harris, and in the Peplum I dieci gladiatori/The Ten Gladiators (Gianfranco Parolini, 1963).

In the second half of the 1960s she often appeared on TV in series as Le avventure di Laura Storm/The Adventures of Laura Storm (1965) and Le inchieste del commissario Maigret/The investigations of Inspector Maigret (1966) with Gino Cervi as Maigret.

She also worked in the theatre, although she generally played supporting parts as the second or third woman. Franca Parisi continued to work in the Italian theatre and the cinema till the end of the 1960’s.

Her last films were the Greek-Italian romantic drama O lipotaktis/The Mandrake (Christos Kefalas, 1970) and Armida, il dramma di una sposa/Armida, the drama of a wife (Bruno Mattei, 1970) in which she played the title role.

In the early 1970s she appeared again as Margaret Taylor in small parts in British TV series like Z Cars (1973) and Doctor at Sea (1974).

Franca Parisi then retired. She had been married to Austrian actor Erwin Strahl, with whom she co-starred in Die heilige Lüge/Sacred Lie (Wolfgang Liebeneiner, 1954).


English leader and first scenes of Seddok, l'erede di Satana/Atom Age Vampire (1960). Source: Wowvidfreak99 (YouTube).


Trailer of Scampolo (1958). Source: www.ischia.org (YouTube).

Sources: Cavett Binion (AllMovie), Mymovies.it (Italian) and IMDb.