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07 April 2014

Diomira Jacobini

Diomira Jacobini (1899-1959) was one of the stars of the Italian silent cinema. She was the younger sister of film diva Maria Jacobini, in whose shadow she always stayed. Diomira appeared in some 55 films in Italy, Germany and Denmark.

Diomira Jacobini
Italian postcard by Ed. A. Traldi, Milano, no. 793. Photo: Pittaluga-Films, Torino (Turin).

Diomira Jacobini
Italian postcard by Ed. Ballerini & Fratini, Firenze, no. 554.

A Scandal in the Noble Family


Diomira Jacobini was born in Rome, Italy in 1896. She was the niece of a Vatican-based cardinal.

When her older sister, Maria Jacobini, chose to work as an actress in the young film industry, it caused a scandal in the noble family.

The young Diomira decided to follow in her sister’s footsteps. She started to work for the prestigious Cines film studio in Rome. There she first appeared in such short films as Anna Maria/For Her Father's Sake (1912) with Ida Carloni Talli.

Her name was included in the title when she appeared in the short comedy Le birichinate di Kri Kri e Diomira/Bloomer and Diomira at Play (1913) featuring Raymond Dandy, whose comic character Kri Kri was very popular at the time.

According to Wikipedia, Jacobini had her first starring role in Il piccolo mozzo/The small hub (Carmine Gallone, 1915).

In the same year she participated next to Lyda Borelli in Marcia nuziale/Wedding March (Carmine Gallone, 1915) in which she had one of her finest and prettiest parts.

For the Celio film company, she co-starred with her sister Maria and another diva, Leda Gys in Ananka/Fate (1915), directed by Maria’s fiancé Nino Oxilia.

In 1916, she moved on to Tiber Film. For the Tiber studio Jacobini made many films. Under the direction of Emilio Ghione, she made La rosa di granata/The Rose of Granada (Emilio Ghione, 1916) with Ida Carloni Talli and Lina Cavalieri, Tormento gentile/Kind Torment (Emilio Ghione, 1916) with Alda Borelli, Il figlio dell'amore/The Love Child (Emilio Ghione, 1916).

A success was Demonietto/Imp (Gennaro Righelli, 1917). The male lead of this film was played by Alberto Collo, who would also be her co-star in several other films.

Diomira Jacobini
Italian postcard by Ed. A. Traldi, Milano, no. 525.

Diomira Jacobini
Italian postcard by Ed. Traldi, Milano, no. 795. Photo: Pittaluga Films, Torino.

Diomira Jacobini
Italian postcard by Ed. A. Traldi, Milano, no. 792. Photo: Pitaluga-Films, Torino.

A Deep Crisis


After finishing her engagement at Tiber Film, Diomira Jacobini signed a contract with Fert Film.

The 1920s were less satisfactory for the actress, although she could show her talents successfully in films like La rosa di Fortunio/The Rose of Fortunio (Luciano Doria, 1922), Jolly, clown da circo/Jolly, circus clown (Mario Camerini, 1923) and La casa dei pulcini/The House of Pulcini (Mario Camerini, 1924) with Amleto Novelli.

She also starred opposite the popular ‘forzuto’ (strongman) Bartolomeo Pagano in the action film Maciste e il nipote d'America/Maciste and the nephew from America (Eleuterio Rodolfi, 1924).

At that time, the Italian film industry was in a deep crisis and only a few films were produced. Some of the best film actors and directors went to work abroad. Maria Jacobini was already working in Germany.

There, Diomira co-starred with Werner Krauss in Der Trödler von Amsterdam/The junk dealer of Amsterdam (Victor Janson, 1925) and in some other films.

In Denmark she appeared in Revolutionsbryllup/The Last Night (A.W. Sandberg, 1927) opposite Gösta Ekman.

In the 1930s, she returned to Italy, and worked again at Cines, where she acted in Il buon ragazzo/The good boy (Mario Camerini, 1930).

She made only two sound films: L'ultima avventura/The Last Adventure (Mario Camerini, 1932) starring Armando Falconi, and Cento di questi giorni/Hundred of these days (Augusto and Mario Camerini, 1933).

Then she retired to private life with her husband L. Ghezzi. However, she participated in Quando eravamo muti/When we were silent (Riccardo Cassano, 1935).

Diomira Jacobini died in 1959 in Rome.

Diomira Jacobini and Gösta Ekman in Revolutionsbryllup
Danish postcard by Alex. Vincent's Kunstforlag, Eneret, no. 253. Photo: publicity still for Revolutionsbryllup/The Last Night (A.W. Sandberg, 1927) with Gösta Ekman.

Diomira Jacobini and Gösta Ekman in Revolutionsbryllup
Danish postcard by Alex. Vincent's Kunstforlag, Eneret, no. 254. Photo: publicity still for Revolutionsbryllup/The Last Night (A.W. Sandberg, 1927). This was a German-Danish dramatization of Sophus Michaëlis' play Revolutionshochzeit (Revolutionary Wedding), with also Gösta Ekman, Karina Bell, Walter Rilla and Fritz Kortner, and produced by Terra-Filmkunst.

Diomira Jacobini
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3748/1, 1928-1929. Source: Terra-Film.

Sources: Treccani.it (Italian), Wikipedia (Italian), and IMDb.

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