16 May 2013

Sydne Rome

United States-born Sydne Rome (1951) was a gorgeous starlet, who lived in Italy since the early 1970’s. She worked in Europe with interesting directors like Roman Polanski, Duccio Tessari, Claude Chabrol and Sergei Bondarchuk, although the results were not always successful. In the 1980's she became Jane Fonda's rival in the aerobics craze.

Sydne Rome
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.

Sydne Rome was born in Akron, U.S. in 1951. Her first name is often misspelled Sydney or Sidney. She grew up in a wealthy family in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. Her father was president of a very successful Akron area plastics corporation. She started her career as a delectable double agent in the British spy comedy Some Girls Do (1969, Ralph Thomas) starring Richard Johnson and Daliah Lavi. It was the second of the revamped Jack ‘Bulldog’ Drummond films made in the wake of the success of 007. She then appeared in Italy in the spaghetti western Vivi o, preferibilmente, morti/Sundance and the Kid (1969, Duccio Tessari) starring Giuliano Gemma and Nino Benvenuti. Next she appeared opposite Marcello Mastroianni in the absurd comedy Che?/What? (1973, Roman Polanski). In this lesser known Polanski film, she played a young, seemingly innocent American girl, whose sexually charged adventure in a strange mansion are not unlike Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. In Germany, Rome appeared in Reigen/Dance of Love (1973, Otto Schenk), an adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler's famous play, previously filmed as La Ronde by Max Ophüls in 1950 and Roger Vadim in 1964. In France, she starred with Alain Delon in the political drama La race des Seigneurs/Creezy (1974, Pierre Granier-Deferre) and in England with Roger Moore and Susannah York in the comedy That Lucky Touch (1975, Christopher Miles). Her films of the following years include the comedy fiasco Folies bourgeoisies/The Twist (1976, Claude Chabrol) starring Bruce Dern, Il mostro/The Monster (1977, Luigi Zampa) with Johnny Dorelli, and another debacle Schöner Gigolo, armer Gigolo/Just a Gigolo (1979, David Hemmings) starring David Bowie.

Sydne Rome
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.

Aerobics Craze
In the early 1980’s, Sydne Rome became an icon of the aerobics craze and published several workout videos. She also recorded the album Aerobic Fitness Dancing, produced by Frank Farian and recorded in both German, Spanish and Italian. As a singer, she recorded the single Angelo prepotente (1980) for the Italian market and also released English (For You) and German (Wozu) versions of this song. She also recorded a cover version of Marty Balin's hit Hearts. Sporadically, she could be seen in films. She played journalist Louise Bryant in Krasnye kolokola/Red Bells (1982-1983, Sergei Bondarchuk), a two-parts film on the life and career of John Reed (played by Franco Nero), the well-known leftist journalist who first gained fame reporting on the Mexican Revolution and eventually wrote 10 Days that Shook the World on the 1917 Russian Revolution. The story already inspired Warren Beatty's Reds. Later, she mostly worked for television, such as a guest star for the American crime series In The Heat of the Night (1994, Larry Hagman) and in the TV Movie Callas e Onassis/Callas & Onassis: The Legendary Couple (2005, Giorgio Capitani) about Maria Callas and Aristoteles Onassis. In the cinema she regularly appeared in films by Pupi Avati; the mystery-thriller Il nascondiglio/The Hideout (2007, Pupi Avati), the comedy drama Il figlio più piccolo/The Youngest Son (2010, Pupi Avati) with Christian De Sica and Luca Zingaretti, and the drama Il cuore grande delle ragazze/The Big Heart of Girls (2011, Pupi Avati). Sydne Rome married twice. In 1973, she married Emilio Lari; subsequently, she married the noted gerontologist Roberto Bernabei. They live with their two adopted children in Rome.

Trailer Che?/What? (1973). Source: Zeroheadroom (YouTube).

Trailer Reigen/Dance of Love (1973). Source: VideoOnDemandDE (YouTube).

Sources: AllMovie, Wikipedia (English and German), and IMDb.


Bunched Undies said...

Somehow this beauty escaped my attention all these years but no more! Thanks

Paul van Yperen said...

:) Thanks!