19 September 1941|
|Died||11 January 2013
|Other names||Maria Angela Melato|
Mariangela Melato (19 September 1941 – 11 January 2013) was an Italian cinema and theatre actress.
Biography and career
Born in Milan, the daughter of a traffic policeman and a seamstress, Melato from a young age studied painting at the Academy of Brera, drawing posters and working as a window dresser at La Rinascente to pay for her acting lessons with Esperia Sperani. A striking, blonde actress, she began her stage career in 1960, entering the stage company of Fantasio Piccoli and debuting as an actress in the play Binario cieco.
From 1963 to 1965 she worked with Dario Fo in Settimo: ruba un po' meno and La colpa è sempre del diavolo, then in 1967 she worked with Luchino Visconti in The Nun of Monza. In 1968, her final theater breakthrough with Orlando furioso by Luca Ronconi.
She made her film debut in 1969 with Pupi Avati's Thomas e gli indemoniati.
Seventies were the golden decade for Melato, that starred memorable film roles including the school teacher in Nino Manfredi's commedia all'italiana Between Miracles (1971) and the female leads in Elio Petri's The Working Class Goes to Heaven (1971) and Vittorio De Sica's Lo chiameremo Andrea (We'll Call Him Andrew, 1972).
Then Melato received much praise for her role as Giancarlo Giannini's Milanese mistress in The Seduction of Mimi (1972), directed by Lina Wertmüller. This was to be the start of a very successful working relationship between Wertmüller, Melato and Giannini that continued with Love and Anarchy (1973), in which Melato played an anarchic prostitute, and finally with Swept Away by an Unusual Destiny in the Blue Sea of August (1974). Melato's critically acclaimed comedic performance in this film as a spoiled, unsympathetic aristocrat is one of her most internationally known roles.
For the remainder of the 1970s, Melato worked with some Europe's most renowned directors, including Claude Chabrol in Nada (1974), Elio Petri in Todo modo (1976) and Luigi Comencini in Il gatto (1978). She also worked on television; playing the role of Princess Bithiah, in the miniseries Moses the Lawgiver (1974), which was also released in a theatrical version.
After attaining international success with many of her films, Melato attempted to make a career for herself in America as well. She played one of her most famous parts with a supporting role as villainess General Kala in Flash Gordon (1980). She also played the female lead opposite Ryan O'Neal in the comedy So Fine (1981).
However, she failed to attain the same success that she had in Italy and quickly went back to her native country, where she went on to act in a number of comedies and dramas. She also reunited with Lina Wertmüller for the film Summer Night, with Greek Profile, Almond Eyes and Scent of Basil (1986) but gradually appeared in fewer films, and did more theatre roles, such as the lead in The Miracle Worker.
- Anna Melato, actress and sister of Mariangela
- Curzio Maltese, "Melato – Siate esagerate", La Stampa, 30 August 1995.
- Lietta Tornabuoni, "Il bell'inferno della Melato", ,La Stampa, 18 May 1972.
- "Addio a Mariangela Melato Signora del teatro e del cinema". L'Unità. 11 January 2013. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
- John Francis Lane. "Mariangela Melato | Film". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-01-15.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mariangela Melato.|
- Mariangela Melato official website
- Mariangela Melato at the Internet Movie Database
- Mariangela Melato at AllRovi
- Allmovie biography