Mariangela Melato

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Mariangela Melato
Fabrizio Careddu e Mariangela Melato.jpg
Mariangela Melato and Fabrizio Careddu taking a bow at The Good Person of Szechwan
(Corte Theatre, Genoa, March 2009)
Born (1941-09-19)19 September 1941
Milan, Italy
Died 11 January 2013(2013-01-11) (aged 71)
Rome, Italy
Other names Maria Angela Melato
Occupation Actress
Years active 1969–2012

Mariangela Melato (19 September 1941 – 11 January 2013) born in Milan was an Italian cinema and theater actress. She began her stage career in the sixties and entered the film industry with her debut film Thomas e gli indemoniati directed by Pupi Avati. She had done so many memorable films in the seventies which was considered as her golden age. She received much praise for her roles in films like Between Miracles (1971), The Seduction of Mimi (1972), Love and Anarchy (1973), Nada (1974), Todo modo (1976) and Il gatto (1978). Melato also starred on several American productions as well. Melato died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 71

Biography and career[edit]

Early years[edit]

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.[1][2] 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.[3]

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.[3]

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.

Recent years[edit]

After attaining international success with many of her films, Melato starred on several American productions, playing one of her most famous parts with the role of the villainess General Kala in Flash Gordon (1980) and playing the female lead opposite Ryan O'Neal in the comedy So Fine (1981).

Back to her native country, she went on to act in a number of comedies and dramas. She also reunited with Lina Wertmüller for the film Summer Night (1986) but gradually appeared in fewer films, and did more theatre roles, such as the lead in The Miracle Worker.


Melato died from pancreatic cancer on 11 January 2013 in Rome, Italy at age 71.[4]

Selected filmography[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Curzio Maltese, "Melato – Siate esagerate", La Stampa, 30 August 1995.
  2. ^ Lietta Tornabuoni, "Il bell'inferno della Melato", ,La Stampa, 18 May 1972.
  3. ^ a b "Addio a Mariangela Melato Signora del teatro e del cinema". L'Unità. 11 January 2013. Retrieved 29 March 2013. 
  4. ^ John Francis Lane (14 January 2013). "Mariangela Melato | Film". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-01-15. 

External links[edit]