Elsa Martinelli

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Elsa Martinelli
Elsa Martinelli 1964.JPG
Martinelli as a guest star in The Rogues, 1964.
Born Elisa Tia
(1935-01-30) 30 January 1935 (age 81)
Grosseto, Tuscany, Italy
Occupation Actress and Model
Years active 1953–2005
Spouse(s) Count Franco Mancinelli di San Vito (1957–19??); 1 child
Willy Rizzo (1968-2013)
Children Cristiana Mancinelli (born 1958)

Elsa Martinelli (born Elisa Tia; 30 January 1935[1][2]) is an Italian actress and former fashion model.


Born Elisa Tia in Grosseto, Tuscany, she moved to Rome with her family and in 1953 was discovered by Roberto Capucci who introduced her to the world of fashion. She became a model and began playing small roles in films. She appeared in Claude Autant-Lara's Le Rouge et le Noir (1954), but her first important film role came the following year with The Indian Fighter opposite Kirk Douglas, who claimed to have spotted her on a magazine cover and hired her for his production company, Bryna Productions.[3]

In 1956 she won the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the 6th Berlin International Film Festival for playing the title role in Mario Monicelli's Donatella.[4]

From the mid-1950s through the late 1960s, she divided her time between Europe and the United States, appearing in films such as Four Girls in Town (1957), Manuela (1957), Prisoner of the Volga (1959), Hatari! (1962), The Pigeon That Took Rome (1962), The Trial (1962), The V.I.P.s (1963), Rampage (1963), Woman Times Seven (1967), and Candy (1968). Since the late 1960s, she has worked in Europe in mostly foreign language productions. Her last English language role was as Carla the Agent in 1992s Once Upon a Crime. Her most recent appearance was in the 2005 European television series Orgoglio as the Duchessa di Monteforte.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Martinelli was first married to Count Franco Mancinelli Scotti di San Vito, by whom she has a daughter, Cristiana Mancinelli (born 1958), also an actress. In 1968 she married the Paris Match photographer and 1970s furniture designer, Willy Rizzo.[citation needed]

Selected filmography[edit]

Charles Boyer and Elsa Martinelli
Martinelli in Rice Girl (1956).
Martinelli in The 10th Victim (1965).


  1. ^ Elsa Martinelli bio, imdb.com; retrieved 3 January 2016.
  2. ^ Elsa Martinelli filmography, Corriere della Sera; retrieved 18 March 2015.
  3. ^ Profile, cinemaretro.com; accessed 18 March 2015.
  4. ^ "6th Berlin International Film Festival: Prize Winners". berlinale.de. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  5. ^ IMDb profile; accessed 18 March 2015.

External links[edit]