Franca Valeri

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Franca Valeri

Franca Valeri 2011.jpg
Alma Franca Maria Norsa

(1920-07-31)31 July 1920
Died9 August 2020(2020-08-09) (aged 100)
Years active1949–2014
(m. 1960; div. 1974)
PartnerMaurizio Rinaldi (1985–1995)
ChildrenStefania Bonfadelli (adopted)

Alma Franca Maria Norsa OMRI (31 July 1920 – 9 August 2020), known professionally as Franca Valeri, was an Italian actress, playwright, screenwriter, author, and theatre director.

Life and career[edit]

Born in Milan as Alma Franca Maria Norsa, she managed to survive the Holocaust in Milan with her non-Jewish mother due to a fake I.D. which purported her to be the illegitimate daughter of a gentleman from Pavia. Her Jewish father and brother were able to flee to Switzerland.[1]

Since her father did not want her to become an actress, Norsa adopted the stage name Valeri in the 1950s as suggested by a friend of hers who was reading a book by French critic and poet Paul Valéry.[2]

Valeri started her career on stage in 1947, and in 1949 she co-founded the Teatro dei Gobbi, along with Luciano Salce and her future husband Vittorio Caprioli. On the radio, she created and played the characters of La signorina Snob (Mrs. Snob), Cesira la manicure and Sora Cecioni.[2] She co-starred in such films as A Hero of Our Times (1955), The Sign of Venus (of which she co-wrote both the story and the screenplay), and Il vedovo, as well as others. She often wrote her scenes in the films she starred, even those where she played small roles. Among the major films she co-wrote, Parigi o cara (1962) is a rare case where the story is focused on her role only.

In the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, Valeri also frequently worked for the Italian TV. Directed by Antonello Falqui, she starred in Studio Uno, Le divine and Sabato Sera.

In the 1980s and early 1990s she starred in a series of commercials for Pandoro Melegatti, which were well received and stretched over a number of years (Pandoro being a seasonal product tied to the Christmas holidays).

During the 2005–2006 theatrical season, she performed her own monologue, La Vedova di Socrate ("Socrate's Widow"), and Les Bonnes, by Jean Genet. In January 2008 she played the role of Solange in Les Bonnes at Milan's Piccolo Teatro.

On 8 May 2020 Valeri received an Honorary David di Donatello Award.

Valeri turned 100 on 31 July 2020 and died nine days later, on 9 August 2020.[3][4]







  • Il diario della signorina Snob. Colette Rosselli (illustration). Milano. Arnoldo Mondadori Editore. 1951.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  • Le donne. Milano. Longanesi & C. 1960.
  • Le catacombe. Tre atti. Bologna. Cappelli. 1963.
  • Questa qui, quello là. Milano. Longanesi. 1965.
  • Toh, quante donne!. Milano. Arnoldo Mondadori Editore. 1992. ISBN 978-88-043-6283-8.
  • Patrizia Zappa Mulas, ed. (2003). Tragedie da ridere. Dalla signorina Snob alla vedova Socrate. Milano. La Tartaruga. ISBN 978-88-773-8381-5.
  • Animali e altri attori. Storie di cani, gatti e altri personaggi. Roma. nottetempo. 2005. ISBN 978-88-745-2063-3.
  • Patrizia Zappa Mulas, ed. (2009). Di tanti palpiti. Divertimenti musicali. Milano. La Tartaruga. ISBN 978-88-773-8462-1.
  • Bugiarda no, reticente. Torino. Einaudi. 2010. ISBN 978-88-062-0640-6.
  • Non tutto è risolto. Torino. Einaudi. 2011. ISBN 978-88-062-0645-1.
  • Franca Valeri; Luciana Littizzetto (2011). L'educazione delle fanciulle. Dialogo tra due signorine perbene. Torino. Einaudi. ISBN 978-88-062-0943-8.
  • Il cambio dei cavalli. Torino. Einaudi. 2014. ISBN 978-88-062-2050-1.
  • La vacanza dei superstiti (e la chiamano vecchiaia). Torino. Einaudi. 2016. ISBN 978-88-062-3008-1.
  • La stanza dei gatti. Una chiacchierata con il teatro. Torino. Einaudi. 2017. ISBN 978-88-062-3612-0.
  • Il secolo della noia. Torino. Einaudi. 2019. ISBN 978-88-062-4209-1.
  • Tutte le commedie. Lella Costa (preface). Milano. La Tartaruga. 2020. ISBN 978-88-948-1430-9.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  • La Ferrarina. Taverna. Torino. Einaudi. 2020. ISBN 978-88-062-4699-0.


Further reading[edit]

  • Emanuela Martini, Franca Valeri: una signora molto snob, Lindau, 2000, ISBN 887180290X

External links[edit]