Laura Betti

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Laura Betti
Betti img0100.jpg
Born Laura Trombetti
(1927-05-01)1 May 1927
Casalecchio di Reno, Italy
Died 31 July 2004(2004-07-31) (aged 77)
Rome, Latium, Italy
Occupation Actress

Laura Betti (1 May 1927[1] – 31 July 2004) was an Italian actress known particularly for her work with directors Federico Fellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Bernardo Bertolucci. She had a long friendship with Pasolini and made a documentary about him in 2001. Betti became famous for portraying bizarre, grotesque, eccentric, instable or maniacal roles, like Regina in Bernardo Bertolucci's 1900, Anna the medium in Twitch of the death nerve, Giovanna la pazza in Woman buried alive, hysterical Rita Zigai in Sbatti il mostro in prima pagina and Therese in Private Vices, Public Virtues. Particularly notes her roles as Emilia, the servant, in Pier Paolo Pasolini's Teorema and Mildred, the protagonist's wife-ghost in Mario Bava's Hatchet for the honeymoon.

Early life[edit]

Born Laura Trombetti in Bologna, she grew up to be interested in singing. She first worked professionally in the arts as a jazz singer and moved to Rome. She adopted the surname "Betti" at this time.[citation needed]

Film career[edit]

Betti made her film debut in Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita (1960). In 1963, she became a close friend of the poet and movie director Pier Paolo Pasolini. Under his direction, she proved a wonderful talent and played in seven of his films, including La ricotta (1963), Teorema (Theorem, 1968), his 1972 version of The Canterbury Tales, in which she played the Wife of Bath; and his controversial Salo (1975) ("120 Days of Sodom").[1]

In 1976, Betti portrayed a cruel and eroto-maniacal fascist in Bernardo Bertolucci's Novecento (1900). She also played Miss Blandish in his Last Tango in Paris (1972), though her scenes were deleted.[1]

In 1973 she dubbed the voice of the Devil for the Italian version of William Friedkin's The Exorcist.

From the 1960s, Betti dedicated much of her time to literature and politics. She became the muse for a number of leading political and literary figures in Italy and came to personify the revolutionary and Marxist era of 1970s Italy. In 2001 she had a role in Catherine Breillat's A ma soeur "Fat Girl".

In 2001, she made a documentary about Pasolini, Pier Paolo Pasolini e la ragione di un sogno.[1] She also donated her papers related to their long friendship to the archives in Rome.

Selected filmography[edit]


  • 1960 - Laura Betti con l'orchestra di Piero Umiliani (Jolly, LPJ 5020)
  • 1961 - Ballata dell'uomo ricco/Ballata del pover'uomo (Jolly, J 20128)
  • 1961 - Venere tascabile/Seguendo la flotta (Jolly, J 20135)
  • 1961 - Quattro canzoni con Laura Betti (Jolly, EPJ 3000)
  • 1961 - Laura Betti con l'orchestra di Piero Umiliani (Jolly, EPJ 3005; tracce: Macrì Teresa detta Pazzia/Valzer della toppa/Cocco di mamma)
  • 1961 - Laura Betti con l'orchestra di Piero Umiliani (Jolly, EPJ 3006; tracce: Venere tascabile/Vera signora/E invece no/Non so spiegarmelo)
  • 1962 - Laura Betti (Orphée, 150.019; tracce: Je me jette/La parade du suicide/Je hais Rome/La belle Léontine)
  • 1963 - Laura Betti canta Kurt Weill (Dischi Ricordi, SMRL 6032)
  • 1965 - Ordine e disordine (I dischi del sole, DS 40; tracce: Ai brigoli di Casalecchio/M'hai scocciata, Johnny/Monologo della buca/Solitudine/Lamento del nord)
  • 1968 - Potentissima signora


  1. ^ a b c d Obituary: "Laura Betti", BBC, 1 August 2004

External links[edit]