Marla Landi

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Marla Landi (born Marcella Teresa Scarafina in 1933, Turin, Italy) is an Italian-born British film actress.

Early life[edit]

Her major roles included Across the Bridge (1957), Dublin Nightmare (1958), First Man into Space (1959), The Murder Game (1965), and the Hammer films The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959, as Cecille Stapleton) and The Pirates of Blood River (1962). She was a Play School presenter from 1964-70. Joy Whitby, the programme's creator and earliest producer, recalled in 2013: "She spoke English with a heavy accent, but she was very loveable and children adored her."[1] Landi also presented Parliamo Italiano. She also appeared in an episode of the TV version of Hancock's Half Hour called "The Italian Maid" in 1959 though this recording was lost.[2]

She was also a top photographic model and had a number of magazine covers including Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Tatler. She later became the Fashion editor for Harper's Bazaar.

She then went on to set up her own successful international wig business.


She was made a Knight of the Italian Republic for promoting the Italian language and culture in the United Kingdom.

Personal life[edit]

In 1977 she married Sir Francis Dashwood, 11th Baronet. Together they lived at West Wycombe House in Buckinghamshire.


# Year Film Role Notes
1 1954 The Golden Link Maria
2 1957 Across the Bridge Mary
3 1958 Dublin Nightmare Anna Monti
4 1958 First Man into Space Tia Francesca
5 1959 The Hound of the Baskervilles Cecile Stapleton
6 1962 The Pirates of Blood River Bess Standing
7 1965 The Murder Game Marie Aldrich


  1. ^ Sarah Williams "How we made: Joy Whitby and Phyllida Law on Play School", The Guardian, 15 October 2012
  2. ^ "IMdB". Retrieved 20 May 2013. 

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