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Silvana Mangano

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Silvana Mangano
Mangano in 1958
Born(1930-04-21)21 April 1930
Rome, Kingdom of Italy
Died16 December 1989(1989-12-16) (aged 59)
Madrid, Spain
Years active1945–1987
(m. 1949; div. 1988)
Children4, including Veronica, Raffaella, and Federico
AwardsDavid di Donatello for Best Actress
1963: The Verona Trial
1967: The Witches
1972: The Scientific Cardplayer

Nastro d'Argento for Best Actress
1955: The Gold of Naples
1964: The Verona Trial

Nastro d'Argento for Best Supporting Actress
1972: Death in Venice

Silvana Mangano (Italian pronunciation: [silˈvaːna ˈmaŋɡano]; 21 April 1930[1] – 16 December 1989[2]) was an Italian film actress. She was one of a generation of thespians who arose from the neorealist movement, and went on to become a major female star, regarded as a sex symbol for the 1950s and '60s.[3] She won the David di Donatello for Best Actress three times – for The Verona Trial (1963), The Witches (1967), and The Scientific Cardplayer (1973) – and the Nastro d'Argento for Best Actress twice.

Raised in poverty during World War II, Mangano trained as a dancer and worked as a model before winning a Miss Rome beauty pageant in 1946. This led to work in films; she achieved success in Bitter Rice (1949) and went on to forge a successful career in films, working with many notable directors like Pier Paolo Pasolini, Luchino Visconti, Alberto Lattuada, and Vittorio De Sica. Her career continued well into her 50s, with supporting roles in David Lynch's Dune (1984) and Nikita Mikhalkov Dark Eyes (1987).

Mangano was the wife of international film producer Dino De Laurentiis and had four children with him, including Veronica De Laurentiis and Raffaella De Laurentiis.

Early life


Born in Rome to an Italian father and an English mother (Ivy Webb from Croydon), Mangano lived in poverty during World War II. Trained for seven years as a dancer, she supported herself as a model.

In 1946, at age 16, Mangano won the Miss Rome beauty pageant, and through this, she obtained a role in a Mario Costa film.[2] One year later, she became a contestant in the Miss Italia contest. The contest that year became a springboard for a pool of potential actresses, including the winner Lucia Bosé, Mangano, and several other future stars of Italian cinema such as Gina Lollobrigida, Eleonora Rossi Drago and Gianna Maria Canale.



Mangano's earliest connection with filmmaking occurred through her romantic relationship with actor Marcello Mastroianni. This led her to a film contract, though it took some time for Mangano to ascend to international stardom with her performance in Bitter Rice (Riso Amaro, Giuseppe De Santis, 1949). She signed a contract with Lux Film in 1949, and later married producer Dino De Laurentiis.[1]

Although she never had an international career to match her contemporaries Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida, Mangano remained a favorite star between the 1950s and 1970s, appearing in Anna (Alberto Lattuada, 1951), L'oro di Napoli (Vittorio De Sica, 1954), Mambo (Robert Rossen, 1955), Teorema (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1968), Death in Venice (Luchino Visconti, 1971), The Scientific Cardplayer (Luigi Comencini, 1972), and Ludwig (Luchino Visconti, 1973). She played the lead role in the 1967 anthology film The Witches, which featured segments directed by Pasolini, Visconti, De Sica, and Mauro Bolognini. She collaborated four times with Pasolini and Visconti.

Over the course of her career, Mangano won the David di Donatello for Best Actress three times and the Nastro d'Argento for Best Actress twice. Her final film role was in Nikita Mikhalkov for Dark Eyes, for which received a Nastro d'Argento nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

Although it was sung by Flo Sandon's, Silvana Mangano was credited on the record label of "El Negro Zumbón", which is from the soundtrack of the film Anna (1951) and was a hit song in 1953. A clip of the opening of this performance is featured in the film Cinema Paradiso (1988).

Personal life


It is claimed that she had an affair with Mohammad Reza Shah of Iran during the late 1940s.[4] Married to film producer Dino De Laurentiis from 1949, the couple had four children: Veronica, Raffaella, Francesca, and Federico.[2] Veronica's daughter Giada De Laurentiis is the host of Everyday Italian and Giada at Home on the Food Network. Raffaella co-produced with her father on Mangano's penultimate film, Dune (David Lynch, 1984). Federico died in an airplane crash in 1981 in Alaska.[2] De Laurentiis and Mangano separated in 1983, and Mangano began divorce proceedings in 1988.[5]



Following surgery on 4 December 1989 that left her in a coma, Mangano died of lung cancer in Madrid, Spain on 16 December 1989.[1]



In 2000, the city of Rome named a street in the Vallerano district after Mangano.[6]


Mangano in Bitter Rice (1949)
Mangano in This Angry Age (1957)
Mangano in Conversation Piece (1974)
Year Title Role Director Notes
1947 L'elisir d'amore Adina's Girlfriend Mario Costa Uncredited
Flesh Will Surrender Ballerina at Party Alberto Lattuada
1948 Mad About Opera Woman at Carmen's Mario Costa
1949 Black Magic Bit part Gregory Ratoff
Bitter Rice Silvana Giuseppe De Santis
The Wolf of the Sila Rosaria Campolo Duilio Coletti
1950 Il Brigante Musolino Mara Russo Mario Camerini
1951 Anna Sister Anna Alberto Lattuada
1954 Mambo Giovanna Masetti Robert Rossen
The Gold of Naples Teresa Vittorio De Sica Nastro d'Argento for Best Actress
Ulysses Penelope / Circe Mario Camerini
1957 This Angry Age Suzanne Dufresne René Clément Nominated- Nastro d'Argento for Best Actress
The Wolves Teresa Giuseppe De Santis
1958 Tempest Masha Alberto Lattuada
1959 The Great War Costantina Mario Monicelli
1960 Five Branded Women Jovanka Jelisavac Martin Ritt
Crimen Marina Capretti Mario Camerini
1961 The Last Judgment Signora Matteoni Vittorio De Sica
Barabbas Rachel Richard Fleischer
1963 The Verona Trial Edda Ciano Carlo Lizzani David di Donatello for Best Actress
Nastro d'Argento for Best Actress
1964 My Wife The Wife / Clara / Eritrea / Luciana Luigi Comencini
Tinto Brass
Mauro Bolognini
Il disco volante Vittoria Laconiglia Tinto Brass
1966 Me, Me, Me... and the Others Silvia
Pardon, Are You For or Against? Emanuela Alberto Sordi
1967 The Witches Gloria / Woman in a Hurry / Assurdina Caì / Nunzia / Giovanna Luchino Visconti
Mauro Bolognini
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Franco Rossi
Vittorio De Sica
David di Donatello for Best Actress
Oedipus Rex Jocasta Pier Paolo Pasolini
1968 Caprice Italian Style Bambinaia Mario Monicelli
Teorema Lucia Pier Paolo Pasolini
1971 Death in Venice Tadzio's Mother Luchino Visconti Nastro d'Argento for Best Supporting Actress
Scipio the African Aemilia Tertia Luigi Magni
The Decameron The Madonna Pier Paolo Pasolini Uncredited
1972 The Scientific Cardplayer Antonia Luigi Comencini David di Donatello for Best Actress
D'amore si muore Elena Carlo Carunchio
1973 Ludwig Cosima von Bülow Luchino Visconti Nominated- Nastro d'Argento for Best Supporting Actress
1974 Conversation Piece Marchesa Bianca Brumonti Nominated- Nastro d'Argento for Best Actress
1984 Dune Reverend Mother Ramallo David Lynch
1987 Dark Eyes Elisa Patroni Nikita Mikhalkov Nominated- David di Donatello for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated- Nastro d'Argento for Best Supporting Actress
1988 Slugs a diner in restaurant Juan Piquer Simón Uncredited


  1. ^ a b c "Mort de Silvana Mangano La magicienne". Le Monde. 18 December 1989. p. 10.
  2. ^ a b c d Flint, Peter B. (17 December 1989). "Silvana Mangano Is Dead at 59; Starred as Peasant in "Bitter Rice"". New York Times.
  3. ^ "The Erotic Spectacle and Female Beauty Representing a Nation by Katie Suarez". College Film & Media Studies. 10 May 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  4. ^ KINZER, STEPHEN (2003). All the Shah's men : an American coup and the roots of Middle East terror. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 62. ISBN 0-471-26517-9.
  5. ^ Obituary: Dino De Laurentiis, Daily Telegraph, 11 November 2010
  6. ^ "Via Silvana Mangano, Roma (Municipio Roma IX, Zona XXV Vallerano)". vie.openalfa.it (in Italian). Retrieved 18 February 2022.