Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Through the Lens: Alida Valli

The stunning actress Alida Valli.

I recently watched The Third Man, an excellent British film noir starring Orson Welles, his good friend Joseph Cotten and the Italian-Austrian actress Alida Valli.  Valli is absolutely striking in the film, playing Welles' distraught Czech refugee girlfriend in post-war Vienna.  David O. Selznick hoped to turn her into the next Ingrid Bergman or Greta Garbo, and Benito Mussolini declared her the most beautiful woman in the world after Garbo (Source).  In The Third Man, I found her to be somewhat reminiscent of Vivien Leigh.

Though Selznick tried to groom her to be the next great American screen starlet, Valli was mostly successful in Europe -- until a 1953 murder scandal involving her lover greatly affected her career to the point where she had to rebuild it, though she would continue to act, in television, films and plays throughout her life.  When she died in 2006 at the age of 84, Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi said her death was a "serious loss to Italian film, theater and culture." (Source)

Photo Sources:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

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