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      Virna Lisi

      Virna Lisi

      Highest Rated: 82% Queen Margot (1994)

      Lowest Rated: 64% Eva (1962)

      Birthday: Nov 8, 1936

      Birthplace: Jesi, Marche, Italy

      A blonde bombshell whose career spanned two continents and five decades, Virna Lisi began her life as Virna Pieralisi in Acona, Italy. The daughter of a marble importer, Lisi developed into a stunning beauty by her teens, prompting her to be discovered by two Neapolitan movie producers, Antonio Ferrigno and Ettore Pesce, while staying in Paris in 1953. Later that year, the 17 year-old would appear in her first movie, "...e Napoli canta!" (1953). Lisi's new career in show business would mean coloring her brunette hair to her now trademark light blonde shade and diving full-force into many areas of performance at once. She studied stage acting, starring in Federico Zardi's "I giacobini" at the Piccolo Teatro di Milano in 1957 under the direction of the respected Giorgio Strehler. She also appeared in a memorable ad campaign for an Italian toothpaste brand, famously uttering the catchphrase "Con quella bocca può dire ciò che vuole," (with such a mouth, she can say whatever she wants), which would become a staple moment of Italian popular culture. In 1960, Lisi married footbal club magnate and architect Franco Pesci, prompting the actress to briefly consider retiring from acting in order to devote herself full time to her responsibilities as a wife. According to Lisi, this idea was very short lived, and she was back to business within a few months. Though Lisi would give birth to her and Pesci's son, Corrado just two years later, her career did not lose traction. By 1965, she was traveling to Hollywood to appear in her first American movie, the Jack Lemmon comedy "How to Murder Your Wife" (1965). Riding a wave of popularity for European actresses in Hollywood, Lisi would be cast as the knockout beauty in a number of English speaking roles over the next few years, such as "Not with My Wife, You Don't!" (1966) with Tony Curtis, and "Assault on a Queen" (1966) with Frank Sinatra. However, Lisi soon became frustrated with the repetitive nature of these parts, which made much of her alluring good looks, but not of her acting abilities. By 1968, Lisi was cast as the lead in the now cult classic "Barbarella" (1968), but she was so tired of playing pure glamour roles that she turned the movie down and returned to her native Italy. At this time, Lisi began a new and exciting chapter in her career, taking on roles that used her comely looks for satire or juxtaposition, like in "Arabella" (1968) and "Le dolci signore" (1968). These films found Lisi playing characters with sneaky or underhanded motives, relying upon Lisi's own personality and acting choices for full effect. She would continue to explore more and more dark and complex characters in the years to come, gaining particular acclaim for her turn as the cruel Catherine de'Medici in "Queen Margot" (1994), which earned her a Cesar award for Best Supporting Actress. Lisi would continue to work at a near constant pace, finding particular success in the 2010s on television mini-series like "Madre, aiutami." (Rai 1, 2014). Lisi's acting career was only halted by her death in 2014 due to lung cancer. She died in Rome at the age of 78.

      Highest rated movies

      Queen Margot
      The Secret of Santa Vittoria
      How to Murder Your Wife
      Eva

      Photos

      THE 25TH HOUR, (aka LA VINGT-CINQUIEME HEURE), Anthony Quinn, Virna Lisi, 1967 THE DOLLS, (aka LE BAMBOLE), Nino Manfredi, Virna Lisi, 1965 THE 25TH HOUR, (aka LA VINGT-CINQUIEME HEURE), from left, Anthony Quinn, Virna Lisi, 1967 THE 25TH HOUR, (aka LA VINGT-CINQUIEME HEURE), Virna Lisi, 1967 THE 25TH HOUR, (aka LA VINGT-CINQUIEME HEURE), Virna Lisi, Anthony Quinn, 1967 HOW TO MURDER YOUR WIFE, Virna Lisi (on piano), Jack Lemmon (background center, holding flower pot), 1965 THE STATUE, Virna Lisi, David Niven, 1971 THE STATUE, from left: Virna Lisi, Robert Vaughn, 1971 NOT WITH MY WIFE, YOU DON'T!, George C. Scott, Virna Lisi, Tony Curtis, 1966 EVA, Virna Lisi, 1962 THE CHRISTMAS TREE, Virna Lisi, Brook Fuller, William Holden, 1969 HOW TO MURDER YOUR WIFE, Virna Lisi, 1965 THE SECRET OF SANTA VITTORIA, Sergio Franchi, Virna Lisi, 1969 HOW TO MURDER YOUR WIFE, Jack Lemmon, Virna Lisa, 1965, sleeping BLUEBEARD, from left: Virna Lisi, Richard Burton, 1972 ARABELLA, from left: Virna Lisi, James Fox, 1967 NOT WITH MY WIFE, YOU DON'T!, Tony Curtis, Virna Lisi, George C. Scott, 1966 HOW TO MURDER YOUR WIFE, Eddie Mayehoff, Jack Lemmon, Jack Albertson, Virna Lisi, Claire Trevor, 1965 CASANOVA '70, from left: Marcello Mastroianni, Virna Lisi, 1965 BLUEBEARD, Richard Burton, Virna Lisi, 1972

      Filmography

      Movies

      Credit
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Paul Street Boys Edit Horváth (Character) - 2003
      No Score Yet 66% The Best Day of My Life Irene (Character) - 2002
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Piccolo mondo antico Orsola (Character) - 2001
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Greatest Gift Unknown (Character) - 2000
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Balzac Madame de Berny (Character) - 1999
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Cristallo di rocca: Una storia di Natale Sanna (Character) - 1999
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Follow Your Heart Old Olga (Character) - 1996
      82% 88% Queen Margot Catherine de Médicis (Character) $11.3K 1994
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Cinema Unknown (Character) - 1989
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Buon Natale... Buon anno Elvira (Character) - 1989
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Les garçons de la rue Panisperna Signora Majorana (Character) - 1988
      No Score Yet No Score Yet I Love N.Y. Anna Cotone (Character) - 1987
      No Score Yet 50% Sapore di mare (Time for Loving) Unknown (Character) - 1983
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Miss Right Anna (Character) - 1981
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Cricket Wilma Malinverni (Character) - 1980
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Ernesto Unknown (Character) - 1979
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Cobblestones Alny (Character) - 1978
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Challenge to White Fang Sister Evangelina (Character) - 1974
      No Score Yet 62% Night Flight From Moscow Mrs. Annabel Lee (Character) - 1973
      No Score Yet 14% White Fang Sister Evangelina (Character) - 1973
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Statue Rhonda Bolt (Character) - 1971
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Roma bene Silvia Santi (Character) - 1971
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Heist Stella (Character) - 1970
      73% 83% The Secret of Santa Vittoria Caterina Malatesta (Character) - 1969
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Girl Who Couldn't Say No Yolanda (Character) - 1969
      No Score Yet 82% The Christmas Tree Catherine Graziani (Character) - 1969
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Arabella Arabella (Character) - 1969
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Better a Widow Rosa Minniti (Character) - 1969
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Anyone Can Play Luisa (Character) - 1968
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Made in Italy Virginia (Character) - 1967
      No Score Yet 94% The 25th Hour Suzanna Moritz (Character) - 1967
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Girl and the General Ada (Character) - 1967
      No Score Yet 38% Not With My Wife, You Don't! Julietta "Julie" Ferris (Character) - 1966
      No Score Yet 36% Assault on a Queen Rosa Lucchesi (Character) - 1966
      No Score Yet No Score Yet A Virgin for the Prince Giulia (Character) - 1966
      No Score Yet 91% The Birds, the Bees and the Italians Milena Zulian (Character) - 1966
      No Score Yet 30% The Possessed Tilde (Character) - 1965
      No Score Yet 83% Bambole! Luisa (Character) - 1965
      No Score Yet 59% Casanova 70 Gigliola (Character) - 1965
      64% 63% How to Murder Your Wife Mrs. Ford (Character) - 1965
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Kiss the Other Sheik Dorotea (Character) - 1965
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Don't Tempt the Devil Gina Bianchi (Character) - 1964
      No Score Yet 60% The Black Tulip Caroline "Caro" Plantin (Character) - 1964
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Shortest Day Naja (Character) - 1963
      64% 56% Eva Francesca (Character) $6.4K 1962
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Duel of the Titans Julia (Character) - 1961
      No Score Yet No Score Yet His Excellency Stayed to Dinner Silvia (Character) - 1961
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Your Excellency Unknown (Character) - 1960
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Doll That Took the Town Liliana Attenni (Character) - 1957
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Addio, Napoli! Clara's friend (Character) - 1955

      TV

      Credit
      No Score Yet No Score Yet What's My Line? Guest 1966