Saturday, May 11, 2013

Movie actress Claudia Cardinale

Claudia Cardinale is the most accomplished Italian film actress of the 1960s and 1970s whose name isn't Sophia Loren.

Unlike Sophia Loren, though, "CC" (as Ms. Cardinale was sometimes called) didn't make a serious effort at American stardom because she preferred living and working in the Old Country, so she hasn't made too many Hollywood films.  She does appear in the original Pink Panther movie, though, as well as in Circus World (1964) and Blindfold (1965), among her other American credits.

Fans of foreign films, though, will remember her performances in two 1963 Italian classics - Federico Fellinni's and Luchino Visconti's The Leopard (which also starred American actor Burt Lancaster). The former movie was the first in which she was allowed to loop her own voice on the soundtrack; in previous movies, she was dubbed by other actresses because directors didn't like her throaty voice. Ironically, her own voice helped make her a star.  (Fans of Sergio Leone will remember her in 1968's Once Upon a Time In the West.)

Also check her out as the paramour of the title character in 1982's Fitzcarraldo, Werner Herzog's classic about a man's quixotic ambition of building an opera house in the most remote area of Peru for Caruso to sing in.

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