Last month Virna Lisi died in Rome. She was an actress deeply loved by the public, partly because her decisions were quite unexpected. After signing a seven-year contract with Paramount, she decided to pay a fine and leave the American cinema that wanted to shape her into an image she did not feel was her own. She was one of those actresses who learned their profession through experience. Although it is true that at the beginning of her long career her extraordinary beauty prevailed over her talent, later, with time, Virna Lisi gave proof of natural authority. One of the few Italians who was almost never dubbed, she immediately played rather important roles, winning various awards. Interviewed by Oriana Fallaci in June 1964, at the height of her splendour, she answered the journalist who asked her if she was glad to be beautiful: “I am waiting impatiently for wrinkles, for old age: people will take me more seriously”. And she kept her word: indeed, an absolutely exceptional case in the world of entertainment today, she was not afraid of the years, letting her face tell her age. For this reason too she died when she was 78 without ever having stopped working. And being marvellous.
St. Peter’s Square
Dec. 9, 2019
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