Claudia Cardinale.


Active Member
Claudia Cardinale.

Claudia Cardinale was born April 15, 1939 in Tunis, Tunisia to Sicilian parents. Her planned career as a teacher came to an abrupt halt when, in 1957, she won 'The Most Beautiful Italian Girl in Tunisia' contest. She still laughs at that title as, at the time, she could barely speak Italian, having been raised with French as her first language.
The contest prize was a trip to Venice where she immediately caught the eye of the Italian film industry. After attending the 'Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia' in Rome for two months she was given a seven year contract with Vides Films, making her screen debut in Goha (1958), quickly followed by a role in the international hit Big Deal on Madonna Street.

The contract from Vides famously had several clauses forbidding her to cut her hair without approval, marry or gain weight. Her early career was adeptly guided by Vide's producer Franco Cristaldi, initially as her mentor, and later, from 1966 to 1975, as her husband.
One the early films to establish Claudia as a talented dramatic actress was Valerio Zurlini's Girl with a Suitcase (1960). In Mauro Bolognini's Il'Bell Antonio, also 1960, she had another important lead role starring opposite Marcello Mastroianni, an actor she worked with on numerous occasions.
1960 saw her work for the first time with acclaimed director Luchino Visconti in his celebrated neo-realist film Rocco and His Brothers. Although Cardinale had a minor role in this film, her talent did not go unnoticed by the director who subsequently gave her a lead role in The Leopard (1963) starring along side giants of cinema Burt Lancaster and Alain Delon.
In fact 1963 was very much a seminal year for Cardinale. As well as playing Maria in La Ragazza di Bube (Bebo's Girl), a role for which she would win a Nastro d'Argento (Silver Ribbon) for Best Actress, that year also saw her working with another master of Italian cinema, Federico Fellini, in what many consider to be one of the great movie masterpieces, 8-1/2.
It is in Fellini's 8-1/2 that Claudia Cardinale's distinctive voice was first heard by an Italian audience. Previous to this, in all her Italian films, she had been dubbed, initially due to her not being fluent in Italian and then, as her Italian improved, due to her French accent sounding strange to an Italian audience.

"When I arrived for my first movie, I couldn't speak a word [of Italian]. I thought I was on the moon. I couldn't understand what they were talking about. And I was speaking in French; in fact I was dubbed. And Federico Fellini was the first one who used my voice. I think I had a very strange voice."

But Fellini loved this 'strange' accent, adding to the mystery of the actress that he uses to symbolize female beauty - an embodiment of the ideal woman.

In the film Claudia Cardinale actually plays herself, and it is therefore only fitting that her own voice is heard. Her screen-time in 8-1/2 is all too brief but distinctly memorable and, with it, her status as Italy's latest leading lady secured. She had followed in the footsteps of Gina Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren to become an international star and sex symbol.
Brigitte Bardot famously remarked "I already know who's destined to take my place. There can be only one, and one alone. After BB comes CC, no?". Claudia, however, transcended the label of sex symbol and, not purely reliant on looks, proved herself time and again to be a talented and versatile actress.
The time was now right for Claudia Cardinale to make the move into Hollywood productions, even though her first role in that respect, as Princess Dala in Blake Edwards The Pink Pan


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RE: Claudia Cardinale.

Great celebrity profile mak, very interesting



Very nice site.

Grace 111

Active Member
That's a very beautiful actress born in Tunisia. She knows how to speak French. It's good to know she finally got to speak for herself. My daughter is talking 4 years of French in school.


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Claudia Cardinale: The best!


Registered User
Claudia Cardinale: The best!
Hi Aninha hope that you are in good health! Claudia was a very beautiful lady in her younger days..:)


New Member
Roulla, I agree with you!