Delia Scala

Delia Scala (25 September 1929 – 15 January 2004) was an Italian ballerina, actress and singer who played a leading role in the nascent commedia musicale.[1]


Born Odette Bedogni in Bracciano, Lazio, Italy, as a young girl the family moved to Milan where she studied ballet at "La Scala" Ballet School for seven years.[2] She performed in numerous ballets until World War II, after which she began appearing in motion pictures using the stage name, Delia Scala: Difficult Years (Anni difficili,1948), Side Street Story (Napoli milionaria, 1950), Rome 11:00 (Roma ore 11, 1952), Touchez pas au grisbi (1954), Gentlemen Are Born (Signori si nasce, 1960).

In 1954 Delia debuted in theatre in Giove in doppiopetto (Jove in double-breasted), that is considered the first real commedia musicale, the italian peculiar form of musical created by playwrights Pietro Garinei and Sandro Giovannini with the collaboration of the musician and songwriter Gorni Kramer. Later she was protagonist in Buonanotte Bettina (Goodnight Bettina,1956) with Walter Chiari, L'adorabile Giulio (1957) with Carlo Dapporto, Un trapezio per Lisistrata (1958) with Nino Manfredi and Paolo Panelli, Delia Scala Show (1960), Rinaldo in campo (Rinaldo into the field,1961) with Domenico Modugno, My fair lady (1964) with Gianrico Tedeschi and Mario Carotenuto. Il giorno della tartaruga (The day of the turtle, 1965) with Renato Rascel.

Meanwhile she appeared in the TV variety show Lui e Lei (1956) with Nino Taranto. In 1959-60 she presented Canzonissima in conjunction with Nino Manfredi and Paolo Panelli.

In 1965, after 12 years of uninterrupted performances in Italy and Europe, always successful but stressful, at the height of her success (and receiving important opportunities in Broadway), suddenly decided to abandon acting in the theater. Delia wanted to take better care of her private life, so in 1966 she married and dedicated herself to the family. However, with a renewed success, she continued her brilliant activity, animating some important television varieties and subsequently some serials.

In 1968 she was the protagonist of Delia Scala Story, written by Garinei and Giovannini. In 1970 the variety Signore e signora (Lord and Lady) with Lando Buzzanca achieved immense popularity. Followed 9 years of distance from the world of variety, until she returned in great form in 1979 with the show Che combinazione (What a combination) that saw her in the role of presenter, as well as a dancer alongside Don Lurio.

In four times, from 1980 to 1983, in the famous large arena for shows Bussoladomani in Lido di Camaiore, together with Raimondo Vianello and Sandra Mondaini, created and conducted the big variety Una rosa per la Vita (A rose for life) to raise funds to support cancer prevention and research.

Delia Scala returned to television interpreting the fiction Casa Cecilia (three series: 1982, 1983, 1987) for RAI. His last commitment, after years away from the show, was the sitcom Io e la mamma, (Mum and I) aired between 1996 and 1998 on Canale 5. [3]

Personal life

Scala achieved great fame and success, but her life was plagued by misfortune and sorrowful losses. In 1946, at the age 17 she married a Greek military officer who had come to Italy to join the partisan forces in the fight against the Nazi-fascists, but separated from him two years later, and got the marriage annulled in 1956.

During the mid-1950s she became engaged with Formula One race car driver Eugenio Castellotti. He died in 1957 when his Ferrari crashed while attempting a speed record at the Modena race track.[4]

She married in 1967 to Piero Giannotti, but was widowed when he died in 1982 of a heart attack while bicycling along the beach in Viareggio. She married a third time in 1985 with industrialist Arturo Fremura, but this marriage ended with her husband's death of liver cancer in 2001. [5]

In 1974 Delia Scala was diagnosed with breast cancer, and underwent a radical mastectomy. Although she appeared to have healed completely, in 2002 she was struck again with the same illness. After two more years, Delia Scala died in 2004 in Livorno, Tuscany. Today she rests in the Cimitero della Misericordia in Livorno.

With the news of her death, Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi called her a "model of vivaciousness and rigorous professionalism" and said she ranked among "the most beloved and popular artists in the history of Italian entertainment".

Selected filmography

Theatre credits

  • Giove in doppiopetto (1954)
  • Buonanotte Bettina (1956)
  • L'adorabile Giulio (1957)
  • La tempesta (1957)
  • Un trapezio per Lisistrata (1958)
  • Delia Scala Show (1961)
  • Rinaldo in campo (1961)
  • My Fair Lady (1964)
  • Il giorno della tartaruga (1965)


  1. "Delia Scala, ballerina, actress and star of early Italian television dies at 74". AP Worldstream. (15 January 2004). Retrieved on 2015-07-05.
  2. Delia Scala. Variety (20 January 2004). Retrieved on 2015-07-05.
  3. "Delia, la soubrette della porta accanto - Il Piccolo". Archivio - Il Piccolo (in Italian). Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  4. "Eugenio Castellotti: Con le corse nel sangue" (in Italian). Retrieved 9 September 2019. Nei primi mesi del 1957 il nome di Castellotti compare sui giornali non per le sue imprese sportive, ma per la sua discussa relazione con la soubrette Delia Scala
  5. "Delia Scala". IMDb. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.