Edwige Fenech

Edwige Fenech (French: [ɛdviʒ fənɛʃ], Italian: [edˈviʒ feˈnɛk, - ˈfɛːnek];[1] born Edwige Sfenek on 24 December 1948) is an Italian actress and film producer.[2] She is mostly known as the star of a series of commedia sexy all'italiana and giallo films released in the 1970s, which turned her into a sex symbol.

Edwige Fenech
Edwige Sfenek

(1948-12-24) 24 December 1948
OccupationActress, producer
Years active1968–present
Luciano Martino
(m. 1971; div. 1979)
Children1 son

Cinema career

Fenech moved from Nice, France to Rome in 1967 for her first Italian film Samoa, Queen of the Jungle by Guido Malatesta.[3][4] In 1968, she came under contract with Austrian director Franz Antel and from the late 1960s to early 1970s, she acted in various films of Antel (including his acclaimed Frau Wirtin series) as well as that of Franz Marischka.

Fenech starred in many genres of cinema[5] but her greatest commercial success came with commedia sexy all'italiana films, particularly including earlier works Ubalda, All Naked and Warm and Giovannona Long-Thigh, as well as the following l'insegnante (school teacher), la soldatessa (soldier), la poliziotta (policewoman) series and other films that featured Fenech in stereotypical professions, which further bolstered Fenech's position as the most popular actress of the genre. She often paired with Carlo Giuffrè and later with Renzo Montagnani in commedia sexy films.

Fenech was also a regular in giallo films.[6] Her works in this genre include The Seducers, Five Dolls for an August Moon, The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh, Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, All the Colors of the Dark, The Case of the Bloody Iris, Strip Nude for Your Killer, and Phantom of Death.

Later career

In the 1980s, she became a television personality, typically appearing with Barbara Bouchet on a chat show on Italian television. After many years of work in movie production, she co-produced The Merchant of Venice (2004) with Al Pacino, and later accepted Quentin Tarantino's offer to star in another movie, Hostel: Part II. Tarantino named the character of Lt. Ed Fenech in Inglourious Basterds in her honour, and invited Fenech to the Italy premiere of his film.[7]

Personal life

Fenech was born in Bône, Constantine, French Algeria (now Annaba, Annaba Province, Algeria) to a Maltese father and Sicilian mother. She was married to Italian film producer Luciano Martino from 1971 to 1979.

In the mid-1990s, she was engaged to the well-known Italian industrialist Luca di Montezemolo. Her son Edwin (born 1971) has worked at her production company and was the former CEO of the Ferrari Asia-Pacific, Ferrari Greater China and Ferrari North America.[8][9]

Selected filmography

Year Title Role Director
1968 Sexy Susan Sins Again Céline Franz Antel
Samoa, Queen of the Jungle Samoa Guido Malatesta
1969 The Seducers Ulla Ottavio Alessi
Madame Bovary Emma Bovary Hans Schott-Schöbinger
1970 Don Franco e Don Ciccio nell'anno della contestazione Anna Bellinzoni Marino Girolami
Satiricosissimo Poppaea Sabina Mariano Laurenti
Five Dolls for an August Moon Marie Chaney Mario Bava
1971 The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh Julie Wardh Sergio Martino
1972 When Women Were Called Virgins Giulia Varrone Aldo Grimaldi
The Case of the Bloody Iris Jennifer Osterman Giuliano Carnimeo
All the Colors of the Dark Jane Harrison Sergio Martino
Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key Floriana Sergio Martino
Ubalda, All Naked and Warm Ubalda Mariano Laurenti
Naughty Nun Antonia Mariano Laurenti
1973 Giovannona Long-Thigh Giovannona Coscialunga Sergio Martino
Mean Frank and Crazy Tony Orchidea Michele Lupo
Holy God, Here Comes the Passatore! Mora Giuliano Carnimeo
Anna, quel particolare piacere Anna Giuliano Carnimeo
1974 Poker in Bed Eva Giuliano Carnimeo
Innocence and Desire Carmela Paternò Massimo Dallamano
1975 Strip Nude for Your Killer Magda Andrea Bianchi
The School Teacher Giovanna Pagaus Nando Cicero
Lover Boy Marianna Marino Girolami
La moglie vergine Valentina Marino Girolami
1976 Sex with a Smile Emilia Chiapponi Sergio Martino
Confessions of a Lady Cop Gianna Amicucci Michele Massimo Tarantini
My Sister in Law (La Pretora) Viola Orlando / Rosa Orlando Lucio Fulci
Evil Thoughts Francesca Marani Ugo Tognazzi
La dottoressa del distretto militare Dr. Elena Dogliotti Nando Cicero
1977 The Schoolteacher Goes to Boys' High Monica Sebastiani Mariano Laurenti
The Virgo, the Taurus and the Capricorn Gioia Ferretti Luciano Martino
Taxi Girl Marcella Michele Massimo Tarantini
1978 The School Teacher in the House Luisa De Dominicis Michele Massimo Tarantini
Amori miei Deborah Steno
The Greatest Battle Danielle Umberto Lenzi
1979 Dr. Jekyll Likes Them Hot Barbara Wimply Steno
Hot Potato Maria Steno
A Policewoman on the Porno Squad Gianna D'Amico Michele Massimo Tarantini
Saturday, Sunday and Friday Eng. Tokimoto Sergio Martino
1980 Sugar, Honey and Pepper Amalia Passalacqua Sergio Martino
I'm Photogenic Cinzia Pancaldi Dino Risi
Il ladrone Deborah Pasquale Festa Campanile
Catherine and I Elisabetta Alberto Sordi
La moglie in vacanza... l'amante in città Giulia Sergio Martino
1981 Asso Silvia Castellano & Pipolo
A Policewoman in New York Gianna Amicucci / La Pupa Michele Massimo Tarantini
Cornetti alla crema Marianna Sergio Martino
Il ficcanaso Susanna Luisetti Bruno Corbucci
1982 Il paramedico Nina Miglio Sergio Nasca
Don't Play with Tigers Francesca Del Prà Sergio Martino
1984 Vacanze in America Miss De Romanis Carlo Vanzina
1988 Phantom of Death Hélène Martell Ruggero Deodato
1993 Private Crimes Nicole Venturi Sergio Martino
2007 Hostel: Part II Art Class Professor Eli Roth


  1. "Edvige" and "Fenech". DiPI Online. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  2. "Edwige Fenech". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  3. INTERVISTA A EDWIGE FENECH Archived 2014-10-26 at the Wayback Machine, nocturno.it; accessed 3 June 2017.
  4. Interview with Fenech, by Luigi Cozzi
  5. "Edwige Fenech". cultsirens.com. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  6. "Edwige Fenech, the giallo queen". rarecultcinema.com. Archived from the original on 25 March 2012. Retrieved 23 October 2011.
  7. "Tarantino a Roma (meno male che c'è Edwige)". Donna Moderna. 2009-09-22. Retrieved 2019-07-11.
  8. "Il figlio della Fenech numero 1 di Ferrari negli Usa". liberoquotidiano.it (in Italian). Libero Quotidiano. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  9. "Ferrari names Edwin Fenech head of N.A. unit". autonews.com. Automotive News. Retrieved 5 October 2018.

Further reading

  • Stefano Loparco, Il corpo dei Settanta. Il corpo, l'immagine e la maschera di Edwige Fenech, Il Foglio Letterario, 2009. ISBN 978-8876062582.
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