Edwige Fenech (French: [ɛdviʒ fənɛʃ], Italian: [edˈviʒ feˈnɛk, - ˈfɛːnek]; born Edwige Sfenek on 24 December 1948) is an Italian actress and film producer. 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.
Fenech in All the Colors of the Dark (1972)
24 December 1948
(m. 1971; div. 1979)
Fenech moved from Nice, France to Rome in 1967 for her first Italian film Samoa, Queen of the Jungle by Guido Malatesta. 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 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. 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.
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.
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.
- "Edvige" and "Fenech". DiPI Online. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
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- INTERVISTA A EDWIGE FENECH Archived 2014-10-26 at the Wayback Machine, nocturno.it; accessed 3 June 2017.
- Interview with Fenech, by Luigi Cozzi
- "Edwige Fenech". cultsirens.com. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
- "Edwige Fenech, the giallo queen". rarecultcinema.com. Archived from the original on 25 March 2012. Retrieved 23 October 2011.
- "Tarantino a Roma (meno male che c'è Edwige)". Donna Moderna. 2009-09-22. Retrieved 2019-07-11.
- "Il figlio della Fenech numero 1 di Ferrari negli Usa". liberoquotidiano.it (in Italian). Libero Quotidiano. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
- "Ferrari names Edwin Fenech head of N.A. unit". autonews.com. Automotive News. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
- Stefano Loparco, Il corpo dei Settanta. Il corpo, l'immagine e la maschera di Edwige Fenech, Il Foglio Letterario, 2009. ISBN 978-8876062582.