Franca Faldini

Franca Faldini (10 February 1931 – 22 July 2016) was an Italian writer, journalist and actress.

Franca Faldini
Faldini (right) with Totò
Born10 February 1931 (1931-02-10)
Rome, Italy
Died22 July 2016 (2016-07-23) (aged 85)
Rome, Italy
OccupationActress, journalist, writer

Life and career

Born in Rome into a middle-class Jewish family, Faldini was forced to flee to Tuscany because of the Fascist racial laws. After the war, she was noticed by Ben Stahl, who pictured her in a painting called "Moment at Villa D'Este" for the magazine Esquire. She later moved to Hollywood, where she won a beauty contest for aspiring actresses called "Miss Cheesecake", and made her film debut in Sailor Beware.[1]

Returning to Italy, where she was initially billed as "The Italian who comes from Hollywood",[2] Faldini started a relationship with the popular comedian Totò, also appearing in several of his films. In 1954, they had a son, Massenzio, who died a few weeks after his birth. Totò dedicated a song to her, "Principessa".[3]

In 1955, dissatisfied with her roles, Faldini eventually retired from acting, making occasional returns in 1957, when she replaced on stage the injured main actress Franca Maj in a revue alongside Totò, and in 1998, appearing in Incontri proibiti, the last film by Alberto Sordi.[2] Faldini eventually started a career as a journalist and writer, co-writing with Goffredo Fofi a history of Italian cinema, L’Avventurosa storia del cinema italiano, and writing several books about Totò.[1][2]


Year Title Role Notes
1952Sailor BewareBit RoleUncredited
1952Toto and the WomenLa signora dell'appuntamento
1953Man, Beast and VirtueMariannina
1953Neapolitan TurkAngelica
1953Funniest Show on EarthYvonne, la soubrette
1954Where Is Freedom?Maria
1954Poverty and NobilityNadia
1955Toto in HellMaria
1955Are We Men or Corporals?
1998Incontri proibitiAlessandra Andreoli(final film role)


  1. Fabio Ferzetti (22 July 2016). "Addio Franca Faldini, compagna di Totò e scrittrice, antidiva eccentrica e preziosa, oggi i funerali". Il Messaggero. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  2. Enrico Lancia. "Faldini, Franca". Dizionario del cinema italiano, Le Attrici. Gremese Editore, 2003. ISBN 888440214X.
  3. Alessandro Chetta (22 July 2016). "È morta Franca Faldini, ultima compagna di Totò". Corriere del Mezzogiorno. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
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