Lorella De Luca

Lorella De Luca (17 September 1940 – 9 January 2014) was an Italian film, television, and voice actress. One of the most recognized ingenues of Italian cinema during the mid-to-late 1950s, she is best known for having played naive young girls in dramas and comedies.

Lorella De Luca
Lorella De Luca in the film Il bidone
Born(1940-09-17)17 September 1940
Died9 January 2014(2014-01-09) (aged 73)
Civitavecchia, Rome, Italy
Other namesHally Hammond
Assistant director
Years active1955–1984
Duccio Tessari (m. 19711994)
ChildrenFederica Tessari
Fiorenza Tessari

She was born in Florence, Italy and, following her "discovery" at age 14, made her acting debut in the Federico Fellini film Il bidone (1955). De Luca's breakout role, however, came a year later following her performance in Dino Risi's comedy Poor, But Beautiful (1956) and continued on in the genre, with appearances in Mario Monicelli films A Tailor's Maid (1957) and Doctor and the Healer (1957), as well as in Duccio Tessari's Spaghetti Westerns A Pistol for Ringo (1965) and its sequel The Return of Ringo (1965) with Giuliano Gemma.


Lorella De Luca was born in Florence, Italy on 17 September 1940. "Discovered" at the age of fourteen by a director who followed De Luca home, and convinced her father that she should be in films,[1] she made her feature film debut in Federico Fellini's Il bidone (1955) as Patrizia, the young daughter of middle-aged con man Augusto (Broderick Crawford).[2][3][4][5] She subsequently attended the prestigious "Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia" (Experimental Cinematography Centre) in Rome, and the following year appeared in what would be her breakout role in Dino Risi's Poor, But Beautiful (1956) alongside other young actors Marisa Allasio, Renato Salvatori and Maurizio Arena.[6][7] The success of the film made De Luca one of the most popular ingenues of Italian cinema; her freshness and grace endeared her to the public.[8]

De Luca was one of several women romantically involved with her Poor, But Beautiful co-star Maurizio Arena.[9] She co-starred with Arena in Il principe fusto (1960), a film which he co-wrote, produced and directed. Their relationship created a minor scandal when it was revealed by the Italian media that Arena, after publicly announcing his intention to wed Anna Maria Pierangeli, was also engaged to De Luca.[10]

She specialized in the character of the naive young girl, a kind of an Italian Sandra Dee, and appeared in a series of hit comedies: Fathers and Sons (1957)[11] and The Doctor and the Sorcerer (1957) by Mario Monicelli, the latter starring Vittorio de Sica and Marcello Mastroianni, Sunday Is Always Sunday (1958) by Camillo Mastrocinque, First Love (1958) by Mario Camerini,[12] Gianni Franciolini's romantic comedy Love on the Riviera (1958),[13] and many others.[8] In 1958, De Luca joined Alessandra Panaro and Mario Riva as a show girl in the popular TV quiz show Il Musichiere (The Musician). She also had minor roles in "sword-and-sandal" and "muscleman" films, often being cast as a princess or slave girl, such as Sheba and the Gladiator (1959) and Sign of the Gladiator (1965).[5]

With the beginning of the 1960s, De Luca received more and more roles in commercial films. She had a brief, but memorable, foray into the Spaghetti Western genre. In 1965, under the pseudonym "Hally Hammond", she had supporting roles in A Pistol for Ringo[14][15] and its sequel, The Return of Ringo, both directed by her future husband Duccio Tessari. De Luca appeared in nine other films directed by her husband, most notably, Una voglia da morire (1965) and Kiss Kiss...Bang Bang (1966),[16][17] between 1965 and 1978. After 1967, with the birth of their two daughters Federica and Fiorenza Tessari, in addition to her losing interest as a character actor, she accepted only occasional parts during the next decade.

Her last acting roles were in The Fifth Commandment (1978)[8] and the 1984 television miniseries Nata d'amore. She was actively involved in her husband's later career and was first assistant director in his final film There Was a Castle with Forty Dogs (1990). De Luca made one last appearance in Bonus malus (1993) and retired from the film industry after Tessari's death the following year.


De Luca starred in a total of nine films directed by Tessari, whom she married in 1971, in addition to working behind the scenes as an assistant director.


De Luca died on 9 January 2014, aged 73, after a long battle with a brain tumor, which had caused her to lose her vision sometime before her death.[18][19][20]


As an actress
Year Title Role Notes
1955Il BidonePatrizia
1956Roland the MightyAlda / Aude
1957Poor, But BeautifulMarisa Toccacieli
A Tailor's MaidMarcella Corallo
Sette canzoni per sette sorelleGiulietta
I misteri di ParigiMaria, la Cantante
Doctor and the HealerClamide
Poor Girl, Pretty GirlMarisa Toccacieli
L'ultima violenzaLisa Carani
Gente feliceGioia
Dinanzi a noi il cieloAmichetta di Tom
1958Napoli sole mio!Lorella
Sunday Is Always SundayMaria Luisa Gastaldi
El hombre del paraguas blancoEsperanza
Il bacio del soleTeresa
Love on the RivieraLina
Tuppe tuppe, Marescià!Maria Paoletti
1959First LoveFrancesca
Sheba and the GladiatorBathsheba, the Vestal
Poveri milionariMarisa
Ciao, ciao bambina!Proietti, Gloria
Costa AzzurraLisa
La duchessa di Santa LuciaFernanda, la nipote di Carmela
Quanto sei bella RomaLorella
Agosto, donne mie non vi conoscoAnna Moriconi
1960Il principe fustoAngela
Caccia al maritoGiulia
1961Beauty on the Beach
1962Charge of the Black LancersSamal
Taras Bulba, the CossackNatalia
La notte dell'innominato
1963The Shortest DayErede SicilianaUncredited
1964Le fils de Tarass BoulbaNadia
1965Una voglia da morireMarisa
A Pistol for RingoMiss Rubyas Hally Hammond
The Return of RingoHelen Brown / Hally Fitzgeraldas Hally Hammond
1966Kiss Kiss...Bang BangFrida Kadar
1967Per amore... per magia...
1971The Bloodstained ButterflyMarta Clerici
1974Tough GuysAnne Lombardo
1976La madama
1978The Fifth CommandmentMutter Redder
1993Bonus malusSignora Altoviti
2009A Greek Western TragedyHerselfVideo documentary short
As an assistant director
Year Title Role Notes
1978La morte risale a ieri sera(assistant director)
1978Winged Devils(assistant director)
1990There Was a Castle with Forty Dogs(first assistant director)


Year Title Role Notes
1984Nata d'amoreTV mini-series

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2009Empire: Total WarCampaign advisorVoice


  1. "Discovery of Lorella De Luca." Cosmopolitan. Sept. 1961: 52+. ("Discovery of Lorella De Luca (left) reads like script: at fourteen, she was spotted by director, who followed her home, convinced father she should be in, films. Now 21, she is a talented actress.")
  2. Sadoul, Georges. Dictionary of Films. Trans. Peter Morris. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1972. (pg. 32) ISBN 0-520-02152-5
  3. Alpert, Hollis. Fellini, a life. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000. (pg. 104) ISBN 0-7432-1309-2
  4. Bondanella, Peter E. A History of Italian Cinema. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2009. (pg. 150) ISBN 1-4411-6069-8
  5. Hughes, Howard. Once Upon a Time in the Italian West: The Filmgoers' Guide to Spaghetti Westerns. New York: I.B. Tauris & Co., 2004. (pg. 20) ISBN 1-85043-896-X
  6. Rondi, Gian Luigi. Italian Cinema Today, 1952–1965. New York: Hill and Wang, 1966 (pg. 157).
  7. Cowie, Peter, ed. International Film Guide 1983. London: The Tantivy Press, 1983.
  8. "Lorella De Luca". Biografia. MyMovies.it. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
  9. Gundle, Stephen. Death and the Dolce Vita: The Dark Side of Rome in the 1950s. Edinburgh: Canongate Books, 2011. (pg. 227) ISBN 0-85786-049-6
  10. Allen, Jane. Pier Angeli: A Fragile Life. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Co., 2002. (pp. 159–160); ISBN 0-7864-1392-1 ("The press claimed they were inseparable. However, when Arena publicly announced his intention of marrying Anna Maria Pierangeli, it was revealed that he already had a fiancée, a starlet named Lorella De Luca")
  11. Cardullo, Bert. Vittorio De Sica: Director, Actor, Screenwriter. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Co., 2002. (pg. 120) ISBN 0-7864-1135-X
  12. Maltin, Leonard. Leonard Maltin's Movie and Video Guide 2001. New York: Plume, 2000. (pg. 460); ISBN 0-452-28187-3
  13. Blum, Daniel. Daniel Blum's Screen World 1965. Vol. 16. New York: Crown Publishers, 1966. (pg. 185); ISBN 0-8196-0306-6
  14. Frayling, Christopher. Spaghetti Westerns: Cowboys and Europeans from Karl May to Sergio Leone. 2nd ed. London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 1998. (pg. 263) ISBN 1-86064-200-4
  15. Hughes, Howard. Once Upon a Time in the Italian West: The Filmgoers' Guide to Spaghetti Westerns. London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 2006. (pg. 31); ISBN 1-85043-896-X
  16. Parish, James and Michael Pitts. The Great Spy Pictures II. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow, 1986 (pg. 178); ISBN 0-8108-1913-9
  17. Mavis, Paul. The Espionage Filmography: United States Releases, 1898 through 1999. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Co., 2001 (pg. 168); ISBN 0-7864-0861-8
  18. WENN.Com (16 January 2014). "Actress Lorella De Luca dies". hollywood.com. Archived from the original on 16 January 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  19. "Addio a Lorella De Luca, Recitò in "Poveri ma belli"". Corriere.it (in Italian). RCS Mediagroup S.p.a. 10 January 2014. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  20. "È morta l'attrice Lorella De Luca". Civonline (in Italian). Retimedia. 10 January 2014. Retrieved 14 January 2014.

Further reading

  • Bertarelli, Massimo. Il cinema italiano in 100 film: i 100 film da salvare. Rome: Gremese Editore, 2004. ISBN 88-8440-340-5
  • Bruschini, Antonio and Antonio Tentori, ed. Western all'italiana: The Specialists. Firenze: Glittering lmages, 1998.
  • Giacovelli, Enrico. La commedia all'italiana. 2nd ed. Rome: Gremese Editore, 1995. ISBN 88-7605-873-7
  • Giusti, Marco. Dizionario del Western all'Italiana. Italy: Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, 2007.
  • Masi, Stefano and Enrico Lancia. Les séductrices du cinéma italien. Rome: Gremese Editore, 1997. ISBN 88-7301-075-X
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