Rosanna Schiaffino

Rosanna Schiaffino (25 November 1939 – 17 October 2009) was an Italian film actress. She appeared on the covers of Italian, German, French, British and American magazines.

Rosanna Schiaffino
Born(1939-11-25)25 November 1939
Died17 October 2009(2009-10-17) (aged 69)
Years active19561977

Early life

She was born in Genoa, Liguria to a well-off family. Her mother encouraged her showbusiness ambitions, helping her to study privately at a drama school. She also took part in beauty contests. When she was 14 she won the Miss Liguria beauty contest, moving into modelling jobs, with photographs in important magazines, including Life.[1]

Film career

She began a promising acting career in the post-neorealist cinema of the 1950s. She was noticed by film producer Franco Cristaldi, who paired her with Marcello Mastroianni in Piece of the Sky in 1959. More important was her second film for him, La sfida (The Challenge), directed by Francesco Rosi, where she made a name for her powerful but sensitive performance as a Neapolitan girl, inspired by the real-life character of Pupetta Maresca. The film was well received at the 1958 Venice Film Festival.[1]

Schiaffino was launched as the "Italian Hedy Lamarr". However, she would have been more appropriately introduced as the new Italian sex goddess after Gina Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren, but in the early 1960s that role was passing to Claudia Cardinale.[1]

In 1966 she married producer Alfredo Bini. After many further films, none of them particularly notable, she decided to give up the cinema and divorced Bini in 1976, with whom she had a daughter.[1][2]

Jet set

Schiaffino began a new life with the jet set. During the summer of 1980, in Portofino, she met the handsome playboy and steel industry heir Giorgio Enrico Falck, who had also just divorced. Their affair was big news for the gossip tabloids.[1]

In 1981 she gave birth to their son, Guido, and in 1982 she married Falck. The marriage and its gradual decline after she had been diagnosed with breast cancer in 1991, and the later divorce, led to unpleasant recriminations over the custody of their son and the inheritance, before they came to an agreement prior to Falck’s demise in 2004.[1]


Rosanna Schiaffino died of cancer on 17 October 2009, aged 69.[1]



  1. Rosanna Schiaffino obituary, The Guardian, 17 November 2009
  2. People, Time Magazine, October 14, 1966
  3. Cinema: Up in Arms for Peace, Time Magazine, 20 December 1963
  4. Cinema: A Thing of Booty, Time Magazine, 12 June 1964
  5. Cinema: Virtue Besieged, Time Magazine, 3 June 1966
  6. Cinema: The Brush-Off, Time Magazine, 4 November 1966
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