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Giulia Anna Masina, conocida artísticamente como Giulietta Masina (San Giorgio di Piano, 22 de febrero de 1921 – Roma, 23 de marzo de 1994), fue una actriz italiana, esposa del cineasta Federico Fellini.
Daughter of the violinist and music teacher Gaetano Masina and of the teacher Angela Flavia Pasqualin, she spent most of her childhood and adolescence in Rome living in the house of an aunt of her who was a widow. He studied at the high school of the Ursuline Sisters and later graduated in Philosophy and Letters from the University of La Sapienza. During his time at the university, he cultivated his passion for acting and in the 1941-1942 academic year he participated in numerous dance, music and university theater shows at the Stadium Urbis, which later became the Teatro Ateneo in Rome. In 1943 she joined the Compañía de Teatro Comic Musical where she would act as a dancer, singer and actress in different operettas and comic works.
Fellini and Giulietta
On this date, she also began to work as a radio actress, along with Nella Maria Bonora and Franco Becci, very popular voices at the time. Begins to be known for the success of the radio serial Terziglio that told the adventures of Cico and Pallina, who played with the announcer Angelo Zanobini. It was written by Federico Fellini, then a versatile young man, editor of the satirical magazine Marc’Aurelio. Giulietta and Federico are married on October 30, 1943, beginning an intense emotional and artistic relationship, which would be one of the most important in the history of Italian cinema. Several months after the marriage, a fall down a ladder would cause an abortion. After this, on March 22, 1945, his son Pierfederico was born, who unfortunately died only a month later, on April 24, 1945 of respiratory failure. He was the only child the couple had.
After the end of the Second World War, he took up the university theater with the play Angélica, written and directed by Leo Ferrero and co-starring Marcello Mastroianni, another of the most recognized Italian actors in history. The work Gli innamorati would be his last foray into the theater in 1951.
His first foray into film came in 1946 as an extra in the film Comrade (Paisà) by Roberto Rossellini, but his first real work was in 1947 in the film Sin Piedad (Senza pietà), directed by Alberto Lattuada and interpreted together with Carla del Poggio. This role, of good-hearted girl and pizpireto aspect, will be repeated in this first stage in films directed by Carlo Lizzani, Giuseppe Amato or Renato Castellani. But it is from the hand of her husband that she reaches world popularity with her mythical character Gelsomina in the movie La strada (1954), along with Anthony Quinn and Richard Basehart.
In 1957, Giulietta Masina played what is probably the most relevant role of her career in Las noches de Cabiria (Le notti di Cabiria) directed by her husband. This character appeared briefly already in the first film of Fellini The White Sheikh (Lo sceicco bianco) of 1951. In 1958 he worked with Alberto Sordi in the film Fortunella by director Eduardo De Filippo. Fellini will also have his wife in his first full-length color film, Giulietta de los espíritus (Giulietta degli spiriti) (1965), a story of strong surrealist charge of infidelity in the couple. Twenty years later, in 1985, he will again perform for Fellini in the melancholy story of Ginger and Fred (Ginger and Fred) where, along with Marcello Mastroianni, they will play an old dance couple that imitated Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, very popular during the war and that meet after many years invited by a grandiloquent television show, paradigm of consumerism and easy sentimentality.
Giulietta Masina died, victim of cancer, in the Italian capital in March 1994, at the age of 73 years. She survived only five months for her husband, who died in October 1993. Fellini and Masina were buried with their ill-fated son in the Rimini cemetery, the director’s hometown. In 2003, a bronze monument in the form of a candle made by the Italian sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro was discovered next to the tomb.
Among the most important awards of his career we can highlight the four Silver Ribbons (Nastro d’Argento) of the Syndicate of Italian film journalists, as lead actress in Las noches de Cabiria (1958) and Ginger and Fred (1986) and as a secondary actress in No Mercy (1948) and Lights of Varieties (Luci del varietà) (1950). She was also awarded a David de Donatello special on the 30th anniversary of the awards in 1986 and was a two-time candidate for the British BAFTA Awards as best foreign actress in 1954 and 1957.
At film festivals, Giuletta Masina won recognition as best actress for her role in Las noches de Cabiria in 1957 in Cannes and San Sebastián.
Radio and television
Although her cinematographic career was predominant, Giulietta Masina also worked in radio and television. From 1966 to 1969 she was, with great success, host of a radio program entitled Letters to Giuletta Masina, in which radio listeners wrote to the actress. These letters were later collected in a book. He also worked in television mainly in the 70s, in two highly successful productions: Eleonora (1973) directed by Silverio Blasi and Camilla (1976) directed by Sandro Bolchi, adapted from the novel Un inverno freddissimo by Fausta Cialente.
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