In the field of cinema, women immediately aligned themselves with men in terms of popularity and charm. There have been many women, in fact, who have lived under the spotlight and the lights of the set for a very long time, often and willingly overlooking certain male figures. Anna Magnani is considered one of those women of yesteryear, who exudes a particular charm, especially when you admire her black and white films that made history and still do today.

The shadow of Magnani still watches over Italian cinema and gives it that extra touch of class that is always needed. Discover her biography here, in our usual appointment with Italian cinema and the most important actors of all time!


  • The beginnings of Anna Magnani: her natural talent blossoms immediately
  • Anna Magnani and the immediate postwar period
  • The death of Anna Magnani
  • Anna Magnani film

The beginnings of Anna Magnani: her natural talent blossoms immediately

Anna Magnani was born in Rome in the distant 7 March 1908. One of the most influential female figures in Italian cinema is mentioned in this case. She is the symbol par excellence of the so-called “Romanita” which has always been shown with pride and pride together with other illustrious fellow citizens such as Aldo Fabrizi and Alberto Sordi , just to name two at random.

The famous Roman actress grows up in a modest family, in which the male figure is missing and there is only the female one. Soon she too will miss the latter and little Anna and forced to accelerate the stages of her growth.

Immediately shows a natural and disproportionate talent for acting. He attended high school before jumping headlong into the conservatory and, later, into the national drama academy.

It was taken, in the early 1920s, under the protective wing of illustrious personalities of the theater of those times such as Dario Niccodemi and Vera Vergani . In the course of her theatrical performances, he often and willingly engages in the interpretation of divas of various varieties, a character who will subsequently accompany her television career.

In the 1930s she married a prominent man of fascist ideology , such Goffredo Alessandrini. The marriage between the two does not last long due to the betrayals perpetrated by him. She plays a dramatic role for the first time in 1938 in the film “Petrified Forest”.

Anna Magnani and the immediate postwar period

He gains the ever more pervasive attention of film critics when he comes into contact with Vittorio De Sica , who is writing for a significant role in “Teresa venerdi”.

A fruitful collaboration also begins with another totem of Italian cinema, namely Toto. He finds himself paired with Aldo Fabrizi . But the real and longed-for popularity comes at the same time as the release of Roberto Rossellini’s cinematic masterpiece “Rome, open city”.

The icon of neorealism idealized by Teresa Gullace, aka ” Sora Pina “, which earned him the prestigious recognition of the Silver Ribbon as best supporting actress. Between the director and the actress a liason is born that lasts 2 years and also has repercussions on the professional level.

The last film shot with Rossellini is from 1948 and has an almost irreverent title, “L’amore”. The year before her Magnani won the second Silver Ribbon for her masterful interpretation of her as best actress in “The Honorable Angelina”.

Thanks to Luchino Visconti in 1951 forBellissima ” comes the fourth Silver Ribbon of his career, which will be followed by the fifth and last one due to the film “Suor Letizia – Il piu grande amore” by Mario Camerini, year 1956.

That was the same year in which Anna Magnani officially enters the history of Italian cinema and earns herself the star of the absolute myth. She is the first Italian interpreter and the first actress not of English birth to win the Academy Award for Best Actress in the film “La rosa tatuata”. In combination with her, she also achieves the BAFTA Award for Best International Actress of the Year and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama Film.

In 1958 the first David di Donatello arrives for the interpretation in “Wild and the wind” of the previous year. The following year, however, another one arrives associated with the film “In the city of hell”, set in a women’s prison.

She acts together with a legend of American cinema such as Marlon Brando in 1960 in “Snake Skin”, where he appears in a tragic and, for her, unusual guise. The controversy regarding the film “La Ciociara” arises since Anna Magnani refuses, in fact, the role of mother of Sofia Loren , which had been entrusted to her and thus fades this fascinating project of uniting in a single film 2 female figures of this greatness and stature.

Establishes a conflicting and unsatisfactory relationship on a professional level with Pierpaolo Pasolini . In this sense, the result obtained from this combination in the film “Mamma Roma” is disappointing.

Her latest film of American origin is Stanley Kramer’s 1969 “The Secret of Santa Vittoria” for which she gets a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress. It is the 70s when, however, Anna Magnani appears for the first time on TV and from there begins her television climb, so to speak.

He shoots several films that are enjoying great acclaim on Rai channels alongside Marcello Mastroianni, Massimo Ranieri and many others.

Not even the time to continue on this inexorable television climb that in 1972 , in fact, Anna grants the last film appearance to Federico Fellini in “Rome” .

The death of Anna Magnani

The year following the film Roma, it will be a tumor to tear away the life of Anna Magnani at the age of 65 . After her death, numerous and heartfelt manifestations of affection and memory of a character of great lineage in Italian cinema followed one another over time.

For example, her ex-lover Roberto Rossellini claimed that she embodied that perfect female figure to give Italians an extra source of pride. There could not have been a better description from this point of view.

Personality so prominent that it even received a star along the famous Hollywood Walk of fame which contains all the most famous celebrities in the world . Not really a trivial recognition, far from it. 

Anna Magnani with her majesty and stage presence deserved this and more. An inevitable and necessary source of inspiration for all aspiring actresses who wish to break away from the crowd and take on a more elegant physiognomy, but without losing their roots.

Anna Magnani film

  1. Scampolo, directed by Augusto Genina (1928) – uncredited
  2. The Blind of Sorrento, by Nunzio Malasomma (1934)
  3. Maximum Time, by Mario Mattoli (1934)
  4. Those Two, by Gennaro Righelli (1935)
  5. Cavalleria, directed by Goffredo Alessandrini (1936)
  6. Thirty Seconds of Love, by Mario Bonnard (1936)
  7. Princess Tarakanova, by Mario Soldati (1938)
  8. A Lamp in the Window, by Gino Talamo (1940)
  9. The Fugitive, by Piero Ballerini (1941)
  10. Teresa Venerdi, directed by Vittorio De Sica (1941)
  11. Finally Alone, by Giacomo Gentilomo (1942)
  12. Luck Comes From Heaven, by Akos Rathonyi (1942)
  13. Annabella’s Adventure, by Leo Menardi (1943)
  14. Life is beautiful, by Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia (1943)
  15. Campo de ‘Fiori, by Mario Bonnard (1943)
  16. The last wheelchair, directed by Mario Mattoli (1943)
  17. The flower under the eyes, by Guido Brignone (1944)
  18. Crazy Quartet, by Guido Salvini (1945)
  19. Rome, open city, directed by Roberto Rossellini (1945)
  20. Down with Misery !, by Gennaro Righelli (1945)
  21. A Man Returns, by Max Neufeld (1946)
  22. The Bandit, directed by Alberto Lattuada (1946)
  23. All Rome was trembling ahead of him, by Carmine Gallone (1946)
  24. Down with Wealth !, by Gennaro Righelli (1946)
  25. The Honorable Angelina, directed by Luigi Zampa (1947)
  26. The Stranger from San Marino, directed by Michal Waszynski and Vittorio Cottafavi (1947)
  27. Assunta Spina, directed by Mario Mattoli (1948)
  28. Love, by Roberto Rossellini (1948)
  29. Many Dreams in the Streets, by Mario Camerini (1948)
  30. Vulcano, by William Dieterle (1950)
  31. Beautiful, by Luchino Visconti (1951)
  32. Red shirts, by Goffredo Alessandrini (1952)
  33. The golden carriage (Le carrosse d’or), directed by Jean Renoir (1952)
  34. We Are Women, by Luchino Visconti (V episode) (1953)
  35. Variety Carousel, directed by Aldo Quinti, Aldo Bonaldi (1955)
  36. The rose tattoo, by Daniel Mann (1955)
  37. Sister Letizia, by Mario Camerini (1957)
  38. Wild is the wind, directed by George Cukor (1957)
  39. Hell in the City, by Renato Castellani (1959)
  40. Snake Skin (The fugitive kind), by Sidney Lumet (1959)
  41. The Laughter of Joy, by Mario Monicelli (1960)
  42. Mamma Roma, by Pier Paolo Pasolini (1962)
  43. La pila della Peppa (Josefa’s hoard), by Claude Autant-Lara (1963)
  44. La Famiglia, episode of Made in Italy, directed by Nanni Loy (1965)
  45. The secret of Santa Vittoria, directed by Stanley Kramer (1969)
  46. Rome, directed by Federico Fellini (1972)
  47. It was the year of grace 1870, directed by Alfredo Giannetti (1972)