Monica Vitti, bio of the famous Roman actress

Few names remain etched in the memory and collective imagination of the film and television audience. Monica Vitti and among these. A long-time Italian, and specifically Roman, actress who unfortunately she left us.

Her death marks an indelible void in the history of Italian cinema that will be very difficult to fill, considering the extraordinary career that has characterized this great artist over the years.

We see in this post, the biography of the Roman actress Monica Vitti, pseudonym of Maria Luisa Ceciarelli, a real star of Italian cinema between the 70s and 80s. Welcome back to our portal, for our usual appointment with the biographies of the great Italian actors!


  • The beginnings of Monica Vitti
  • Monica Vitti and cinema
  • Monica Vitti in the 70s and 80s, until her retirement from the scene
  • The last years and the death of Monica Vitti
  • Film Monica Vitti

The beginnings of Monica Vitti

Monica Vitti was born in Rome on November 3, 1931. In the registry office her name is Maria Luisa Ceciarelli. As a child she grew up in the Sicilian city of Messina due to the work of her father. You therefore bring with you the metropolis of the capital with the Sicilian sea. A combination that will bring her luck. 

During the Second World War she moved for a period to Naples, in the Vomero district, and her passion for the theater immediately broke out . Love at first sight. She is immediately interested in a certain dramatic art that projects her towards enrollment in the national academy. A passion that, then, led her to be that great actress celebrated and known, even abroad. 

Here he graduated and met the one who was his master par excellence, the actor Sergio Tofano. He shows all his ability to stand on a stage during the screening of Shakespeare’s plays, to name just one illustrious example.

The surname Vitti derives from that of her mother , Vittiglia, who passed away when she was still a child. The name Monica , on the other hand, she learns from a book she read about her that she really likes her and from then on she decides not to deprive herself of it anymore and to use it as a pseudonym.

Monica Vitti, therefore, becomes more than a stage name. After all, today it is difficult for anyone to know her real name. But it is the logical consequence of who makes history. In this case of Italian cinema.

After having built a certain reputation by touring the theaters of half of Italy, interpreting, for example, extraordinary works such as Riccardo Bacchelli’s Amleto, the headlights move to the cinema. You begin to take hold of what will be your media dimension for the following years.

Monica Vitti and cinema

At first Monica Vitti appears simply in secondary roles, involving mostly comic films. It is  the director Michelangelo Antonioni who turns her into a real diva on the set . Between them a correspondence is born not only of a professional nature, but also of a sentimental one outside the set. The famous tetralogy of incommunicability , particularly appreciated by lovers and fans of old-fashioned cinema, epitomizes dramatic interpretations in films such as The Adventure, the Eclipse, The Red Desert. Very difficult to interpret but for her it was child’s play. 

Practically speaking, she interprets any type of female figure within these films, showing a basic versatility typical only of great actresses. At the same time , she also dedicates herself to dubbing , giving voice to characters such as Ascenza, Rossana Rory and Dorian Gray. A further role in which she seems to be particularly comfortable with her.

Mario Monicelli enhances the comic vein and the writing for a film, The girl with the gun , where Vitti plays a woman seeking revenge against her ex. The cinematographic image of Monica Vitti is now consolidated at very high levels . Among her partners, mainly attributable to the Italian comedy, there are illustrious actors of the caliber of Alberto Sordi , Ugo Tognazzi, Nino Manfredi and Marcello Mastroianni .

He plays in foreign productions that further increase his fame abroad as well. 

Monica Vitti in the 70s and 80s, until her retirement from the scene

In the 70s he met his second great love , Carlo Di Palma, director of photography, among other things, in some of his films. The right and proper awards for this extraordinary actress begin to arrive. To her credit there are 5 David di Donatello as best actress. To these must be added 3 Silver Ribbons, 12 Gold Globes, a Golden Lion for her Lifetime Achievement and a Silver Bear. In the 1980s, she joined Vittorio Gassman in the hotel room instead . She made her directorial debut with the film Secret Scandal , presented at the Cannes Film Festival in 1990. Beside her a diva of those years like Catherine Spaak.

The 2000s are those of the official withdrawal from the public scene . It is seen only in apparitions traced back to the 80 years of Alberto Sordi and in ecclesiastical and political events such as the Jubilee.

The last years and the death of Monica Vitti

In recent years she has retreated more towards a more reserved private life to share with her partner, as well as husband, the director Roberto Russo. She almost forced to do so, considering the health conditions that are starting to be a bit precarious due to a neurodegenerative disease.

The last official interview was granted in 2002. From then on, silence falls on this great actress. Until the sad ending of February 2, 2022.

Today he rests at the Verano Monumental Cemetery in Rome.

Film Monica Vitti

We leave you to Monica Vitti’s filmography. See you next time with the biographies of famous actors, by our portal!

  1. Laugh! Laugh! Laugh !, uncredited, by Edoardo Anton (1954)
  2. Adriana Lecouvreur, directed by Guido Salvini (1955)
  3. A mink coat, uncredited, by Glauco Pellegrini (1957)
  4. Dritte, by Mario Amendola (1958)
  5. L’avventura, directed by Michelangelo Antonioni (1960)
  6. The Night, by Michelangelo Antonioni (1961)
  7. L’eclisse, directed by Michelangelo Antonioni (1962)
  8. The Hare and the Tortoise, episode of The Four Truths, directed by Alessandro Blasetti (1962)
  9. Summer Follies, by Carlo Infascelli and Edoardo Anton (1963)
  10. Confetti al pepe (Dragees au poivre), directed by Jacques Baratier (1963)
  11. The Castle in Sweden (Chateau en Suede), by Roger Vadim (1963)
  12. The sighing, episode of Alta infedelta, directed by Luciano Salce (1964)
  13. Red Desert, directed by Michelangelo Antonioni (1964)
  14. The Flying Saucer, by Tinto Brass (1964)
  15. La minestra, episode of Le bambole, directed by Franco Rossi (1965)
  16. Modesty Blaise – The Beautiful Who Kills (Modesty Blaise), directed by Joseph Losey (1966)
  17. Fata Sabina, episode of Le fate, directed by Luciano Salce (1966)
  18. Kill Me Quickly … I’m Cold !, directed by Citto Maselli (1967)
  19. I Married You for Fun, by Luciano Salce (1967)
  20. The Chastity Belt, by Pasquale Festa Campanile (1967)
  21. The Girl with the Gun, by Mario Monicelli (1968)
  22. La donna scarlatta (La femme ecarlate), by Jean Valere (1969)
  23. My Love Help Me, by Alberto Sordi (1969)
  24. Dramma della jealousy (all details in the news), directed by Ettore Scola (1970)
  25. Nini Tirabuscio, the woman who invents the move, directed by Marcello Fondato (1970)
  26. The refrigerator and the lion, episodes from The couples, directed by Mario Monicelli and Vittorio De Sica (1970)
  27. The pacifist, regia di Miklos Jancso (1970)
  28. The supertestimone, directed by Franco Giraldi (1971)
  29. We Women Are Like This, directed by Dino Risi (1971)
  30. Orders Are Orders, directed by Franco Giraldi (1972)
  31. La Tosca, directed by Luigi Magni (1973)
  32. Teresa the Thief, by Carlo Di Palma (1973)
  33. Polvere di stelle, directed by Alberto Sordi (1973)
  34. The Phantom of Liberty (Le ghost de la liberte) by Luis Bunuel (1974)
  35. The Round of Pleasure Goes at Midnight, directed by Marcello Fondato (1975)
  36. Here the adventure begins, directed by Carlo Di Palma (1975)
  37. The duck with orange, directed by Luciano Salce (1975)
  38. Mimi Bluette… flower of my garden, directed by Carlo Di Palma (1976)
  39. Machine of love and L’equivoco, episodes of Basta che non si sapia in giro, directed by Nanni Loy and Luigi Comencini (1976)
  40. The other half of heaven, directed by Franco Rossi (1977)
  41. Reason of State (La raison d’etat), directed by Andre Cayatte (1978)
  42. My Love, by Steno (1978)
  43. A very close encounter, episode of To live better, have fun with us, directed by Flavio Mogherini (1978)
  44. Una mamma e Attention to those two, episodes of Wild Beds, directed by Luigi Zampa (1979)
  45. An Almost Perfect Affair, directed by Michael Ritchie (1979)
  46. The Oberwald Mystery, directed by Michelangelo Antonioni (1980)
  47. I don’t know you anymore, love, directed by Sergio Corbucci (1980)
  48. Hotel room, directed by Mario Monicelli (1981)
  49. The Tango of Jealousy, by Steno (1981)
  50. I Know That You Know That I Know, directed by Alberto Sordi (1982)
  51. Sorry if it’s a little, directed by Marco Vicario (1982)
  52. Flirt, directed by Roberto Russo (1983)
  53. Francesca and mine, directed by Roberto Russo (1986)
  54. Secret Scandal, by Monica Vitti (1990)