PROFILE
Name:
Ornella Muti
Birth Date:
March 9, 1955
Birth Place:
Rome, Italy
Nationality:
Italian
Famous for:
The magazine Class' readers' choice as "The Most Beautiful Woman in the World" in 1994
BIOGRAPHY
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Most Beautiful Wife

Background:

Italian actress Ornella Muti has starred in films since the age of 15. Debuting as the title role in "La moglie piu bella” (1970; aka “Most Beautiful Wife"), she played significant roles in such high-profile European productions as Marco Ferreri's "The Last Woman" (1976), Volker Schlondorff's "Swann in Love" (1982), Marco Ferreri's "The Future Is Woman" (1984), Francesco Rosi's "Chronicle of a Death Foretold" (1987), Carlo Verdone's comedy "Me and My Sister" (1987) and Francesco Maselli's "Private Access" (1988).

Muti made her American debut in 1980 when she was cast as the sensuous Princess Aura in the film version of the popular comic book fantasy adventure “Flash Gordon.” She went on to appear in the American movies “Oscar” (1991), “Once Upon A Crime...” (1992) and "The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things" (2004).

The 5' 6¼" popular Italian actress has been modeling since a teenager and is famous to the French for appearing in a TV commercial for Giovanni Panzani pasta. Known for her beauty, at the age of 40 Muti was voted "The Most Beautiful Woman in the World" in a poll of readers by the magazine Class.

More personally, the mother of three has been married twice. Since 1998, she has been living with an Italian plastic surgeon who is 8 years her junior.


Italian Beauty

Childhood and Family:

In Rome, Italy, Francesca Romana Rivelli, who would later be popular as Ornella Muti, was born on March 9, 1955. Her father was from Napoli, Italy, and her mother was Estonian. She has an older sister named Claudia (born in 1951).

Muti has a daughter named Naike Rivelli (born on October 10, 1974, in Munich, Germany) with a Spanish film producer reportedly named José Luis Bermúdez de Castro Acaso. Having a close resemblance to her mother, Naike is also a model and actress. She appeared alongside her mother in the film "The Unscarred" (1999).

From 1975 to 1981, Muti was married to her "The Most Beautiful Wife" (1970), "Summer Affair" (1971) and "Experiencia prematrimonial" (Spanish for "Premarital Experience") co-star Alessio Orano.

In 1988, Muti married her second husband, Federico Facchinetti, whom she had been engaged to for 11 years. They have two children, daughter Carolina and son Andrea. The couple separated in 1996 and since 1998, Muti has been living with Stefano Piccolo, an Italian plastic surgeon who is 8 years her junior.

Muti welcomed a grandchild in 1996 when her daughter Naike gave birth to Akash (an Indian name meaning "sky").


The Last Woman

Career:

Having modeled as a teenager, Ornella Muti, at age 15, secured the starring role of a Sicilian girl who is raped by the son of a Mafia don in her film debut, "La moglie piu bella” (1970; aka “Most Beautiful Wife"), writer/director Damiano Damiani's fact-based dramatic film. Following her stunning debut, Muti starred in the films "Sole nella pelle, Il" (1971; aka "Summer Affair"), "Posto ideale per uccidere, Un" (1971; aka "Deadly Trap"), "Fiorina la vacca" (1972), "Casa de las palomas, La" (1972; aka "The House of the Doves") and "Experiencia prematrimonial" (1972). She also appeared in the comedy "Tutti figli di mamma santissima" (1973; aka "Italian Graffiti"), the novel-based "Paolo il caldo" (1973; aka "The Sensual Man"), the true story-based "Monache di Sant'Arcangelo, Le" (1973; aka "The Nun and the Devil”), the comedy "Romanzo popolare" (1974) and the romantic comedy "Chica y un señor, Una" (1974).

The rest of the 1970s saw Muti in the tragic comedy "Cebo para una adolescente" (1974), the dramatic "Appassionata" (1974; aka "Passionate"), the slow moving romantic horror "Leonor" (1975; starring Liv Ullmann), the dramatic "Joven casada, La" (1975), and the war drama "Agnese va a morire, L'" (1976; aka "And Agnes Chose to Die"). She also added to her resume roles in the films "Dernière femme, La" (1976; aka "The Last Woman"), "Ritratto di borghesia in nero" (1977; aka "Nest of Vipers"), "Stanza del vescovo, La" (1977; aka "The Bishop's Bedroom"), "Mort d'un pourri" (1977; aka "Death of a Corrupt Man"), "Nuovi mostri, I" (1977; aka "The New Monsters"), "Giallo napoletano" (1978; aka "Neapolitan Mystery"), "Eutanasia di un amore" (1978; aka "Break Up"), "Primo amore" (1978; aka "First Love"), and "Vita è bella, La" (1979; "Life Is Beautiful").

Entering the new decade, Muti made her English language film debut as the sensuous Princess Aura in the Mike Hodges-directed science fiction film based on the comic strip character, "Flash Gordon" (1980), which also stars Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Topol, Max von Sydow, and Timothy Dalton. She then returned to her native country to star in "Bisbetico domato, Il" (1980; aka "The Taming of the Scoundrel"), "Storie di ordinaria follia" (1981; aka "Tales of Ordinary Madness"), "Nessuno è perfetto" (1981), "Innamorato pazzo" (1981; aka "Madly in Love"), and "Bonnie e Clyde all'italiana" (1982; aka "Bonnie and Clyde Italian Style").

In 1982, Muti made her second English-language film with writer/director James Toback's independent drama film, "Love and Money," in which she played the female lead role. She then starred in the Italian films "Ragazza di Trieste, La" (1982; aka "The Girl from Trieste"), "Povero ricco, Un" (1983; aka "Rich and Poor"), "Un amour de Swann" (1984; aka "A Love of Swann"), "Futuro è donna, Il" (1984; aka "The Future Is Woman"), "Tutta colpa del paradiso" (1985; aka "All the Fault of Paradise"), "Grandi magazzini" (1986; aka "Department Store"), and "Stregati" (1987; aka "Bewitched").

American TV viewers first saw Muti in the Emmy-nominated TV movie "Casanova" (1987), in which she portrayed Henriette, the greatest love of the legendary womanizer (played by Richard Chamberlain). Afterward, she spent the rest of the 1980s starring in the Italian films "Io e mia sorella" (1987; aka "Me and My Sister"), "Frullo del passero, Il" (1988; aka "The Sparrow's Fluttering"), "Codice privato" (1988; aka "Private Access"), and "'O re" (1989; aka "The King of Naples"), before making the English-language film "Wait Until Spring, Bandini" (1989; opposite Joe Mantegna and Faye Dunaway), director Dominique Deruddere's independent film based on the novel by John Fante.

In the early 1990s, Muti portrayed Marisa Tomei's mother in John Landis' remake of the 1967 film, "Oscar" (1991; starring Sylvester Stallone), and co-starred with Richard Lewis, John Candy, Jim Belushi, and Cybill Shepherd in the Eugene Levy-directed comedy "Once Upon a Crime..." (1992). In 1994, Muti rose to international recognition when she was voted "The Most Beautiful Woman in the World" in a poll by readers of the magazine Class.

In the late 1990s, Muti starred in two English language films, Ramin Niami's independent drama/comedy "Somewhere in the City" (1998) and Buddy Giovinazzo's thriller "The Unscarred" (1999). She also portrayed Queen Vashti in the historical drama TV movie "Esther" (1999), starring Louise Lombard.

Hitting the new millennium, Muti appeared in an Italian TV Commercial for Lepel bras and after receiving an Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists' Best Supporting Actress nomination for her role in Francesca Archibugi's ensemble drama “Domani” (2001), Muti appeared in the British "Last Run" (2001), an action film starring Armand Assante, and "Hotel" (2001), a comedy directed by Mike Figgis.

In 2004, American moviegoers could catch her as the grandmother in "The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things," a disturbing drama film directed by and starring Asia Argento that is based on JT LeRoy's novel of the same name. Recently, Muti could be seen as Mary of Magdalene in Giulio Base's historical drama film "Inchiesta, L'" (2006; aka "The Final Inquiry") and in the Italian movie "Civico zero" (2007), Francesco Maselli and Gioia Benelli's film version of Federico Bonadonna's book.


Awards:

  • Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists: Best Actress, "Codice privato," 1989

  • Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists: Best Actress, "Io e mia sorella," 1988

  • David di Donatello: Special David, 1976

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