A Tale of Love
Italian-Greek actress Valeria Golino has built up a prolific film career since making her professional debut at age 16. She first came to prominence on 1986's “A Tale of Love” (“Storia d'amore”), where her performance as Bruna Assecondati earned the Best Actress Award at the Venice Film Festival and the Silver Ribbon Award in the same category. It was not long before she attracted attention in America thanks largely to her portrayal of Tom Cruise's love interest in the Academy Award winning film “Rain Man” (1988). Golino also acted in “Big Top Pee-Wee” (1988), “The Indian Runner” (1991), “Hot Shots” (1991) and its sequel “Hot Shots! Part Deux” (1993), “Immortal Beloved” (1994), “Leaving Las Vegas” (1995), “Escape from L.A.,” (1996) “Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her” (1999) and “Frida” (2002). In addition, she appeared in an episode of Showtime's “Fallen Angels” (1995) and in the TNT television film “Caesar” (2002). She won a Thessaloniki Film Festival Award for her performance in 1996's “I sfagi tou kokora,” a Silver Ribbon Award and a Mons International Festival of Love Films Award for “Respiro” (2002) and a Viareggio EuropaCinema Award for “Prendimi e portami via” (2003). In addition, she picked up a David di Donatello Award, a Taormina International Film Festival Award and a Flaiano Film Festival Award for her performance in “Mario's War” (2005) and a nomination for Best Actress at the David di Donatello Awards and the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists for playing Giulia in “Giulia Doesn't Date at Night” (2009).
Golino speaks English, Greek, Italian and French. She is close friends with Sean Penn, Patricia Arquette, Salma Hayek, Greta Scacchi, Isabella Ferrari, Ennio Fantastichini, Asia Argento, Mike Figgis, Ferzan Ozpetek and Vincent D'Onofrio. In the late 1980s, she shared an apartment in Los Angeles with Greta Scacchi.
Golino has been romantically linked to several men. She dated Italian film director and screenwriter Peter Del Monte (born July 29, 1943) from 1985 to 1987 and American actor and comedian Paul Reubens (born August 27, 1952) from 1987 to 1988. She and Reubens also appeared together in “Big Top Pee-wee.” After they broke up, Golino was engaged to Puerto Rican actor Benicio Del Toro (born February 19, 1967) from 1988 to 1992. In 1993, she was engaged to Italian actor Fabrizio Bentivoglio (born January 4, 1957), but they split up in 2001. She then dated Italian actor Andrea Di Stefano (born December 15, 1972) from 2002 to March 2006. Since April 2006, she has been engaged to Italian film actor Riccardo Scamarcio (born November 13, 1979), who is 13 years her junior.
Childhood and Family:
Valeria Golino was born on October 22, 1966, in Naples, Campania, Italy, to an Italian German father who was a scholar and a Greek mother who was a painter. She was raised in Naples until her parents separated. After the split, she divided her time between Naples and Athens, Greece, where she lived with her father and mother, respectively. Valeria began modeling when she was 14 years old and dropped out of high school after landing her first film role.
A second child, Valeria has an older brother who is a musician. She is the niece of journalist Enzo Golino. Her father passed away in October 2006 in Naples, Italy.
Valeria Golino began her career as a model in Athens when she was 14 years old. Within a few years, she caught the eye of director Lina Wertmuller and was cast in Wertmuller's award nominated comedy “Scherzo del destino in agguato dietro l'angolo come un brigante da strada” (“A Joke of Destiny Lying in Wait Around the Corner Like a Robber,” 1983), in which she played the supporting role of Adalgisa De Andreiis. After making a cameo appearance in Wertmüller's “Sotto... sotto” (1984), she made her Hollywood debut in “Blind Date” (1984), which starred Kirstie Alley and Joseph Bottoms. Golino then appeared in Valentino Orsini's “Figlio mio infinitamente caro” (1985), Peter Del Monte's award winning drama “Piccoli fuochi” (1985), and “Detective School Dropouts” (1986). She next earned recognition for her portrayal of Bruna Assecondati in the Francesco Maselli directed movie “A Tale of Love” (“Storia d'amore”). The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival on August 30, 1986, where it won the Grand Special Jury Prize and the Best Actress Award for Golino. She also won a Silver Ribbon for Best Actress from the 1987 Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists for her acting.
Golino next starred opposite Thierry Lhermitte and Roger Hanina in the Italian/French production “Last Summer in Tangiers” (1987), which was directed and co-written by Alexandre Arcady, worked with Philippe Noiret and Rupert Everett in Giuliano Montaldo's “Gli occhiali d'oro” (1987), which won a Golden Osella for Best Costumes and Best Set Design at the 1987 Venice Film Festival, and played Sandra Parini in Margarethe von Trotta's “Paura e amore” (“Love and Fear”), which was entered into the 1988 Cannes Film Festival. In 1988, she returned to Hollywood when she costarred as Gina Piccolapupula on “Big Top Pee-Wee,” the sequel to the Tim Burton 1985 hit film “Pee-wee's Big Adventure.” Directed by Randal Kleiser and starring Paul Reubens as Pee-Wee Herman, the movie enjoyed less commercial success than its predecessor. Golino followed it up with a prominent role as the girlfriend of Tom Cruise in the hit movie “Rain Man” (1988), which was helmed by Barry Levinson and written by Barry Morrow and Ronald Bass. The film won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Actor in a leading role (Dustin Hoffman) and the Golden Bear at the 39th Berlin International Film Festival, among other honors. With a budget of $25 million, “Rain Man” grossed over $172 million domestically, making it the highest grossing film of 1988. It collected over $354 million worldwide. The actress closed put the decade by supporting Timothy Hutton and Nastassja Kinski in the European production “Torrents of Spring” (1989), by Polish director and screenwriter Jerzy Skolimowski.
After starring with Timothy Dalton in Axel Corti's “The King's Whore” (1990), which was nominated for a Palme d'Or at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival, and playing Lucia in Peter Del Monte's “Tracce di vita amorosa” (1990), Golino was cast as David Morse's young wife, Maria, in the well received film “The Indian Runner” (1991), which was written and directed by Sean Penn. Costars of the film included Viggo Mortensen, Patricia Arquette, Charles Bronson, Dennis Hopper and her then-companion Benicio del Toro. She was then cast as a therapist in Jim Abrahams' comedy spoof “Hot Shots” (1991), which starred Charlie Sheen, Carey Elwes and Lloyd Bridges, starred with Andrew McCarthy and Sharon Stone in the John Frankenheimer thriller “Year of the Gun” (1991), and portrayed Anita in the Italian movie “Puerto Escondido” (1992). In 1993, she reprised her role of Ramada Rodham in the hit sequel “Hot Shots! Part Deux.”
1994 saw Golino costar with Dana Carvey, Michael Gambon, Michael Murphy, James Earl Jones, Olivia d'Abo and Kevin Pollak in the MGM film “Clean Slate” and with her then-fiancée Fabrizio Bentivoglio in the Italian drama “Come due coccodrilli” (“Like Two Crocodiles”). She also portrayed the role of Giulietta Guicciardi in “Immortal Beloved,” starring Gary Oldman and Jeroen Krabbé. She next teamed up with Nicolas Cage, Elisabeth Shue, Julian Sands and Richard Lewis for the film “Leaving Las Vegas” (1995), which was directed and written by Mike Figgis, appeared in the “Four Room” segment “The Missing Ingredient” (1995), was cast in the John Carpenter directed “Escape from L.A.” (1996), alongside Kurt Russell, Stacy Keach, Steve Buscemi, Peter Fonda, Georges Corraface, Cliff Robertson and Michelle Forbes, and played Elizabeth Laughton on “An Occasional Hell” (1996), opposite Tom Berenger and Kari Wuhrer. Golino won the Greek Competition Award for Best Actress at the 1996 Thessaloniki Film Festival for her performance in Andreas Pantzis' “I sfagi tou kokora” (1996) and was nominated for a David for Best Actress after playing Maria in Silvio Soldini's “Le acrobate” (1997). The rest of the decade found roles in the films “Alexandria Hotel” (1998), “Shooting the Moon” (1998, directed by Francesca Archibugi), “Side Streets” (1998, helmed by Tony Gerber), “Harem suaré” (1999) and “Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her” (1999). Meanwhile, Golino made a rare television film appearance in 1995 when she landed a guest spot on an episode of “Fallen Angels” called “Red Wind.” She went on to appear as Nunzia in the 1999 TV miniseries “La vita che verrà.”
Entering the new millennium, Golino costarred with Matthew Lillard and Vincent D'onofrio in the film “Spanish Judges,” which was released in the U.K. on October 16, 2000. She then portrayed Constanza Vero in the indie film “Ivansxtc” (2000), by Bernard Rose, was reunited with director/writer Peter Del Monte for the drama “Against the Wind” (2000), which won a 2001 Los Angeles Italian Film Award in the category of Best Italian Film, and was featured as an Italian actress in “Hotel” (2001), an experimental thriller directed by Mike Figgis. She also costarred as Afroditi in Andreas Pantzis' award winning drama “Evagora's Vow” (2001). In 2002, she portrayed Calpurnia in the Emmy nominated television movie “Caesar” (TNT), where she costarred with Jeremy Sisto, Richard Harris, Christopher Walken and Chris Noth, and Lupe Marín in Salma Hayek's Frida Kahlo biopic “Frida,” which was helmed by Julie Taymor. The same year, she also appeared in Nina Di Majo's “Winter” and starred as Grazia in Emanuele Crialese' “Respiro,” for which she nabbed a Silver Ribbon for Best Actress at the 2002 Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists, the Best Actress Award at the 2003 Mons International Festival of Love Films, a David nomination for Best Actress and an Audience Award nomination for Best Actress at the 2003 European Film Awards. In 2003, Golino was cast in Tonino Zangardi's “Prendimi e portami via” and was handed the EuropaCinema Platinum Award for Best Actress from the Viareggio EuropaCinema for her performance. She also received a Silver Ribbon nomination for Best Actress for the role.
Following roles in “San-Antonio,” “Alive” and the successful French thriller “36,” directed by Olivier Marchal, (all 2004), Golino portrayed Giulia in the Italian drama “Mario's War” (2005), which was directed by Antonio Capuano. She took home a David di Donatello Award for Best Actress, a Flaiano Film Festival Award, a TaorminaFilmFest Award and a Silver Ribbon nomination for her work on the film. The same year, she also portrayed Maria in Fausto Paravidino's “Texas,” for which she netted a Silver Ribbon nomination for Best Actress, and Carmen Holgado in “Olé!” In 2006, she starred in Francesca Comencini's “A casa nostra,” opposite Luca Zingaretti and Giuseppe Battiston.
Golino continued to stay busy during 2007 to 2009 with work in “Ma place au soleil” (as Sandra), “Actrices” (as Natalia), Krzysztof Zanussi's “Black Sun” (as Agata), “The Girl by the Lake” (as Chiara), “Lascia perdere, Johnny” (as Annamaria), Eric Besnard's “Ca$h” (as Julia), “La fabbrica dei tedeschi” (as Anna), “The French Kissers” and “ L'uomo nero.” She was nominated for a David for Best Supporting Actress for her turn as Marta in the Italian romance “Quiet Chaos” (2008), which was helmed by Antonello Grimaldi. She then starred as a swimming instructor in Giuseppe Piccioni's “Giulia Doesn't Date at Night” (2009) and picked up a David nomination for Best Actress and a Silver Ribbon nomination for the same category for her performance. In addition to acting, she also sang on the “Giulia Doesn't Date at Night” soundtrack and shared a 2009 Silver Ribbon for Best Song for her work.
2010 found Golino playing roles in the films “L'amore buio” and “La scuola è finite.” She also acted in the short “Come un soffio.” Recently, in 2011, she completed filming “A Butterfly Kiss,” a drama written and directed by Karine Silla. Costars of the film include Vincent Perez, Cécile De France and Elsa Zylberstein.
Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists: Silver Ribbon, Best Song (Migliore Canzone), “Giulia Doesn't Date at Night,” 2009
David di Donatello: David, Best Actress (Migliore Attrice Protagonista), “Mario's War,” 2006
Flaiano Film Festival: Best Actress, “Mario's War,” 2006
Taormina International Film Festival: Taormina Arte Award for cinematic excellence, 2006
Taormina International Film Festival: TaorminaFilmFest Award, Best Actress, “Mario's War,” 2006
Mons International Festival of Love Films: Best Actress, “Respiro,” 2003
Viareggio EuropaCinema: EuropaCinema Platinum Award, Best Actress, “Prendimi e portami via,” 2003
Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists: Silver Ribbon, Best Actress (Migliore Attrice Protagonista), “Respiro,” 2002
Thessaloniki Film Festival: Greek Competition Award, Best Actress, “I sfagi tou kokora,” 1996
Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists: Silver Ribbon, Best Actress (Migliore Attrice), “A Tale of Love,” 1987
Venice Film Festival: Best Actress, “A Tale of Love,” 1986