Like many other female Italian film stars, Claudia Cardinale's entry into the business was by way of a beauty pageant. She was 17 years old and studying at the Centro Sperimentale in Rome when she entered a beauty contest, which resulted in her getting a succession of small film roles. Her earthy interpretations of Sicilian women got her noticed by Italian producers, and the combination of her beauty, dark, flashing eyes, explosive sexuality and genuine acting talent virtually guaranteed her stardom. After Careless (1962) she rose to the front ranks of Italian cinema, and became an international star in Federico Fellini's classic 8½ (1963) with Marcello Mastroianni. American audiences may best remember her from her starring role in Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West (1968).IMDb Mini Biography By: email@example.com
|Franco Cristaldi||(1966 - 1975) (divorced)|
Natural brunette hair
Deep sultry voice
She has two children: Patrizio, who was born out of wedlock (the father was a mysterious Frenchman) when she was 17 and later adopted by her former husband Franco Cristaldi; and Claudia, whose biological father is her longtime companion Pasquale Squitieri.
At the Italian Embassy in Tunis, she was voted the most beautiful Italian girl in Tunisia. Her prize was a trip to Venice during the Venice Film Festival. After the festival she was offered movie roles, but refused them and returned to Tunis. Six months later, however, a producer sold her on a career in movies, and she went to Rome with her parents, two brothers and a sister, taking a home in Castel Giubileo, a small town outside the city. 
She signed a contract forbidding her to cut her hair, marry or gain weight. Because of this, she told everyone that her newborn son (out of wedlock) was her baby brother. She did not reveal to the child that he was her son until he was 19 years old.
Member of jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1993
Has lived with Pasquale Squitieri since 1975.
While her longtime companion lives in Rome, she calls Paris her home due to her popularity in France.
Has been UNESCO good will Ambassador for the Defense of Women's Rights since 1999.
As she had a deep voice and spoke Italian with a heavy French accent, her voice was dubbed in her early movies. The Pink Panther (1963) was meant to be her first English-speaking role; however, her voice wound up being dubbed.
1965: Told a reporter she liked a dry martini before dinner, caviar for hors d'oeuvres, lobsters or oysters for seafood, or a steak alla Fiorentina. When it came to wine, her preference was for a rich, red wine.
Preferred to be called by her initials: CC.
Originally intended to become a teacher in Tunis, North Africa.
Her father was an Italian railroad worker. Despite having an Italian father, she grew up speaking French after her French mother.
Her mentor was her late husband Franco Cristaldi.
Speaks French, Italian, English, Spanish and Arabic (from having been raised in Tunisia).
Long considered one of the world's great beauties, she has appeared on more than 900 magazine covers in over 25 countries.
Although one of the great sex sirens of her time, she never appeared in a nude or fully topless scene.
Good friends with Brigitte Bardot.
never felt scandal and confession were necessary to be an actress. I've never revealed myself or even my body in films. Mystery is very important.
If you're not English, you're a foreigner - so you must be sexy. it's an old British cliché.
[on acting] But to do this kind of work, you have to be very strong, otherwise you lose your personality, your identity. You don't know who you are. It's fantastic because I've been living thousands of lives, not only my life.
I wasn't speaking a word of Italian until I was 18. They had to dub my voice in my first Italian picture!
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