MOVIE GENRES: ActionAdventureAnimation | ComedyCrimeDocumentaryDramaEroticFamilyFantasyHistory | HorrorMusicMystery | RomanceScience FictionShortsThrillerWarWestern

Italian directors & crew | Italian Actresses & Actors


Giulietta Masina, Life & Biography

  1. Home
  2. /
  3. Persons
  4. /
  5. Giulietta Masina, Life &...

Italian Actress and Collaborator of Federico Fellini

Giulia Anna “Giulietta” Masina, born on February 22, 1921, in San Giorgio di Piano, Italy, was a renowned Italian actress. She was the daughter of Gaetano Masina, a violinist and music professor, and Angela Flavia Pasqualini, a teacher. Raised by her Milanese widow aunt in Rome from the age of four, Masina’s passion for acting was nurtured during her schooling at the Orsoline Sisters’ gymnasium and high school.

Early Acting Career

Masina began her acting journey during the 1941-1942 season, participating in various theater productions, including drama, dance, and music, at the Teatro Universitario in Rome’s Stadium Urbis. In 1942-1943, she joined the Theater Comico Musicale Company, where she showcased her talents as a dancer, singer, and actress in operettas and comedies. It was during this time in 1942 that she crossed paths with Federico Fellini at the EIAR studios. Their relationship quickly deepened, culminating in marriage on October 30, 1943, shortly after Italy’s armistice. Initially, they lived with Masina’s Milanese aunt.

Collaboration with Federico Fellini

Their artistic partnership blossomed, with Masina taking on the role of Pallina, a child bride, in the radio show “Terziglio,” which evolved into the independent series “Le avventure di Cico e Pallina” after World War II. Masina and Fellini’s personal life also evolved as they welcomed their son, Pier Federico, on March 22, 1945, though tragically, he passed away eleven days later on April 2. Masina’s writing talents shone as well when she authored a column in La Stampa from 1968 to 1976, titled “Risponde Giulietta Masina,” which was part of the weekly page “Cronache per le donne.”

Legacy and Personal Life

Giulietta Masina passed away on March 23, 1994, at the age of seventy-three, from lung cancer, just five months after Federico Fellini’s death on October 31, 1993. They were both laid to rest in Rimini’s cemetery, marked by the “Le Vele” monument, crafted by sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro. In her honor, a garden in Bologna was dedicated to her. Masina’s request for the trumpeter Mauro Maur to play Nino Rota’s theme from “La strada” at her funeral was fulfilled. On the twentieth anniversary of her death, Italian cultural and film institutions paid tribute to her with the exhibition “Giulietta Masina, l’Oscar di Federico Fellini” at the Teatro dei Dioscuri in Rome, curated by Simone Casavecchia and Fiammetta Terlizzi.

Career Highlights

Masina’s acting career began with a cameo in Roberto Rossellini’s “Paisà” (1946), but she gained international recognition alongside her husband, Federico Fellini. She portrayed Gelsomina in “La strada” (1954), Cabiria in “Le notti di Cabiria” (1957), and Fortunella in “Fortunella” (1958). Fellini also directed her in color films like “Giulietta degli spiriti” (1965) and “Ginger e Fred” (1985). In 1969, she appeared in the peculiar Hollywood film “La pazza di Chaillot” with Katharine Hepburn.

Television and Radio

Masina ventured into television with successful miniseries like “Eleonora” (1973) and “Camilla” (1976). She made her radio debut in 1941 alongside Nella Maria Bonora and Franco Becci in the popular show “Terziglio.” Masina’s radio career continued with the program “Lettere a Giulietta Masina” between 1966 and 1969, which she later compiled into a book.

Get new posts by email:

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.