Jan 122013

Melato 371x500 Mariangela Melato: Milan, 19 September 1941 – Rome, 11 January 2013Mari­an­gela Melato was one of the finest act­resses I have ever seen.

Unfor­tu­nately, lan­guage restraints meant that her immense tal­ent was largely unknown out­side of Italy, but Melato was a rare creature indeed cap­able of mov­ing with ease between Racine’s Phèdre and musical com­edy, from Shakespeare to cab­aret, the vil­lainess Gen­eral Kala in Mike Hodges’ film Flash Gor­don to the Mil­anese snob in Lina Wertmüller’s Swept Away, from play­ing a cour­ageous law­yer in tele­vi­sion to delight­ing in comic skits.

She could make an audi­ence laugh while seem­ingly doing noth­ing at all, yet had a sear­ing intens­ity in dra­matic roles. Her low, throaty voice was unique and a power­ful ally in the theatre, and her lithe body and imp­ish sense of fun kept her look­ing much younger than her years, though she has died at just 71. Her battle with can­cer was finally lost, but it rarely kept her away from the stage for long, com­ing back as soon as she could to what she felt was her true home.

Mari­an­gela Melato’s col­leagues turned out in force for today’s funeral in the artists’ church in Rome’s Piazza del Popolo, and the love she gen­er­ated among ordin­ary people who have laughed and cried with her for more than fifty years was palp­able. The crowd over­flowed from the church and filled the piazza. She died at the height of her powers and will be greatly missed.

Mariangela Melato funeral 700x525 Mariangela Melato: Milan, 19 September 1941 – Rome, 11 January 2013

Crowds flood Rome’s Piazza del Popolo for Mari­an­gela Melato’s funeral

  2 Responses to “Mariangela Melato: Milan, 19 September 1941 – Rome, 11 January 2013”

  1. I have seen Swept Away a few times and enjoy the inter­ac­tion between the two lead char­ac­ters. I did not know that the woman was played by Mari­an­gela. I will always remem­ber her per­form­ance in the film and that incred­ible ending.

  2. I’m from San Juan PR ‚in my teen yrs,I was very impressed of her tal­ent when I saw her in “Tra­volti…” in the ’70’s ‚Then fol­low her other works in Lina Wert­muller films.Excellent actress,she will be really missed,…RIP

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