Ornella Muti Bio - Biography

Name Ornella Muti
Height 5' 6¼"
Naionality Italian
Date of Birth 9 March 1955
Place of Birth Rome, Italy
Famous for
Having modeled as a teenager, Ornella Muti has secured a starring role at the tender age of 15, as the title role of the young, lovely, and self-possessed Sicilian girl who is raped by the son of a Mafia don trying to force her to marry him by taking her virginity, 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 received more film roles. She 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"; played the schoolgirl daughter of a rich widow (played by Lucia Bosé)), and "Experiencia prematrimonial" (1972).

She also appeared in the comedy "Tutti figli di mamma santissima" (1973; aka "Italian Graffiti"), the novel-based drama/comedy "Paolo il caldo" (1973; aka "The Sensual Man"), the true story-based "Monache di Sant'Arcangelo, Le" (1973; aka "The Nun and the Devil"; played the virginal niece Isabella), the comedic drama "Romanzo popolare" (1974; as a 17-year-old who wed her 50-year-old godfather (played by Ugo Tognazzi)), and the romantic comedy "Chica y un señor, Una" (1974).

The rest of the 1970s saw Muti in the tragicomedy "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 with 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 Mike Hodges-directed science fiction film, based on the eponymous comic strip character, "Flash Gordon" (1980), which also stars 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 as the wife of a billionaire (played by Klaus Kinski) who has an affair with the man (played by Ray Sharkey) hired by her husband to influence a South American dictator. She then went on t star 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 titular legendary womanizer (played by Richard Chamberlain). Afterwards, she would spent the rest of the 1980s starring in the Italian films "Io e mia sorella" (1987; aka "Me and My Sister"; won her an Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists Award for Best Actress), "Frullo del passero, Il" (1988; aka "The Sparrow's Fluttering"), "Codice privato" (1988; aka "Private Access"; earned her a European Film Award nomination for Best Actress and won her an Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists Award for Best Actress), and "'O re" (1989; aka "The King of Naples"), before making her second English-language film with "Wait Until Spring, Bandini" (1989; opposite Joe Mantegna and Faye Dunaway), director Dominique Deruddere's independent film based on the novel by John Fante about an Italian immigrant family struggles to survive in 1925 Colorado.

In the early 1990s, Muti returned to US film scene, playing Marisa Tomei's mother in John Landis' remake of the 1967 film, "Oscar" (1991; starring Sylvester Stallone in his rare comedic turn), and co-starring with Richard Lewis, John Candy, Jim Belushi, and Cybill Shepherd, in Eugene Levy-directed ensemble comedy "Once Upon a Crime..." (1992). In 1994, Muti, famous to the French for appearing in a TV commercial of Giovanni Panzani pasta, was rose to international recognition when she was voted "The Most Beautiful Woman in the World" in a world wide poll of readers by 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), playing the woman who is having an affair with her neighbour (played by Robert John Burke) who likes scams, and Buddy Giovinazzo's thriller "The Unscarred" (1999), co-starring with James Russo and her daughter Naike Rivelli who played the younger version of her character. 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's Best Supporting Actress nomination for her turn in Francesca Archibugi's ensemble drama “Domani” (2001), Muti appeared in the British films "Last Run" (2001), an action 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 and 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.

Ornella Muti Photos