born 1939 in Genoa, Liguria, Italian film actress Rosanna Schiaffino took part in beauty contests. When she was 14 she won the Miss Liguria beauty contest, moving into modeling jobs, with photographs in important magazines, including Life, and also appeared on the covers of Italian, German, French, British and American magazines.
Schiaffino began a promising acting career in the post-neorealist cinema of the 1950s. She was noticed by film producer Franco Cristaldi, who paired her with Marcello Mastroianni in Piece of the Sky in 1959. More important was her second film for him, La sfida (The Challenge) where she made a name for her powerful but sensitive performance as a Neapolitan girl, inspired by the real-life character of Pupetta Maresca. The film was well received at the 1958 Venice Film Festival.
Schiaffino was launched as the “Italian Hedy Lamarr”. However, she would have been more appropriately introduced as the new Italian sex goddess after Gina Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren, but in the early 1960s that role was passing to Claudia Cardinale.
Rosanna Schiaffino died of cancer in 2009, aged 69.
Take a look at these glamorous photos to see the beauty of Rosanna Schiaffino in the late 1950s and 1960s.