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Remember Raffaella, the rich and arrogant girl stranded on her yacht in the middle of the sea with a poor Communist deckhand? It was Lina Wertmuller’s comedy Swept Away, and it is probably the most internationally known role Mariangela Melato has ever interpreted. Born in Milan in 1941, she acted in 49 films, 36 plays and numerous television programs. Do the math and you’ll realize she spent her whole life on stage, a true thespian. Funny, stunning, passionate, she worked with many other renown directors – Vittorio De Sica, Elio Petri, Luigi Comencini, Luchino Visconti, Giorgio StrehlerDario Fo, Luca Ronconi, and Claude Chabrol to name a few – delivering always unforgettable performances. Undoubtedly, Mariangela Melato is one of the best Italian actresses of all time. She died today in Rome at age 71.  

Image from "Bello mio bellezza mia", directed by Lina Wertmueller (1982)