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Claudia Cardinale

Real name: Claudia Cardinale
Birthdate: April 15, 1938
Status: Married
Partner: Pasquale Squitieri

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Claudia Cardinale (born April 15, 1938) is an Italian actress born in Tunis, Tunisia to Italian parents. Many of the films she has appeared in including 8½ (1963) and Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) have consistently been voted amongst the greatest films of all time.

Despite her very feminine appearance, she had a deep voice (for a woman) from an early age. Moreover she claims she wasn't able to speak Italian until the age of eighteen; in her early films she had her voice dubbed by someone else. Indeed, despite her Italian nationality, her maternal language is French and she has always lived most of the time in France, that she considers to be her actual homeland.

Cardinale never made a real attempt to break into the American market since she was not interested in leaving Europe for extended periods of time. Her Hollywood films include The Pink Panther (1963), Circus World (1964), Blindfold (1965) and The Hell With Heroes (1968).

A photograph of Cardinale was featured in the original gatefold artwork to Bob Dylan's album Blonde on Blonde in 1966; since the photo was used without Cardinale's permission, the photo was removed from the cover art in later pressings.

Her performance in Visconti's Sandra/Of A Thousand Delights is regarded as mesmerizing, playing a Holocaust survivor with an incestuous relationship with her brother. In Comencini's La Storia (from Elsa Morante's novel), Cardinale plays a widow raising a son during World War II and was another well-received performance.

Other memorable performances include Valerio Zurlini's Girl With a Suitcase and Mauro Bolognini's Libera.

Cardinale remains active in European cinema, her later films include Qui comincia l'avventura (1975), Fitzcarraldo (1982), Un homme amoureux (1987), Mayrig (1991), and And now... Ladies and Gentlemen (2002)

She denies ever having been married, although it is hypothesised that she has been at least once (to Franco Cristaldi); she has been living with film director Pasquale Squitieri since 1975, and has two children. Her son Patrick was born out of wedlock after she was raped by a mysterious Frenchman when only 17; Cristaldi adopted him later. She has a daughter by Squitieri. She is also reported to have had an affair with former French President Jacques Chirac.

Claudia Cardinale is a liberal with strong political convictions. She is involved in pro-women and pro-gay issues and has frequently stated her pride in her Arab roots - as evidenced by her appearance as herself in the Tunisian film Un été à La Goulette (A Summer in La Goulette). She is involved in many humanitarian causes. She currently lives in Paris.

Claudia Cardinale wrote an autobiography, Moi Claudia, Toi Claudia. In 2005, she also published a French-language book, Mes Etoiles, about her personal and professional relationships with many of her directors and co-stars through her nearly 50 years in show-business.

Claudia Cardinale is UNESCO good will ambassador for the Defense of Women's Rights since 1999. In 2006 (World Water Year) she has symbolically extended such a role for the Defense of the Rights of the Absolute Woman : Mother Earth while declaring her support for Powerstock, a sustainable electronic music festival that proposes a "water-consciousness" for youth culture and seeks to make sustainability an integral part of mainstream culture.


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