Monica Bellucci, Mediterranean beauty icon, turns 50

08 Oct 2014 11:18
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By Africa Albala Soria.
Actress and model Monica Bellucci, a successor to the great Italian film divas of the past century such as Sophia Loren and Claudia Cardinale, and a persistent icon of the Mediterranean beauty ideal, turns 50 on Tuesday.
The star, who has for decades represented the image of voluptuousness and eroticism in Hollywood, enters her fifties with the serenity provided by maturity, but without losing any of her trademark sensuality.
Bellucci, born Sept. 30, 1964, in Citta del Castello, in the Italian region of Umbria, uses her generous curves and Mediterranean features as her main weapon to conquer the audience, retaining her charms at age 50.
Her separation more than a year ago from actor Vincent Cassel, whom she married in 1999, does not seem to have dented her career.
Featured on countless magazine covers and in advertising campaigns since the late 1980s, Bellucci also has more than 50 films and nominations for international awards, including Italy's David di Donatello Award and France's Cesar, to her credit.
The Italian star began her professional career as a model to pay for law school and achieved international fame on the covers of magazines such as Elle and Vogue, before shifting her career toward performing.
After making her acting debut in 1990 in the TV miniseries "Vita coi figli," Bellucci made the leap to the world of cinema under Italian director Francesco Laudadio in "La Rifa" (1991).
Her first appearance in an international production came under one of the great geniuses in cinema history, Francis Ford Coppola, who cast her in his film "Bram Stoker's Dracula" as one of the three vampire concubines.
In 2000, Belucci served as Giuseppe Tornatore's muse in his film "Malena," playing an attractive young woman who ignites an imaginative teenager's desire in a small town in Sicily.
Bellucci's breakthrough as an actress came in the controversial film "Irréversible," in which she co-starred with her now ex-husband, Vincent Cassel, playing a woman whose partner sets out to avenge her rape.
Currently shooting "On the Milky Road," by Serbian director Emir Kusturica, Bellucci garnered praise a few months ago for "Le meraviglie," a critically acclaimed film by Alice Rohrwacher that earned the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes in May.
Despite her busy schedule, the actress has not neglected her family life, managing to combine her showbiz work with being the mother of girls ages 4 and 10 from her marriage to Cassel.
After more than two decades of success, the Italian thespian has proven her versatility by performing in many languages, including English, French, Italian and even Aramaic, in her role as Mary Magdalene in the 2004 film "The Passion of the Christ" directed by Mel Gibson.
She has also been the face of many of the most prestigious fashion brands in the world, such as Dior and Dolce & Gabbana. EFE

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