August 23, 2018

Top 22 Italian Movie Stars of the 1930s

Many notable movies saw their release in the 1930s. Some of the best performers in acting and film history came from this decade.

Here below are 24 Italian movie stars featured in the 1930s.


1. Carmen Boni.

Carmen Boni

Italian silent film star Carmen Boni (1901-1963) had a successful career in the Italian cinema of the early 1920s, before moving to Germany where she made one film after another in the late 1920s. She stopped acting in 1948.


2. Clara Calamai.

Clara Calamai

Though she acted in many light entertainment films, Clara Calamai's (1909-1998) most famous role will for always be femme fatale Giovanna in Luchino Visconti's steamy (proto-)neorealist film Ossessione (1943).


3. Doris Duranti.

Doris Duranti

Italian actress Doris Duranti (1917-1995) was a major star of the Italian cinema of the late 1930s and early 1940s, and the main competitor of Clara Calamai. Duranti was also the lover a notorious fascist.


4. Dria Paola.

Dria Paola

Dria Paola (1909-1993) was an Italian film actress of the 1930s and 1940s. Her name is attached to the first Italian sound film La canzone dell’amore (1930) by Gennaro Righelli.


5. Elsa De Giorgi.

Elsa De Giorgi

Born as Elsa Giorgi Alberti 1914 in Pesaro, Italian writer, director, art director and stage and screen actress Elsa De Giorgi was discovered by film director Mario Camerini following a photographic competition in which she participated at the age of almost 18. She was offered role of the protagonist in T'amerò sempre (1933).

Despite a prolific career in film under Mussolini, De Giorgi’s anti-fascism (notable is her description in her book I coetanei of her quarrel with Pavolini) did not make her love the regime’s cinema. Instead, she preferred the stage. In the post-war era she would mostly perform on stage with directors such as Giorgio Strehler and Luchino Visconti.

Elsa De Giorgi died in Rome in 1997.

6. Elsa Merlini.

Elsa Merlini

Elsa Merlini, pseudonym of Elsa Tscheliesnig, was born in Trieste in 1903. She was a star of the Italian sound cinema of the 1930s. She excelled in the so-called telefoni bianchi comedies.

From the late 1950s on, Merlini also performed on television while in 1968 she had a radio programme La maga Merlini.

In 1983, Elsa Merlini died of a tumor at the age of 80.


7. Germana Paolieri.

Germana Paolieri

Germana Paolieri (1906-1998) was an Italian stage and screen actress. After the war she also worked for radio and television. As actress she florished beteen the early 1930s and 1981, while as film actress she peaked in the 1930s and early 1940s, but also the mid-1950s.


8. Isa Miranda.

Isa Miranda

Isa Miranda (1905–1982) was the only international film star produced by the Italian fascist cinema. In Hollywood she was billed as the 'Italian Marlene Dietrich', and played femme fatale roles. Later she became one of the most significant European film actresses during the 1940s and early 1950s.


9. Isa Pola.

Isa Pola

Isa Pola (1909-1984) was an Italian stage, film and television actress. In the 1930s and 1940s she was a big star in Italian cinema, in films such as La canzone dell'amore (1930), La telefonista (1932) and I bambini ci guardano (1943).


10. Laura Nucci.

Laura Nucci

Italian actress Laura Nucci (1913-1994) was one of the stars of Italian cinema of the 1930s and 1940s. Between 1930 and 1989, she appeared in more than 60 films and TV series.


11. Laura Solari.

Laura Solari

Laura Solari (1913 –1984) was an Italian film actress. She appeared in 30 films between 1936 and 1969.


12. Leda Gloria.

Leda Gloria

Leda Gloria (1912-1997) was one of Federico Fellini's favorite film actresses, having a prolific career in the 1930s and 1940s but is also remembered as wife of Peppone in the Don Camillo films.


13. Lia Franca.

Lia Franca

Lia Franca, aka Lya Franca, (1912-1988) was an Italian film actress. After a breakthrough in 1930 and a peak in 1932 with Gli uomini che mascalzoni, she married and pulled the plug from her acting career.


14. Lilia Silvi.

Lilia Silvi

Lilia Silvi (1922–2013) was an Italian film actress. Silvi was one of several young actresses presented as an Italian equivalent to the Canadian-born Hollywood star Deanna Durbin. She appeared opposite Amedeo Nazzari, the most popular Italian star of the era, in five films.


15. Luisa Ferida.

Luisa Ferida

Luisa Ferida (1914-1945) was an Italian stage and film actress. She made her first appearance in film with a supporting role in La Freccia d'oro in 1935. Because of her photogenic looks and talent as an actress, she soon graduated to leading roles by the end of the 1930s.


16. Luisa Garella.

Luisa Garella

Italian actress Luisa Garella (1913-?) was a popular star of the Italian cinema of the late 1930s and early 1940s.


17. Maria Denis.

Maria Denis

María Denis (1916-2004) was an Argentine-born Italian film actress. She moved to Italy in 1932 when she was sixteen, and appeared in her first film there the same year.

Deni was one of the most popular stars of the Italian cinema under the Fascist rule. Very successful were her Telefoni Bianchi-films of the 1930s. Charges of collaboration tarnished her career after the war. Controversial are her claims that she had not been the mistress of Nazi police chief Pietro Koch and just used his infatuation with her to help anti-fascists get released, especially film director Luchino Visconti.


18. Nelly Corradi.

Nelly Corradi

Nelly Corradi (1914–1968) was an Italian opera singer and actress. She made her film debut in Max Ophüls's La signora di tutti (1934) and had her biggest successes after the war with opera films like Lucia di Lammermoor (1946).


19. Paola Barbara.

Paola Barbara

Paola Barbara (1912-1989) was an Italian actress who acted in over 60 films, but also worked on stage and for television. She is best known for the film La peccatrice (1940) by Amleto Palermi.


20. Paola Borboni.

Paola Borboni

Paola Borboni (1900 - 1995) was one of the greatest stage actresses of Italy whose career spanned nine decades of cinema. She was often heard on the radio and seen in television, but her true passion was the stage.


21. Rubi D'Alma.

Rubi D'Alma

Rubi Dalma (1906-1994) was an Italian stage and screen actress. After a bit part in the Camillo Mastrocinque's film Regina della Scala, in which she basically played herself, Manca di Villahermosa decided to start a career as an actress and she adopted the stage name Rubi Dalma (sometimes spelled as Rubi D'Alma or Ruby Dalma).

Her breakout role was as the aristocrat donna Paola unsuccessfully courted by Vittorio De Sica in Mario Camerini's Il signor Max. From then Dalma started a successful career, even if often limited to stereotyped roles of cold, sophisticated and sometimes snobbish noblewomen. After the war she mainly appeared in character roles and, gradually, moved away from the cinema industry.


22. Silvana Jachino.

Silvana Jachino

Silvana Jachino (1916-2004) was an Italian stage and film actress, who appeared in 65 films between 1936 and 1970 and was successful and popular in the 1930s and 1940s.




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