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September 2, 2022

“Italian Marlene Dietrich”: 40 Fabulous Photos of Isa Miranda in the 1930s

Born 1909 in Milan, Italian actress Ines Isabella Sampietro worked as a typist while attending the Accademia dei Filodrammatici in Milan and training as a stage actress. She went on to play bit parts in Italian films in Rome. She changed her name to Isa Miranda and success came with Max Ophüls’ film La Signora di tutti (Everybody’s Woman; 1934) in which she played Gaby Doriot, a famous film star and adventuress with whom men cannot help falling in love. This performance brought in its wake several film offers and a Hollywood contract with Paramount Pictures. There, billed as the “Italian Marlene Dietrich”, she played femme fatale roles in films such as Hotel Imperial (1939) and Adventure in Diamonds (1940).

Miranda returned to Italy soon after the outbreak of World War II and continued to act on stage and to make films. In 1949, she starred in René Clément’s The Walls of Malapaga, which won an Academy Award for the most outstanding foreign language film of 1950, and for Miranda, the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Another success of that period was La Ronde (1950), also directed by Ophüls.

Her career took her to France, Germany and Britain, where she frequently appeared in TV films, including The Avengers. Other notable film appearances included Siamo donne (1953), Summertime (1955), Gli Sbandati (1955), The Yellow Rolls-Royce (1964), The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968), and Liliana Cavani’s The Night Porter (1974).

Miranda died in Rome in 1982, aged 73. Take a look at these fabulous photos to see portraits of a young Isa Miranda in the 1930s.


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