Early life Claudia Cardinale was born Claude Joséphine Rose Cardinale. Her mother, Yolande Greco, was born in Tunisia to Sicilian emigrants from Trapani. Her father was an Italian railway worker, born in Gela. In Tunisia, her native language was French, so she had to learn Italian once she moved to Italy to pursue her career. She did not speak Italian well (only the Sicilian language learned from her parents, like many Italian Tunisians) until the age of sixteen.TrapaniItalianGelaSicilian language Italian Tunisians  Careeredit In 1957, Cardinale won the "Most Beautiful Italian Girl in Tunisia" contest of the Italian embassy, which brought her to the traditional Venice Film Festival. Her feature film debut was Goha (1957), a French-Tunisian production. After attending the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia of Rome for two months, she signed a 7-year contract with the Vides studios. In 1958, she had a role in the major international success I soliti ignoti. Her early career was largely managed by producer Franco Cristaldi, a studio producer to whom Cardinale was married to from 1966 until 1975.Venice Film Festivalfeature filmGohaCentro Sperimentale di CinematografiaRomeVidesI soliti ignotiFranco Cristaldi Throughout the 1960s, she appeared in some of the best Italian and European films including Luchino Visconti's Il Gattopardo (The Leopard, 1963) and Rocco e i suoi fratelli (1960), Philippe de Broca's Cartouche (1963), Federico Fellini's 8½ (1963), and Sergio Leone's epic Once Upon a Time in the West (1968). In her early Italian films, her voice was dubbed by someone else because her rather deep voice contrasted with her frail and youthful appearance. Not until 8½ was she allowed to dub her own dialogue.[2Luchino ViscontiIl GattopardoRocco e i suoi fratelliPhilippe de BrocaCartoucheFederico Fellini8½Sergio LeoneOnce Upon a Time in the Westdubbed[2
Because Cardinale was not interested in leaving Europe for extended periods of time, she never made a real attempt to break into the American market. The list of her Hollywood films includes The Pink Panther (1963), in which she was dubbed by an American actress; Circus World (1964); Blindfold (1965); and The Professionals (1966), in which she played opposite Lee Marvin and Burt Lancaster.AmericanThe Pink PantherAmericanCircus WorldBlindfoldThe ProfessionalsLee MarvinBurt Lancaster A photograph of Cardinale was featured in the original gatefold artwork to Bob Dylan's album Blonde on Blonde in 1966. Because it was used without Cardinale's permission, the photo was removed from the cover art in later pressings.Bob DylanBlonde on Blonde Her performance in Visconti's Vaghe stelle dell'Orsa (known as Sandra in the United States and Of A Thousand Delights, 1965) 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), in which Cardinale plays a widow raising a son during World War II, she gave another well-received performance. Other memorable performances include Valerio Zurlini's Girl with a Suitcase and Mauro Bolognini's Libera.Vaghe stelle dell'OrsaHolocaustLa storiaElsa MoranteWorld War IIValerio ZurliniGirl with a SuitcaseMauro Bolognini 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). In the 1980s, she did a brief stint on the CBS prime time soap opera Falcon Crest.FitzcarraldoMayrigAnd now... Ladies and GentlemenCBSprime timesoap operaFalcon Crest
Claudia Cardinale was married to Italian film producer Franco Cristaldi from 1966 until their divorce in 1975, and now lives with Pasquale Squitieri, an Italian film director who has been her companion since 1975.Franco Cristaldi She has two children: Patrizio, who was born out of wedlock to a Frenchman when she was 17 and later adopted by her longtime companion Pasquale Squitieri, and Claudia, whose biological father is Squitieri. Claudia Cardinale lives in Paris. She is also reported to have had an affair with former French President Jacques Chirac. French PresidentJacques Chirac Claudia Cardinale is a liberal with strong political convictions. She is involved many humanitarian causes, like in pro-women and pro-gay issues, and has frequently stated her pride in her Tunisian and Arab roots - as evidenced by her book 'Ma Tunisie' and her appearance as herself in the Tunisian film Un été à La Goulette ("A Summer in La Goulette"). 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. French-language Cardinale has been a regular attender at the Academy Awards. In 2002, she was awarded an honorary Golden Bear award of the Berlin Film Festival, and previously in 1993 she was awarded even an honorary Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.Academy AwardsGolden BearBerlin Film FestivalGolden LionVenice Film Festival Cardinale has been UNESCO good will ambassador for the Defense of Women's Rights since 1999. In 2006 (World Water Year) she 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.UNESCOMother Earth Powerstock
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