Clara Calamai

Active - 1940 - 1985  |   Born - Sep 7, 1915   |   Died - Sep 21, 1998   |   Genres - Drama

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

Best remembered for her white-hot performance as an adulterous wife in Luchino Visconti's directorial debut Ossessione (1942), sultry Clara Calamai ranked among Italy's most popular stars of the late '30s and '40s. That same year Calamai rocketed to national fame in Allessandro Blasetti's La Cena delle Beffe (1942), when she became the first Italian actress to appear topless onscreen; it happened when her co-star, Amedeo Nazzari, ripped open her dress in a moment of passion during a love scene. Calamai made her first screen appearance in Aldo Vergano's Pietro Micca (1938). She first worked opposite Nazzarri in Goffredo Alessandrini's Caravaggio (1941). Following WWII, Calamai would appear steadily in films through 1976 when she played a murderously crazy aging actress in Dario Argento's Deep Red. Some of Calamai's other notable films include Duilio Coletti's Il Fornaretto di Venezia (1939) and Mario Camerini's Two Anonymous Letters (1941). At one time Calamai was the wife of documentary maker and aviator-explorer Leonardo Bonzi.

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