Born in England, Gia Scala was raised in Rome by her Italian father. At age 17, she journeyed to the U.S. to study at the Actors' Studio. In films from 1956, Scala was given better acting opportunities in internationally produced films than she was in Hollywood. Her most celebrated screen role was as an underground fighter in The Guns of Navarone (1961). In 1966, she portrayed a lady scientist trapped in the stomach of a whale on the fanciful TV series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.