The high priestess of frosty sensuality, Italian actress Monica Vitti was trained at Rome's National Academy of Dramatic Arts. Upon her graduation, she immediately launched her professional stage career; in 1954, she made her first film, Ettore Scola's Ridere Ridere Ridere. Most of Vitti's late-'50s film appearances were inconsequential compared to her portrayal of the remote, "uninvolved" leading lady in Michelangelo Antonioni's prize-winning L'Avventura (1960). She also was featured in Antonioni's L'Eclise, La Notte, and Red Desert. Her one bid for Hollywood stardom was Modesty Blaise (1966), which though directed by Joseph Losey, was a significant critical disappointment. Aside from her appearance in Luis Buñuel's highly acclaimed Le Fantôme de la Liberté (1974), Vitti's subsequent film work has been relatively undistinguished and sporadic. In 1989, she starred in Scandalo Segreto, which she also scripted and directed.