Podestà in Le ragazze di San Frediano (1954)
20 June 1934
|Died||10 December 2013 (aged 79)|
|Spouse(s)||Marco Vicario (1953-1976) (divorced) (2 children)|
|Partner(s)||Walter Bonatti (1981-2011) (his death)|
Podestà was born in Tripoli in the Italian colony of Libya. She spent her first years there, moving to Rome after World War II. At sixteen she was discovered by director Léonide Moguy during the preparation of the cast for the film Domani è un altro giorno; this inaugurated a career in which she participated in sixty films, in Italy and abroad.
In Italy, she resided in Dubino (Sondrio province). She married and then divorced movie producer Marco Vicario. From 1980 she lived with the famous mountain climber, explorer and journalist Walter Bonatti; he died on 13 September 2011. Bonatti, aged 81, died alone at a private clinic where the hospital management would not allow his partner of more than 30 years to spend the last minutes of his life together because the two were not married. On 10 December 2013, Podestà died in Rome, aged 79.
Podestà's most memorable role was as Helen in Helen of Troy, produced by Robert Wise in 1956. She could not speak English so she learned her lines by rote with a voice coach. The movie gave Podestà international exposure, and she performed alongside a young Brigitte Bardot. Thanks to her starring in the Mexican film Rossana, she became very popular in Latin America.
Podestà also starred in the movie Ulisse (1955), directed by Mario Camerini, and in the sixties and seventies she acted in some romantic movies, including Paolo il caldo and Il prete sposato which led to a double page of five half naked pictures in the US Playboy of March 1966. Under the headline "Trio Con Brio" featuring European actresses, she appeared alongside Christiane Schmidtmer (from Germany) and Shirley Ann Field (from the UK).
- 1950: Strano appuntamento - Their daughter
- 1951: Tomorrow Is Another Day - Stefania
- 1951: The Seven Dwarfs to the Rescue - Princess Snow White
- 1951: Cops and Robbers - Liliana Bottoni
- 1952: Viva il cinema! - Marisa
- 1952: Gli Angeli del quartiere - Lisa
- 1952: Io, Amleto - Ofelia
- 1952: Il moschettiere fantasma - Ornella
- 1952: Don Lorenzo
- 1953: Viva la rivista!
- 1953: Finishing School - Pereira
- 1953: Addio, figlio mio! - Elsa
- 1953: Rossana - Rossana
- 1953: Voice of Silence
- 1954: Ulysses - Nausicaa
- 1955: Le ragazze di San Frediano - Tosca
- 1955: Nosotros dos - María Pedrosa
- 1955: Non scherzare con le donne
- 1955: Songs of Italy
- 1956: Helen of Troy - Helen
- 1956: Playa prohibida - Isabella
- 1956: Santiago - Doña Isabella
- 1958: The Amorous Corporal - Bethi
- 1958: Raw Wind in Eden - Costanza Varno
- 1958: The Sword and the Cross - Marta
- 1959: Temptation - Caterina
- 1959: Un vaso de whisky - María
- 1960: Fury of the Pagans - Leonora
- 1961: La grande vallata
- 1961: Slave of Rome - Antea
- 1962: Alone Against Rome - Fabiola
- 1962: The Golden Arrow - Jamila
- 1963: Sodom and Gomorrah - Shuah
- 1963: The Virgin of Nuremberg - Mary Hunter
- 1964: The Naked Hours - Carla
- 1964: Last Plane to Baalbek - Isabel Moore
- 1965: Seven Golden Men - Giorgia
- 1966: Seven Golden Men Strike Again - Giorgia
- 1970: The Swinging Confessors - Silvia
- 1971: Man of the Year - Cocò Lampugnani
- 1972: L'uccello migratore - Delia Benetti
- 1973: The Sensual Man - Lilia
- 1975: Il gatto mammone - Rosalia
- 1976: Il letto in piazza - Serena
- 1977: Pane, burro e marmellata - Simona
- 1979: 7 ragazze di classe - Ivonne
- 1980: Sunday Lovers - Clara (segment "Armando's Notebook")
- 1980: Tranquille donne di campagna - Anna Maldini
- 1983: Hercules - Hera
- 1985: Secrets Secrets - Maria, Rosa's Mother (final film role)
- "Rossana Podestà: 'Helen of Troy' & Sex Comedy Actress Dies".
- "Morta Rossana Podestà – Photostory Spettacolo". ANSA.it. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
- "Actress Rossana Podestà dies". Gazzetta del Sud. 10 December 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2019.