Erotic film actress Laura Antonelli is dead

She made her debut on the big screen at the age of 25 in the 1966 film, La sedicenne, but her breakthrough role came in 1971 with an erotic comedy called Il merlo maschio. This was followed by another erotic film, Malizia (1973),which cemented her image as a sex symbol and turned her into an object of desire for a generation of Italian males

Italian actress, Laura Antonelli, the star of 1970s erotic movies, whose life fell apart after being convicted of drug dealing in the 1990s, died of a heart attack at her home in the seaside town of Ladispoli, near Rome.

Antonelli was 73.

Born Laura Antonaz in Pola, Istria, Italy (now forming part of Croatia), she first appeared in TV adverts and then in popular fotoromanzi (photonovels).

She made her debut on the big screen at the age of 25 in the 1966 film, La sedicenne, but her breakthrough role came in 1971 with an erotic comedy called Il merlo maschio. This was followed by another erotic film, Malizia (1973),which cemented her image as a sex symbol and turned her into an object of desire for a generation of Italian males.

She won the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists Award and the Nastro d’Argento for best actress for her role.

Antonelli made a string of other erotic films in the 1970s, but directors Luchino Visconti and Ettore Scola gave her more dramatic roles in auteur pictures, while retaining her image as a seductress.

A well-publicised love affair with French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo reinforced her status as a leading star.

In the 1980s she starred in a number of Italian comedies such as Grandi magazzini (1986), Rimini Rimini (1987) and Roba da ricchi (1987), alongside comic actors such as Lino Banfi and Diego Abatantuono.

Her career came to a screeching halt in 1991 when she was accused of drug dealing after the police, acting on a tip-off, raided her apartment in Rome and found a small quantity of cocaine.

That same year, Antonelli took part in a sequel to Malizia, titled Malizia 2000, but it bombed at the box office.

She did not appear in any other movie and retired from the public eye.

After a long trial, Antonelli was sentenced to three years in prison but this verdict was later commuted to a form of house arrest.

Her lawyers fought a 10-year battle to prove her innocence and won an appeal in the year 2000.

A lengthy civil action for damages following cosmetic surgery that left her face disfigured, was unsuccessful.

 

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