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Italian actress Valli, star of ‘Third Man,’ dies

Alida Valli, one of Italy’s most famous movie actresses, who starred in “The Third Man” and “The Paradine Case”, has died aged 84.
/ Source: Reuters

Alida Valli, one of Italy’s most famous movie actresses, who starred in “The Third Man” and “The Paradine Case”, has died aged 84.

Valli, who was also known by her family name Alida Altenburger, died at home in Rome, her son told Reuters.

She rose to fame in Italy in the late 1930s and 1940s with a string of romantic films that endeared her to her war-weary compatriots and earned her the soubriquet “Italy’s girlfriend”.

Her beauty and understated acting also got her noticed by Hollywood and when World War Two ended she was chosen to star in two of the most famous films of the post-war era.

In Alfred Hitchcock’s 1947 courtroom thriller “The Paradine Case”, she starred alongside Gregory Peck, while in the “Third Man” she played the girlfriend to Orson Welles’ Harry Lime.

Welles later told his biographer Valli was “the sexiest thing you ever saw in your life”.

She went on to work with many more of the 20th century’s great directors, including Roger Vadim, Claude Chabrol, Luchino Visconti, Michelangelo Antonioni, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Bernardo Bertolucci.