Isabella Rossellini

Isabella Rossellini

Her role as Eugenia in ''The Meadow' (1979)

Background:

“David Lynch came out of it a genius, and I came out of it a fat girl. I’m sorry
that the only comment I get about the part is the way I look.” Isabella
Rossellini on the critics’ response to her performance in Blue Velvet

A former TV journalist and translator, successful model and film star of Italian
and Swedish descent Isabella Rossellini has built an impressive career as both a
model and actress. Daughter of film icons Roberto Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman,
Rossellini, with her eye-catching beauty and début as a cover model for Vogue,
initially came to prominence and is best known for her modeling contract as the
official ”face” of the Lancome cosmetics empire. While her modeling career was
in full swing, the Italian-born beauty found herself becoming a movie star when
she starred as Dorothy Vallens in David Lynch’s acclaimed film Blue Velvet
(1986), where she nabbed an Independent Spirit award. Since then, Rossellini has
made a name for herself as an accomplished film actor with her virtuoso
performances in such films as Robert Zemeckis’ Death Becomes Her (1992, won a
Saturn award) and the independent drama Left Luggage (1998, won a Berlin
International Film Festival award). Her earlier significant accomplishments have
included an Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists award that the
actress won for her brilliant starring turn as Eugenia in the Taviani brothers’
The Meadow (1980).

Recently playing supporting role Gloria Guinness, opposite Toby Jones, Sandra
Bullock, Daniel Craig and Gwyneth Paltrow, in Douglas McGrath’s Infamous (2006),
Rossellini will soon star with Anthony LaPaglia and Viola Davis in
writer/director Matt Tauber’s All Fall Down (2006).

Isabella Rossellini was one of People Magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People in
the World” in 1990 and 1991, and was one of Empire magazine’s “100 Sexiest Stars
in Film History” in 1995. When not modeling or acting, she sits in front of her
desk writing books. So far, she has released two books, an autobiography titled
“Some of Me” (1994) and “Looking at Me” (2002). As for her private life, the
actress/model has been married twice. She first married director Martin Scorsese
in 1979, but the couple divorced three years later. She then tied the knot with
model Jonathan Wiedemann, and has one daughter with him. The relationship,
however, also ended up in divorce. Rossellini also gained notoriety for her
glamorous personal life with director/screenwriter David Lynch (together from
1986 to 1991), Gregory Mosher (dated 1996-1997) and actor Gary Oldman (engaged
to be married as of July 1994; reportedly broke up in 1996).


Reporter

Childhood and Family:

In Rome, Italy, Isabella Fiorella Eleta Giovanna Rossellini was born on June 18,
1952. Her father was Roberto Rossellini, a director, and her mother was Ingrid
Bergman, an actress. She has a fraternal twin sister, Ingrid Aborne, and an
older brother, Roberto Ingmar Rossellini (born in 1950), and is the younger
half-sister to Pia Lindstrom, a film and theater critic.

Isabella grew up with serious health problems and suffered from scoliosis, which
led to surgery when she was 13. At age 19, she moved to New York, where she
taught Italian at the New School for Social Research. Before modeling and
acting, Isabella took jobs as a translator for the Italian News Bureau and was a
TV journalist for RAI-TV in Italy.

Isabella Rossellini was married to director Martin Scorsese (born on November
17) in September 1979, but they later divorced in November 1982. After the
separation, she tied the knot with model Jonathan Wiedemann, with whom she
shares a daughter, Elettra-Ingrid Wiedemann (born in 1985). Unfortunately, this
marriage also ended in divorce. Isabella also has an adopted son named Roberto
Rossellini.


Lancome Girl

Career:

The offspring of screen legend Ingrid Bergman and master director Roberto
Rossellini, Isabella Rossellini, who once worked as a translator and TV
correspondent, was first recognized as a model before establishing a reputation
for herself as a movie star. Raised by celebrity parents, Rossellini had her
first exposure to filmmaking at age 24, when she appeared with her mother in the
Vincente Minnelli’s best-forgotten A Matter of Time (1976). Her second movie, as
well as her first starring role, arrived three years later when the Taviani
brothers tapped her to play Eugenia in the Italian-produced film The Meadow. For
her bright performance in the film, Rossellini was garnered a 1980 Silver Ribbon
for Best New Actress at the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists.

Despite the award-winning performance, 28-year-old Rossellini turned her
attention to modeling and began her career by doing photo shoots with
photographer Bruce Weber for British Vogue and Bill King for American Vogue. She
was soon on the fast track, working with such famous photographers as Francesco
Scavullo, Richard Avedon, Annie Leibovitz, and Robert Mapplethorpe, and
appearing on the covers of popular magazines like Vanity Fair, Marie Claire and
Harper’s Bazaar.

Rossellini’s big breakthrough as a model arrived in 1982 when she signed a
14-year contract with Lancome cosmetics as their international spokesperson and
primary model. Soon after, Rossellini became a renowned model worldwide.

Lured by the success of her modeling career, Rossellini broke into the Hollywood
scene in 1985 with a supporting part in director Taylor Hackford’s White Nights,
starring Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gregory Hines. Her acting career took flight in
the following year when Rossellini was cast in the starring role of Dorothy
Vallens, the abused, abstracted chanteuse in David Lynch’s acclaimed film Blue
Velvet. Rossellini’s virtuoso performance was critically applauded, and she was
handed a 1987 Independent Spirit for Best Female Lead.

Following the victory, Rossellini’s profile increased dramatically, landing more
film roles in such projects as Tough Guys Don’t Dance (1987), Siesta (1987),
Zelly and Me (1988), Cousins (1989), Red Riding Hood (1989), David Lynch’s Wild
at Heart (1990), Romantic Ladies (1990) and The Siege of Venice (1991). She also
made her TV movie acting debut in Ivory Hunters (1990) and starred in the
made-for-television film Lies of the Twins (1991). Rossellini further confirmed
her rising star status in 1992 when she won a Saturn for Best Supporting Actress
in the Robert Zemeckis-helmed Death Becomes Her, playing Lisle Von Rhoman. The
comedy-fantasy film starred Meryl Streep and Bruce Willis.

The beautiful actress went on to make an impact in the subsequent years. She
offered her best performance to date as Jeff Bridges’ wife Laura Klein in the
drama Fearless (1993), and followed that up with performances in Wyatt Earp
(1994), Immortal Beloved (1994), Big Night (1996), Abel Ferrara’s The Funeral
(1996) and Stanley Tucci’s The Impostors (1998). However, it was the independent
drama Left Luggage (1998) that won her critical-acclaim as the timid Hassidic
wife Mrs. Kalman, opposite Laura Fraser and Adam Monty. As a result, Rossellini
took home a Berlin International Film Festival award. In addition, Rossellini
had an impressive career on TV. She was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best
Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV in 1997
for her fine performance in Crime of the Century (1996) and had a notable
recurring role, as Professor Marina Giannini, in the series “Chicago Hope”
(1997), in which she received an Emmy nomination. She added the made-for-TV
movies The Odyssey (1997) and Merlin (1998) to her acting resume and rounded out
the decade with voice over work in the popular series ”The Simpsons.” As a
model, Rossellini was elected Vice President to the Lancaster Group in 1995 and
developed her own brand of cosmetics and fragrances with the Lancaster group
called Isabella Rossellini’s Manifesto.

In the new millennium, Rossellini maintained her work in modeling, although she
concentrated on her film career. She starred in such films as Don Quixote (2000,
TV), The Sky Will Fall (2000), Empire (2002), the critically hailed Roger Dodger
(2002), Monte Walsh (2003, TV), The Tulse Luper Suitcases, Part 1: The Moab
Story (2003), The Saddest Music in the World (2003, starred as Lady
Port-Huntley, a beer baroness who organizes a contest to find the saddest music
in the world), Heights (2004, opposite Glenn Close, James Marsden and Jesse
Bradford), King of the Corner (2004) and Legend of Earthsea (2004, TV), and
played Josephine in the European miniseries “Napoleon” (2002). In 2005, she
joined the cast of the television series ”Alias” in the recurring role of
Sydney’s aunt Yekaterina ‘Katya’ Derevko, and had a leading role in The Feast of
the Goat.

The 54-year-old actress recently played the supporting role of Gloria Guinness
in the biopic film Infamous (2006), directed by Douglas McGrath. Among her
costars were Toby Jones, Sandra Bullock, Daniel Craig and Gwyneth Paltrow. She
also made (together with director Guy Maddin) a short film about her father
Roberto Rossellini, titled My Dad is 100 Years Old (2006, portrayed her mother
Ingrid Bergman). Rossellini is scheduled to star opposite Anthony LaPaglia and
Viola Davis in the upcoming All Fall Down (2006), for writer/director Matt
Tauber.


Awards:

Berlin International Film Festival: Special Mention, Left Luggage, 1998
Saturn Award: Best Supporting Actress, Death Becomes Her, 1993
Independent Spirit: Best Female Lead, Blue Velvet, 1987
Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists: Silver Ribbon, Best New
Actress, The Meadow, 1980
These same people seem to forget that mother also took a lot of chances with the type of roles she played.More Isabella Rossellini quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
I didn't want to become an actress because the competition with my mother would have been to much to live up to.More Isabella Rossellini quotes [08/24/2006 12:08:00]
Taking my clothes off for a film doesn't come naturally to me, but once I had agreed to accept the role I knew I must go through with it.More Isabella Rossellini quotes [08/24/2006 12:08:00]
In America, they are paranoid about ruining the reputations of people once they are dead and cannot answer back. They have this fascination which to me seems cruel and morbid. I do not want any part of itMore Isabella Rossellini quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
But my mother loved The Elephant Man, and my father gave David Lynch a scholarship to study in Rome.More Isabella Rossellini quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]

Quotes of the month

Georgijj Aleksandrov Libraries - Experience of All Ages [02/08/2021 04:02:52] More


Anatoly Yurkin Decentralization is nothing more than a way to be led by the customer's problem.
(Anatoly Yurkin) [02/14/2021 04:02:59] More


Anatoly Yurkin The stones in the bosom of the cup of patience are the cenotaph. (Anatoly Yurkin) [02/04/2021 10:02:52] More


Anatoly Yurkin The quality of the regional philosophy is reduced by the success in the reform of education. (Anatoly Yurkin) [02/28/2021 12:02:20] More


Anatoly Yurkin Praise for the action, criticize for the sequence of deeds. (Anatoly Yurkin) [02/26/2021 01:02:03] More