Franca Faldini

Franca Faldini (10 February 1931 – 22 July 2016) was an Italian writer, journalist and actress.

Franca Faldini
Faldini (right) with Totò
Born10 February 1931 (1931-02-10)
Rome, Italy
Died22 July 2016 (2016-07-23) (aged 85)
Rome, Italy
OccupationActress, journalist, writer
Nicolò Borghese
(m. 1975)

Life and careerEdit

Born in Rome into a middle-class Jewish family, Faldini was forced to flee to Tuscany because of the Fascist racial laws. After the war, she was noticed by Ben Stahl, who pictured her in a painting called "Moment at Villa D'Este" for the magazine Esquire. She later moved to Hollywood, where she won a beauty pageant for aspiring actresses called "Miss Cheesecake", and made her film debut in Sailor Beware.[1]

Returning to Italy, where she was initially billed as "The Italian who comes from Hollywood",[2] Faldini started a relationship with the popular comedian Totò, also appearing in several of his films. In 1954, they had a son, Massenzio, who died a few hours after his birth. Totò dedicated a song to her, "Principessa" (Italian for 'Princess').[3]

In 1955, dissatisfied with her roles, Faldini retired from acting, making occasional returns in 1957, when she replaced on stage the injured main actress Franca Maj in a revue alongside Totò, and in 1998, appearing in Incontri proibiti (Italian for 'Prohibited encounters'), the last film by Alberto Sordi.[2] Faldini eventually started a career as a journalist and writer, co-writing with Goffredo Fofi [it] a history of Italian cinema, L’Avventurosa storia del cinema italiano (Italian for 'The adventurous history of Italian cinema'), and writing several books about Totò.[1][2]


Year Title Role Notes
1952 Sailor Beware Bit Role Uncredited
1952 Toto and the Women La signora dell'appuntamento
1953 Man, Beast and Virtue Mariannina
1953 Neapolitan Turk Angelica
1953 Funniest Show on Earth Yvonne, la soubrette
1954 Where Is Freedom? Maria
1954 Poverty and Nobility Nadia
1955 Toto in Hell Maria
1955 Are We Men or Corporals?
1998 Incontri proibiti [it] Alessandra Andreoli (final film role)


  1. ^ a b Fabio Ferzetti (22 July 2016). "Addio Franca Faldini, compagna di Totò e scrittrice, antidiva eccentrica e preziosa, oggi i funerali". Il Messaggero. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Enrico Lancia. "Faldini, Franca". Dizionario del cinema italiano, Le Attrici. Gremese Editore, 2003. ISBN 888440214X.
  3. ^ Alessandro Chetta (22 July 2016). "È morta Franca Faldini, ultima compagna di Totò". Corriere del Mezzogiorno. Retrieved 21 August 2016.

External linksEdit