Open main menu

Tina Scala (born July 16, 1935) is an actress, model, singer, and poet of Italian and Irish descent.

Tina Scala
Agata Carmen Maria Scoglio

(1935-07-16) July 16, 1935 (age 83)
OccupationModel, Poet, Singer, Actress
Years active1955—present


Early lifeEdit

Scala's early life was one of privilege. As Agatina Carmen Maria Scoglio, she was born in Mili San Marco, Sicily, but became to be known as Tina.

At 17, she settled in Toronto, Canada. In 1962, Scala began modeling fur coats in Toronto. When she heard that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was holding auditions, she applied, was accepted and began working in daytime television.


Scala studied acting at the Actors Studio, dancing at Luigi School of Dance with Eugene Louis Faccuito and voice with Gian Carlo Menotti. She made appearances on some radio shows and television shows. In 1961, she made her film debut in The Children's Hour.

On December 27, 1966, Scala was dressed in a mini-skirt, a photographer from the New York Daily News by chance snapped her picture as she was stepping over a snow bank when making her way through the snows in Central Park. That photo was published in The Saratogian and seen by many U.S. soldiers stationed in Vietnam. The newspaper received requests as to the identity of the mini-skirted young lady. When Scala discovered that the boys overseas liked her photograph, she posed in a two-piece bikini and became a pin-up.[1] While Scala was working as a model and actress in New York City, her sister and her mother were living in Los Angeles, California. When her mother — a life-time smoker — became ill from lung cancer, Scala moved to Los Angeles to be near her family. She often accompanied her sister — actress Gia Scala — onto movie sets, where she had the opportunity to meet many famous movie stars. In an interview, she was asked, "Who was the first star you met?" She answered, "Audie Murphy ... his dressing room was next to Gia's and we could hear him talking to some girls and the girls were laughing loudly. When I met him he was very polite and personable." [2] Scala continued to work in film — a role most remembered is a woman in the laundromat in Midnight Cowboy in 1969. In 1972, when her sister Gia was found dead in her Hollywood Hills home,[3] her death was ruled accidental,[4][5] Gia Scala was interred next to her mother in the Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City. [6] In 1976, Frank Cavestani interviewed Scala for his documentary Making It In Hollywood. [7] She was dressed as Cinderella from the wedding scene, and he asked her, "Which is easier, working in film or theater?" She replied, "Film. Because in theater there are no second takes. You have to get it right the first time."

Scala continues working in film and theater.


Year Title Role Notes
1966 Seconds Young Girl Dancing in the Wine Vat Uncredited
1969 Midnight Cowboy Laundromat Lady (New York)
1971 How's Your Love Life?
1975 Capone Mrs. Torrio (final film role)
  • Southern Fried Shakespeare Gold Medal Winner at WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival (1991)


  1. ^
  2. ^ Interview with writer Sterling Saint James January 2014
  3. ^ "Gia Scala Is Dead; Film Actress, 38". The New York Times. 1972-05-02. p. 46.
  4. ^ "The Private Life and Times of Gia Scala". Retrieved 31 December 2011.
  5. ^ "Gia Scala". Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  6. ^ Crivello, Kirk (1990-01-01). Fallen Angels: The Lives and Untimely Deaths of 14 Hollywood Beauties. Berkley. p. 188. ISBN 0-425-11968-8.
  7. ^

External linksEdit