Francesca Bertini

Francesca Bertini was undoubtedly one of the first divas of cinema, a lady not only on screen but also in real life. She made her film debut in La dea del mare (1907) and after that producers fought for her services. In 1921 she married European nobleman and banker Alfred Cartier. She tried her hand at directing films as well as acting in them and turned out two well-received efforts, Assunta Spina (1915) and Tosca (1918)). She made the transition from silent films to talkies, although her output slowed down considerably. Her final role was in Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1900 (1976).

A “diva” to the end, she died in a “grand hotel” in Rome, Italy, in 1985, receiving friends and fans on her deathbed in a sumptuous salon.

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