‘Why did she begin acting? The volatile Italian actress replied, “Because of unhappiness perhaps. I wanted to do so many things. I exploded with ideas … like firecrackers.”’ (Karsh)
Anna Magnani made her film debut in The Blind Woman of Sorrento in 1934 but her international fame came from her role in Roberto Rossellini’s 1946 film Roma, Citta Aperta (Rome, Open City), which started the Neo-realist movement in Italian films. Her first Hollywood film, Tennessee Williams’ The Rose Tattoo, in which she played a tough widow of a truck driver, won her the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1955. She played highly emotional roles and covered a wide range from mental torment to comedy.