They were once outsiders to Hollywood but managed to captivate an international audience with their accents and artistic talents. It’s easy for many people to link celebrities to America but these actors call Ital their home. And their origins have added a unique richness to Hollywood that many of us love. Let us introduce you to seven Italian stars who fell in love with Hollywood—and whom Hollywood and millions of fans loved back.
The stunning Monica Bellucci, from Città di Castello, in Umbria, was a supermodel in the 90s and the best-known among Italian actresses who decided to work mainly abroad. Her extreme beauty gave her some roles in Italian films but she got her first international success in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 Oscar-winning Bram Stoker's Dracula. After marrying her French colleague Vincent Cassel, Bellucci has worked mainly in French and Italian productions. Other Hollywood appearances include Under Suspicion with Gene Hackman and Morgan Freeman, The Last Dawn alongside Bruce Willis, Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions with Keanu Reeves, The Passion of the Christ directed by Mel Gibson and set in Matera, Italy, and most recently Spectre from the James Bond 007 saga.
Favino is a true chameleon. He is acclaimed by Hollywood for his ability to adapt to the most disparate roles—recall his appearances in Night at the Museum- Battle of the Smithsonian, The Chronicles of Narnia- The Caspian Prince directed by Andrew Adamson, and Angels and Demons by Ron Howard, starring Tom Hanks—and for his perfect knowledge of several languages. The most recent testament to his talent is the fact that the audition for the role he played in World War Z ̧ now in theaters, was aimed exclusively at French actors, but Rome native Favino won the part. Since 2020 Favino has been a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
We can consider Sophia our Italian ambassador in the United States and the brightest star shining on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In the 1960s and 1970s, she starred in numerous Hollywood films with icons such as Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Clark Gable, Paul Newman, and many others. In 1962, the 28-year-old beauty won the Oscar for Best Actress for La Ciociara by Vittorio De Sica. In 1991 the Academy awarded her a second Oscar for Lifetime Achievement.
Despite Hollywood’s requests that she undergo a nose-retouching operation, Loren always refused to change her Mediterranean features. We find her in films such as Boy On a Dolphin, The Houseboat, and Pride and the Passion co-starring Frank Sinatra and Cary Grant. She’s been married to the Italian great film producer Carlo Ponti.
Beloved and multi-faceted 81 years-old Giancarlo Giannini was the second Italian actor to gain a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, following in the footsteps of Rodolfo Valentino. Giannini plays many roles in life—he’s a great actor, film director, screenwriter, unique voiceover artist, writer, and inventor—to name a few of his pursuits. One of the most famous Italian actors abroad, he has interspersed his work in Italy with those in foreign productions throughout his career. He was directed by Francis Ford Coppola in New York Stories, Alfonso Arau in The Scent of Wild Must, and Ridley Scott in Hannibal.
One of the Italian actresses who worked in Hollywood most, Lollobrigida acted alongside big stars such as Humphrey Bogart, Errol Flynn, Burt Lancaster, Anthony Quinn, Tony Curtis, Yul Brynner, Sean Connery, and Sandra Dee. Her Hollywood starring roles include the films The Treasure of Africa, The Most Beautiful Woman in the World, Go Naked for the World, the 1964 Woman of Straw, Back in September, and Good Evening, Mrs. Campbell. During those years, Lollobrigida also formed a deep friendship with diva Marilyn Monroe. She was memorialized on February 2, 2018, with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
One of the most prolific actresses in Hollywood is undoubtedly Valeria Golino who lived in Los Angeles for several years. She owes her popularity above all to Barry Levinson’s 1988 film Rain Man with co-stars Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise. She also starred in Lone Wolf, Sean Penn's directorial debut, and in Hot Shots! comedy films starring a young Charlie Sheen. She’s been film director Brian De Palma’s girlfriend for many years. Today she works mainly in Italy and is also a respected film director.
Raoul Bova was already a superstar in Italy when he decided to challenge himself by relocating to Hollywood. Good move! He performed in Avenging Angelo alongside Sylvester Stallone and Under the Tuscan Sun with Diane Lane while in 2004 won a co-starring role in Alien vs. Predator as Sebastian de Rosa. In 2006 he joined the cast of the American TV series About Brian. Bova also starred in The Company alongside Michael Keaton and had a small role in the 2010 film The Tourists starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie.
Barbara Benzoni was born in Milan and lives between Rome and Tuscany. She is devoted to USA, the land of courage and innovation. She’s Peter's super-lucky mum and Ale's wife. Cinema, art, good food and only beautiful things are the themes of her existence. With a degree in Italian literature and a Masters in Sports Management she can both enjoys books and basketball matches. In 25 years she has been organizing sport events all over the world and she’s been lucky enough to meet the greatest champs ever. Curiosity in everyday life and people are her drivers. Her personal icon is Mohammed Ali : "It's not bragging if you can back it up".