By the 1960s a more sophisticated beauty was in vogue. The former Virna Lisa Pieralisi nicely fit the bill.
None other than Brigitte Bardot, the reigning French sexpot of the period, remarked that in her opinion, Lisi was the most beautiful woman in the world.
Born in 1936 in Ancona in the Marche province of central Italy — about 130 miles from Rome — Lisi parlayed her stunning good looks as a teenager into a nearly 60-year movie and tv career. She notably dipped her heels in Hollywood in the mid-Sixties, costarring right along with some of the biggest male stars of the period.
Here she is opposite Jack Lemmon in 1965’s How To Murder Your Wife…
Here’s a better look at how Lisi appeared in her prime…
A here’s Lisa clowning it up with Tony Curtis in 1966’s Not With My Wife, You Don’t…
And let’s not forget that durable 1969 comedy, If It’s Tuesday, It Must Be Belgium.
But the high point of Lisi’s screen career came much later, in the acclaimed Patrice Chereau 1994 historical drama, Queen Margot (La Reine Margo) in which she portrayed a scheming Catherine de Medici, whose diabolical 16th century machinations shaped all of Europe. It is a great part, and Lisi made the most of it — winning a Cannes Film Festival best actress citation for her performance.
Lisi spent most her career performing in various European television projects, amassing nearly 120 credits over several decades. She died at the age of 78 in Rome in 2014 of lung cancer.
In her time, a real beauty.