25th September 1925 - 6th January 2016
Silvana Pampanini was born in Rome, region of Lazio, on 25th September 1925 to Venetian parents whose families had left Venice three generations earlier.
Silvana showed an early talent for acting and singing and eventually went to study at the famous music school 'Santa Cecelia Conservatoire' in Rome. It was while she was there that she entered the Miss Italy competition in 1946. She came second but there was such a public outcry at this result that the judges overturned the results and she was declared first equal with Rossana Martini.
This public recognition and support was a turning point in her life and the following year saw the beginning of her movie career. She quickly became one of the most popular actresses in Italy and was considered to be a sex symbol in the 1950's.
In 1955 she visited America but rejected offers from Hollywood as she could not speak English very well. Outside of Italy she worked and was popular in South America, Spain, Egypt, Yugoslavia and France where she was nicknamed Nini Pampan.
Pampanini Worked with many important actors and directors including Buster Keaton, Vittorio Gassman, Marcello Mastroianni, Alberto Sordi, Totò, Jean Gabin, Henri Vidal, Abel Gance, Vittorio De Sica.
Silvana Pampanini never married but rumours linked her with such notable suitors as Ahmad Shah Khan(Crown Prince of Afghanistan), King Farouq of Egypt, Fidel Castro, Tyrone Power, William Holden, George DeWitt, Omar Sharif, Orson Welles and the tenor Giuseppe Campora. Outside of the glamour of show business she was a relatively private person and it is believe that she had one true love, a man ten years her senior who had died in 1952 from a war related illness one month before their wedding.
In the mid 1960's Silvana Pampanini gave up her full time acting career in order to look after her elderly parents.
In 1996 she published a book of her life entitled 'Scandalosamente perbene' which translates as 'Shockingly respectable'.
Silvana Pampanini spent her final months in hospital recovering from a complex abdominal operation. Her funeral took place Friday, 8th January, at the Santa Croce Basilica in Rome.