Sandra Milo, who played Mistress in Federico Fellini’s ‘8½’ dies at 90

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Sandra Milo, an Italian cinema actress who played sensual hedonists in Federico Fellini’s internationally acclaimed films “8½” and “Juliet of the Spirits,” died on January 29 at her home in Rome. She was 90.

Her family announced the death but did not give a reason.

The buxom Ms. Milo first came to attention with a supporting role in the comedy “Lo Scapolo” (1955), in which Alberto Sordi played a female bachelor. She was a prostitute with a heart of gold in director Roberto Rossellini’s well-reviewed “Il Generale Della Rovere” (1959), a film set in World War II starring Vittorio De Sica as an anti-insurgency hero. similar.

She went on to appear in European-made dramas and comedy romps before landing her signature role in “8½” (1963), which won the Oscar for best foreign language film. Ms. Milo played the uninhibited mistress of the main character, a desperate film director portrayed by Marcello Mastroianni and partly modeled on Fellini.

“Federico was a director who knew how to make magic, and how to make me happy,” Italian newspaper La Repubblica quoted Ms Milo as saying. “He brought out the best in everyone, talents we didn’t even know we had. Everyone wanted to work with him.”

Two decades later, Ms. Milo described her love affair with Fellini in her book “Caro Federico”. The relationship, which allegedly began during the filming of “8½,” lasted 17 years.

Fellini later cast Ms. Milo opposite his wife, the actress Giulietta Masina, in the 1965 film “Juliet of the Spirits” in another hot sex role.

In addition to dozens of later screen roles, Ms. Milo became a staple of Italian television as a talk show host. In 1990, she was the victim of an on-air joke that went down in Italian television history as a tasteless precursor to “Punk’d” on reality television.

While Ms. Milo was holding a talk show on RAI, a prankster called in and told her that her son, Ciro, had just been in the hospital after a serious car accident. Believing the caller, Ms. Milo fled the studio crying “Ciro, Ciro!” only to find out later that her son was fine and that she had been deceived.

Ms Milo – whose birth name is Elena Salvatrice Greco, Salvatrice Elena Greco and Elena Liliana Greco – was born in Tunis on March 11, 1933, to a Sicilian father and a Tuscan mother.

Her marriages to Cesare Rodighiero and Ottavio De Lollis, with whom she had two children, ended in divorce. Survivors include her children. In an obituary, La Repubblica quoted her as saying that Fellini was “the greatest love” of her life.

The Washington Post contributed to this report.

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