There is such an enduring appeal to Italian actress Elsa Martinelli. She was at once the European girl next door and a feminine bombshell, but always seemed to be landing roles where she was riding motorcycles, driving Jeeps, or loading rifles.
Born Elisa Tia in Grosseto, Tuscany, she moved to Rome with her family and in 1953 was discovered by Roberto Capucci who introduced her to the world of fashion. She became a model and began playing small roles in films. She appeared in Claude Autant-Lara’s Le Rouge et le Noir (1954), but her first important film role came the following year with The Indian Fighter opposite Kirk Douglas.
She led the fabulous life of an international A-lister who even married royalty, but there’s a genuine down-to-earth earnestness about her style all the same.