ROME, KOMPAS.com — Italian actress Franca Valeri who pioneered female comic roles in Italy’s post-war years has died at the age of 100.
Franca helped the nation laugh at its foibles and was known to be an elegant, ironic, and versatile actress.
Her daughter who is an opera singer, Stefania Bonfadelli, told the Corriere della Sera newspaper that Franca Valeri passed away in her sleep at her home in Rome on Sunday.
Franca’s death came only nine days after her 100th birthday.
Milanese by birth but Roman by adoption, Valeri will be honored with a wake Monday at a theater in the Italian capital, Rome's City Hall announced.
Beloved by Italians, especially for her roles in the 1950s to the 1970s, first on radio, then on TV and in movies, Valeri was recently toasted by many celebrities and in interviews as her 100th birthday approached.
President Sergio Mattarella sent a condolence message, praising Valeri as a “versatile and popular actress who will remain in the hearts of Italians for her great talent and her extraordinary likability.”
Valeri was a sophisticated, intelligent comic interpreter of post-war Italian society and often wrote the scripts or monologues for her performances, especially on stage.
Signature roles featured comic scenes in which she appeared solo, holding a phone, real or imaginary, including as "Signorina Snob,” a role for which she drew upon her Milanese bourgeois roots.
Another popular comic character she created poked fun at Roman middle-class vulgarities.