Actress Claudia Cardinale reveals that cinema saved her life after 60 years in the business

The legendary actress Claudia Cardinale turned 85 years old, and viewers are still captivated by her ageless beauty.

Cardinale was one of the most well-known actors of the Golden Age thanks to her stunning presence on cinema for more than six decades. She didn’t initially intend to pursue a career in acting, but her rise to fame was fraught with trauma.

Claudia Cardinale (Photo by Herbert Dorfman/Corbis via Getty Images)

Cardinale has continued to work at age 85, outliving many of the Hollywood legends she formerly appeared onscreen alongside, and she strongly thinks that “cinema saved my life.”

Claudia Cardinale made an enduring impression on Italian and world film as an iconic actress. She was able to portray a variety of intricate and unique personalities throughout her career thanks to her talent, beauty, and adaptability.

Claudia Cardinale in a feather trimmed negligee; circa 1970; New York. (Photo by Art Zelin/Getty Images)

Cardinale’s skill, unusual Mediterranean beauty, and capacity to enthral viewers with her magnetic on-screen presence have made her a global film star.

Even more astounding is the fact that she’s still actively working in the film industry at the age of 85. When she was found at the age of 18, the Italian actress of Tunisian descent, who was raised in a multilingual family, was pursuing a career as a teacher.

Cardinale in Girl with a Suitcase (1961) / Wikipedia / Gawain78 

She first gained notoriety after winning the title of Most Beautiful Italian Girl in Tunisia at an Italian film festival. This achievement earned her a trip to the Venice Film Festival and numerous producer offers.

She first turned down these offers because she was pregnant despite them. She made her choice because she thought that by refusing to accept things right away, she would become more appealing.

Cardinale in Pietro Germi’s Un maledetto imbroglio (1959)

When her son Patrick was born in 1975, she stated that an unnamed man who had raped her was the father of the child. Until he turned 18, Patrick’s true identity remained a mystery.

Cardinate and Cristaldi had a challenging relationship that ended in 1975, but despite this, Cardinate’s career flourished. She made her cinematic debut with Omar Sharif in the French-Tunisian movie “Goha.” She rapidly became known as one of Italy’s best actors thanks to her talent.

Claudia Cardinale wearing the stage costume and revising the script before the shoot of a scene of the film ‘The Pink Panther’ / Wikipedia / Pierluigi Praturlon

She gained notoriety for her work with Marcello Mastroianni and Burt Lancaster in films including “Rocco and His Brothers” (1960), “812” (1963), and “The Leopard” (1963). Martin Scorsese, the director, lists her most recent two films, in which she played an unreachable object of desire, as two of his top 12 favourites.

Cardinale also made a name for himself in Hollywood, appearing alongside David Niven in “The Pink Panther” and alongside John Wayne and Rita Hayworth in “Circus World” (1964). She played a prostitute in “Once Upon a Time”


Audiences were thrilled by Cardinale’s on-screen partnership with Brigitte Bardot in “The Legend of Frenchie King” (1971). Her decision to never appear bare-chested in films distinguished her from Bardot because she thought leaving something to the imagination was more seductive.

Success and stress characterised her career in Hollywood. Cardinale emphasised that she did not want to end up as a cliché as she stated her wish to quit the patriarchal Hollywood system and accept lower compensation in Europe.

Claudia Cardinale at the Women’s World Awards 2009 in Vienna, Austria

She accepted a peaceful life away from the sexualized spotlight despite the fact that her career was slowing down. She claimed that one of her dreams was to travel the world, and she did just that. Her innate beauty was never compromised, and she never made naked appearances in films. Cardinale believed that it was important to be herself.

In 1975, she wed the Italian filmmaker Pasquale Squitieri, and the two remained together until his demise in 2017. Claudia was the only daughter of the couple.


In response to rumours that she had been voluntarily admitted to a hospital in 2022, Cardinale stated that she was in good health, was residing in France, and was spending time with her family. She sent summer greetings to everyone.

Today, Cardinale actively supports significant causes as a goodwill ambassador for UNESCO for the Defence of Women’s Rights.

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