Alida Valli in Eyes Without A Face
"Alida Valli died at her home in Rome, Italy on Saturday. She was 84. Valli rose to fame in the 1930s and 1940s starring in a string of Italian films before heading to Hollywood where she starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1947 thriller The Paradine Case alongside Gregory Peck. Orson Welles famously described the star as, "The sexiest thing you ever did see in your life."
I was personally always really impressed with Valli. In her younger years she was a stunning beauty and showed great range. She played a terrific "heavy" in many of my favorite horror films. She could be frightening, as well as powerful and domineering while still maintaining her exotic femininity. All these qualities made Valli stand out in every film I saw her in. She seemed to have stopped working in 2002, but she was still making movies when she was 80. Her last film was a thriller called Angel of Death (Semana Santa) that was not well received, but her body of work is incredibly impressive.
The Wide Blue Road (1957, Gillo Pontecorvo)
Il Grido (1958, Michelangelo Antonioni)
The Night Heaven Fell (1958, Roger Vadim
La Prima notte di quiete (1972, Valerio Zurlini)