Farewell to the actress Antonella Steni, for years she teamed up on TV with Elio Pandolfi
By Ivan Zingariello
January 19, 2016
No peace for Italian show business. In the last few days we have lost Franco Citti and Umberto Raho and, to make matters worse, the actress Antonella Steni, died yesterday in Bologna at the age of 89. The multifaceted and inexhaustible actress Steni was the prototype brilliant actress, but also capable of characterizations which were very special and much loved by the public.
Born as Stefanini Antonietta in Montefiascone (VT) on December 3, 1926 at a very young age she specialized in vaudeville and variety. As a young girl she appeared in a couple of movies, "Scipione l’Africano " (1937) by Carmine Gallone, which also saw the debut of Alberto Sordi, and then "Crispin e la comare" (1938) by Vincenzo Borelli. Then for 20 years she devoted herself to theater and radio ("La mia voce per la tua domenica", with Corrado) and later on television ("Za-bum" 1964-65), achieving great fame in the 1960s thanks to her partnership with Elio Pandolfi, with whom she was going steady for 11 years, receiving very large consensus in memorable comic sketches.
The movies we remember the many Italian comedies, from "Il Tigre" (1967) by Dino Risi in " Peggio per me… meglio per te" (1967) by Bruno Corbucci. Also participates in " Bisturi, la mafia bianca" (1973) by Luigi Zampa and the ensemble film " Grandi magazzini" (1986) Castellano & Pipolo. In " L’ultimo capodanno" (1998) by Marco Risi she plays the mother ghost Monica Bellucci, while her last appearances were in 2003 with the TV movie "Chiaroscuro" with Nino Manfredi, and the TV series "Cinecitta" by Emiliano Coltorti.
She also appeared alongside Franco Franchi and Ciccio Ingrassia that Steni turned films, well 5. From "Obiettivo ragazze" (1963) by Mario Mattioli in " Brutti di notte" (1968) by John Grimaldi, through "2 mattacchioni al Moulin Rouge" (1964) by Carlo Infascelli and musicals with Al Bano & Romina, “Nel sole” (1967), “L’oro del mondo” (1968), both directed by Aldo Grimaldi.
For Steni she was also a voice actress, voicing such Luciana Angiolillo in "Hercules and the Captive Women" and Annie Gorassini in "Vilcan Son of Jupiter", as well as Moira Orfei. In the new millennium she continued her theatrical career, also celebrating 60 years in the business in 2006, the season in which she was the star of the show " Grigio brillante" by Giuseppe Manfridi directed by Claudio Beccaccini.
She herself said "I am an actress. I always did brilliant things, I like to go wild, I like to sing - I think it is very valid to reach people. I am an actress I can do both comical and serious human things. I always put in my shows a brilliant moment of truth, and then I always try to be myself, to put always a part of me in the character I do, because I like to be natural." And then: "I'm not a snob, I'm very normal … a very normal person and I think very little of me belongs to the entertainment industry, out of the films. On stage my natural element is the stage but everything else I do not like. Picking up a prize for me has always been a struggle, and I’m also quite lazy." A final gloss on advancing years: "I often think of old age but I try to live my age until I can, I try. I always say and I realize that every age has its own charm. It’s clear that youth is beautiful because it is carefree, because there is the wrinkle… but the wrinkle is not the problem, old age I think can be frightening a nd it makes me mad, if you take away the reason, one takes autonomy ... more than old age. The old can be happy, I am an optimist and I have lived well, with love, with tenderness, I think it's even poetic."
STENI, Antonella (Antonietta Stefanini)
Born: 12/3/1926, Montefiascone, Lazio, Italy
Died: 1/18/2016, Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Antonella Steni’s western – actress:
Bastard, Go and Kill – 1971 (Assuncion Juanita Maria Magdalena Hermandariz/Maria)