Triple P had already selected a few pictures for our next Venus in Black Stockings post, so was saddened to discover that the subject of that post, the gorgeous Italian actress Laura Antonelli, was found dead today at the age of 73.
These stupendous shots (above), which say pretty much everything there is to say about Italian women and black stockings, come from her breakthrough film Malizia (1973), where she plays a housekeeper whose presence causes havoc in the home of a widower and his three sons. It immediately cemented her sex symbol status in Italy.
Born Laura Antonaz, in Pola, then in Italy but now in Croatia, her Italian father took the family, like 300,000 other Italians living in the region, to Italy when Marshal Tito came to power in Yugoslavia in 1947. Considered by her family to be an ugly, clumsy teenager she did ballet and gymnastics to tone up and, despite wanting to be a maths teacher, ended up teaching gymnastics in Rome.
It was in Rome where she met people from the film industry which led to her first screen role in 1964. She was mesmerisingly beautiful in Venus in Furs (1969), the first film Triple P saw her in. She made a number of films in the seventies and eighties, erotic comedies and more serious art films, many of which saw her revealing her splendid figure.
In 1991 the police broke into her house outside Rome and discovered 33 grammes of cocaine and she fought a ten year legal battle to overturn her three and a half year prison sentence for drug dealing. She had a series of unsuccessful relationships, botched plastic surgery procedures ruined her looks and she withdrew from public life, living in the seaside town of Ladispoli, where her body was discovered by her cleaning lady in her house early this morning. It is not clear how long she had been dead for. Latterly, she had become very religious and gave much of the compensation she was awarded, when her conviction for drug dealing was overturned, to charity. She lived in poverty for the rest of her life, resisting the attempts of others to raise money for her. We prefer to remember her in her prime as shown in this picture for Playboy Italia from November 1980, where she is still magnificent at the age of nearly forty.
Laura Antonelli November 1941-June 2015