- Category : Actress
- Type : PE
- Profile : 6/2 - Role Model / Hermit
- Definition : Split - Large
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Education 1
Isabella Fiorella Elettra Giovanna Rossellini (born 18 June 1952) is an Italian actress, filmmaker, author, philanthropist, and model. Rossellini is noted for her 14-year tenure as a Lancôme model, and for her roles in films such as Blue Velvet and Death Becomes Her.
Background and early life
Rossellini is the daughter of Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman and Italian director Roberto Rossellini. She has three siblings from her mother: her twin sister Isotta Ingrid Rossellini, who is an adjunct professor of Italian literature; a brother, Robertino Ingmar Rossellini; and a half-sister, Pia Lindström, who formerly worked on television and is from her mother's first marriage with Petter Lindström. She has four other siblings from her father's two other marriages: Romano (died at age nine), Renzo, Gil, and Raffaella.
Rossellini was born in Rome, and raised there, as well as in Santa Marinella and Paris. She underwent an operation for appendicitis at the age of five. At 11, she was diagnosed with scoliosis. In order to correct it, she had to undergo an 18 month ordeal of painful stretchings, body casts, surgery on her spine using pieces of one of her shin bones (used to add supports for the individual vertebrae without risking foreign body rejection issues), and a recovery from that surgery. Consequently, she has permanent incision scars on her back and shin.
At 19, she went to New York, where she attended Finch College, while working as a translator and a RAI television reporter. She also appeared intermittently on L'altra Domenica ("The Other Sunday"), a TV show featuring Roberto Benigni. However, she did not decide to stay full-time in New York until her marriage to Martin Scorsese (1979–1982).
At the age of 28, her modeling career began, when she was photographed by Bruce Weber for British Vogue and by Bill King for American Vogue. During her career, she has also worked with many other renowned photographers, including Richard Avedon, Steven Meisel, Helmut Newton, Peter Lindbergh, Norman Parkinson, Eve Arnold, Francesco Scavullo, Annie Leibovitz, Denis Piel, and Robert Mapplethorpe. Her image has appeared on such magazines as Marie Claire, Harper's Bazaar, Vanity Fair, and ELLE. In March 1988, an exhibition dedicated to photographs of her, called Portrait of a Woman, was held at the Musee d'Art Moderne in Paris.
Rossellini's modeling career led her into the world of cosmetics, when she became the exclusive spokesmodel for the international cosmetics brand Lancôme in 1982, replacing Nancy Dutiel in the United States and Carol Alt in Europe. At Lancôme, in 1990, she was involved in product development for the fragrance Trésor. In 1996, she was removed as the face of Lancôme for being "too old", since she was in her 40s at the time.
In October 1992, Rossellini modelled for Madonna's controversial book Sex. Rossellini also appeared in Madonna's music video for her successful Top 5 hit song "Erotica" released that autumn.
In 1995, Rossellini worked with the Coty Group and developed her own brand of cosmetics, Isabella Rossellini's Manifesto. She is signed to Trump Model Management.
Film and television
Rossellini made her film debut with a brief appearance as a nun opposite her mother in the 1976 film A Matter of Time. Her first role was the 1979 film Il Prato. In 1980 she appears on Renzo Arbore's film Il pap'occhio, with Martin Scorsese. She did not become successful with acting until after her mother's death in 1982, when she was cast in her first American film, White Nights (1985). She is probably best known for her pivotal role as the tortured nightclub singer Dorothy Vallens in David Lynch's Blue Velvet, in which she also did her own singing. Some other notable film roles include her work in Cousins, Death Becomes Her, Immortal Beloved, and Fearless.
In 2003, Rossellini had a recurring role on the television series, Alias. In that same year, she also appeared in the Canadian film The Saddest Music in the World directed by Guy Maddin. In 2004, she played the High Priestess Thar in the Sci-Fi Channel miniseries Legend of Earthsea. In addition, she acted in an Off-Broadway production of The Stendhal Syndrome. She became an ambassador for the Silversea Cruise Line, which has her appearing in print ads and on their website.
In 2006, Rossellini appeared in several television documentaries. First, she narrated a two-hour television special on Italy for the Discovery Channel's Discovery Atlas series. In addition, on an episode of the Sundance Channel series Iconoclasts, which also featured the Segway PT inventor Dean Kamen, she told about her past and current activities. In 2007, Rossellini guest starred on two episodes of the television show 30 Rock, playing Alec Baldwin's character's ex-wife. She also appeared on an episode of the TV series Friends in 1996 as herself in The One With Frank Jr.
In 2008, Rossellini toured the festival circuit, including the Sundance Film Festival, with a series of short films entitled Green Porno, which she wrote and co-directed with Jody Shapiro. Each Green Porno film is two minutes long, and has Rossellini reenacting the mating rituals of various animals.
Rossellini was announced as the President of the Jury for the 61st Berlin International Film Festival in 2011.
She played the role of Gabriella Guglielmi-Valentino in Silent Life, released in 2012.
Rossellini received a 1987 Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead for her role in Blue Velvet. In 1997, she received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV for her role in Crime of the Century and an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her work on the television series Chicago Hope. Also in 1997, Rossellini was awarded The George Eastman Award. In 1998, she received an Honourable Mention at the 48th Berlin International Film Festival for her role in the film Left Luggage. At the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival she is to be awarded with the Berlinale Camera.
Rossellini is involved in conservation efforts. She is a board member of the Wildlife Conservation Network, and president and director of the Howard Gilman Foundation, a leading institution focused on the preservation of wildlife, arts, photography and dance. She received $100,000 from Disney to help with her conservation efforts in those two organizations. She has also helped with the Central Park Conservancy, and is a major benefactor of the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society of Bellport, Long Island, where she is a part-time resident.
Rossellini is involved in training guide dogs for the blind. She is a former trustee of the George Eastman House and a 1997 George Eastman Award honoree for her support of film preservation. She is also a National Ambassador for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.
Rossellini has written three books—her self-described fictional memoir, Some of Me (1997), Looking at Me (on pictures and photographers, 2002), and In the name of the Father, the Daughter and the Holy Spirits: Remembering Roberto Rossellini (2006), accompanied by the Guy Maddin-directed short film My Dad Is 100 Years Old (both the film and the book are tributes to her father). In the film, she played almost every role, including David Selznick, Alfred Hitchcock, and her mother Ingrid Bergman.
In 2008, Rossellini wrote a number of television shorts on the Sundance Channel called Green Porno. The short segments (about two minutes each) are written, hosted and acted out by Rossellini. She has written a book to accompany the third season—a multimedia experiment that contains a companion DVD, both of which serve as additional information for the series' third season.
Rossellini holds dual Italian and United States citizenship.
She was married to Martin Scorsese from 1979 to 1982. After her marriage to Scorsese ended, she married Jon Wiedemann (1983–1986), a Harvard-educated model from Texas (now a Microsoft executive). Later, she dated David Lynch, Gary Oldman, and Gregory Mosher.
She has a daughter, Elettra Rossellini Wiedemann (born 1983), and a son, Roberto (born 1992).
She has always lived near her twin sister Isotta (aka Ingrid), whether while growing up in Rome or in New York City. Consequently, her twin sister's children Tommaso and Francesca grew up close with their cousins Elettra and Roberto.