It might surprise some of Barbara Magnolfi’s fans to discover that the raven-haired beauty so famed for her smoldering performances in Italian horror films was actually born in France to a French mother and Italian father. She was raised, though, in Rome, Italy, and her passion for performing expressed itself at an early age.
Perhaps as an escape from a difficult childhood at home, she started studying ballet at the tender age of four! By ten, she was already the troupe’s lead ballerina. But she would not be restricted to dance.
One day while having lunch in a Rome restaurant, the acclaimed Italian director, Antonio Pietrangeli, took notice of her striking qualities, and offered her a role to what would become his final film, “Come Quando Perché, on the spot. A new career was launched when Pietrangeli proclaimed her “a natural”.
She became a familiar beautiful face when she began modeling at age fifteen, appearing in billboard ads for such huge accounts as Fiorucci, Coca Cola, Sicis Jeans, Charles Jourdan, and many, many more.
But it was the world of cinema where she has achieved her greatest fame, appearing in other early films like “Morte sospetta di una Minorenne for director Sergio Martino, and Giorgio Stegani’s “Disposta a tutto”. She was christened “The Mysterious Beauty” for her striking features, her long dark hair, and her sensual, practically feline allure.
But it was when cinema maestro Dario Argento cast her as Olga in his groundbreaking genre classic, “Suspiria”, that truly set the hearts of genre fans racing around the world.
Her stunning performance led to film and television roles for some of Italy’s greatest directors of the era: Duccio Tessari, Sergio Martino, Sergio Corbucci, Pasqule Squittieri, Aldo Lado and many others.
But it was Ruggero Deodato who first brought Barbara to the United States and more genre stardom for his cult classic, “Cut and Run”. Impressed by the notable professional techniques displayed in US filmmaking, she promised herself she would be back. Barbara currently resides in Hollywood and continues to act, as well as exercising new creative muscles as a producer.
She remains an indomitable spirit and she reminds us that:
“Every moment is a new chance to change the course of your life! ”