WEEK IN WOMEN: Raffaella Carrà showcased in new documentary – Brandy McDonnell reports

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Iconic Italian performer Raffaella Carrà will have her life and career showcased in an upcoming in-depth documentary from Fremantle.

Known as “the lady” or “the queen” of Italian television, she built a seven-decade career as an actor, recording artist, TV host and model. Carrà eventually emerged as a symbol of women’s liberation and women’s rights.

Born in Bologna in 1943, Carrà was discovered when she was just a child, as director Mario Bonnard cast her in his 1952 film Tormento del passato (Torment of the Past).

She inked a contract with 20th Century Fox in 1965 and appeared in “Von Ryan’s Express” alongside Frank Sinatra, James Brolin and Trevor Howard.

Carrà rose to fame in her native country in the 1970s as a singer and dancer by co-hosting the variety show Canzonissima. On the show, she famously became the first woman to expose her midriff on TV in Italy, prompting an outcry from the Vatican and significantly boosting her profile along with ratings.

In 1976, she sang her first major international hit, “A Far l’Amore Comincia Tu” (“Be the One Initiating Sex”), which encouraged women to express their sexual desires to their lovers. Carrà subsequently grew in popularity in Spain and Latin America, where she recorded several shows titled “La hora de Raffaella Carrà.”

A stalwart supporter of LGBTQ+ rights, she was recognized at 2017’s World Pride Madrid. Continue reading on THE WEEK IN WOMEN.

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Brandy McDonnell

Brandy McDonnell writes features and reviews movies, music, events and the arts for The Oklahoman, Oklahoma's statewide newspaper, and NewsOK.com, the state's largest news Web site. Raised on a farm near Lindsay, Okla., she started her journalism career in seventh grade, when she was elected reporter for her school's 4-H Club. Taking her duties seriously, she began submitting stories to The Lindsay News, and worked for the local weekly through high school. She attended Oklahoma State University, where she worked for The Daily O'Collegian and earned her journalism degree with honors. She worked for three years at small Oklahoma dailies The Edmond Sun and Shawnee News-Star. In 2002, she joined The Oklahoman as a features reporter, writing about movies, the arts, events, families and nonprofits. She moved to The Oklahoman's entertainment desk in 2007. In 2004, she won a prestigious Journalism Fellowship in Child & Family Policy from the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Along with her membership in AWFJ, she also is a founding member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle. Brandy writes The Week In Women blog for AWFJ.org.