Italian icon Raffaella Carrà to be remembered in new documentary

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Raffaella Carrà appears in the 1965 film “Von Ryan’s Express.” [20th Century Fox photo]

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, according to Deadline.

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.

According to Variety, 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.

Carrà died July 5, 2021, in Rome after a long illness at the age of 78, according to NPR.


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