Piera Degli Esposti dies: the actress was 83 years old
Undisputed legend of cinema and theater, Piera Degli Esposti died today, August 14, 2021, at the age of 83. The great actress had been ill for some time and had been hospitalized in June at the Santo Spirito hospital in Rome, where she died due to pulmonary complications. In his long career he had worked with the greatest directors and actors from Edoardo De Filippo to Antonio Calenda. He won the David di Donatello for Marco Bellocchio’s “L’ora di religion” (2002) and “Il divo” (2009) by Paolo Sorrentino.
Bolognese soul and universal talent, he had recently celebrated his 83 years. Piera Degli Esposti was nicknamed the barefoot queen, because she had the gift of always seeming at ease in the most different clothes, but she loved life as a synonym of freedom. Born in Bologna on March 12, 1938, Piera comes from the avant-garde theater of the 1960s and are masters such as Antonio Calenda, Aldo Trionfo, Giancarlo Cobelli, who hand over the keys to classical and modern theater, including Shakespeare and Giraudoux, Gombrowicz and D’Annunzio between the Aquila building and the Teatro dei 101 where he meets young colleagues such as Nando Gazzolo and Gigi Proietti.
His career begins in the Teatro dei 101 directed by Antonio Calenda, where he takes his first steps together with other young people who will become pillars of Italian theater such as Nando Gazzolo and Gigi Proietti. In 1966 he made his TV debut with a highly successful script, The Count of Montecristo. His film career began the following year with the film Trio directed by Gianfranco Mingozzi, which will be followed by These ghosts by Renato Castellani.
Piera Degli Esposti thus continues on stage, set and TV with Ugo Gregoretti’s Il circle Pickwick and, at the cinema, with Medea, directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Under the sign of the scorpion by the Taviani brothers. In the theater he works with directors such as Scaparro, Guicciardini, Sequi and Massimo Castri (with the latter in Henrik Ibsen’s Rosmersholm in 1980). Also in 1980 he wrote together with Dacia Maraini (a longtime friend) the intense story of his youth, in the highly successful novel Storia di Piera, which became a film three years later, directed by Marco Ferreri and the screenplay by Degli Esposti herself.
At the beginning of the eighties he acted for Nanni Moretti in Sogni d’oro and for Cinzia TH Torrini in Giocare d’azzardo. In this period Marco Ferreri will be the first to exploit her skills as a screenwriter, in the film he directed The future is a woman, played by Piera herself, to a lesser extent, by Ornella Muti and Hanna Schygulla. Later it will be directed by Lina Wertmüller who chooses her for three of her films, Scherzo del fate lurking around the corner like a street brigand, Il tentimo clandestino and Metalworker and hairdresser in a whirlwind of sex and politics.
In 1986 the actress won the Silver Ribbon for her interpretation of Teresa in The Devil’s Tail directed by Giorgio Treves, at her first work. At the same time he works assiduously in the theater, acting in Mother Courage, Prometheus and the Stabat Mater. In 1988 she was invited to interpret the role of Venice in Sylvano Bussotti’s Apollo Biennale medium-length film produced by the Venice Biennale. She then plays the Abbess in the well-known script by Salvatore Nocita I promessi sposi in 1989, from the novel of the same name by Alessandro Manzoni.
In 1996 Piera Degli Esposti starred in the film focused on Pasolini, Nerolio, directed by Aurelio Grimaldi. In 2001 she played Ferreri I Love You and The Hour of Religion by Marco Bellocchio, for which she won the David di Donatello for Best Supporting Actress. Degli Esposti prolifically continues to divide itself between cinema and TV. For the first he takes part in films such as The Wedding Dress, The Birthday and Iltrentasette, for the second in fiction as Right of Defense. She works with Marcello Garofalo in Three moral women in which she plays the role of a former nun who now owns a porn cinema and with Giuseppe Tornatore in the noir The Unknown. She gets excellent reviews for both interpretations and for the second she is nominated for the Silver Ribbons.
He made his debut as an opera director conducting Lodoletta by Pietro Mascagni, The night of a neurasthenic by Nino Rota and The human voice by Francis Poulenc. In 2008, Paolo Sorrentino’s Il divo was released in theaters: in this film Piera played Enea, historical secretary of Giulio Andreotti, a role that brought her into competition at the Cannes Film Festival and earned her another David di Donatello. Later he is on the set of Maria Sole Tognazzi with the film The man who loves in which he plays alongside Pierfrancesco Favino, Marisa Paredes and Monica Bellucci.
In 2010 she was directed by Giovanni Veronesi in Parents & sons – Shake well before use and by Marco Filiberti in The birthday; he also shoots three films for TV: Patty’s World, Mannaggia alla miseria and Donne di Sicilia. In 2011 he filmed The Children of His Life directed by Peter Marcias in Cagliari. For this interpretation she wins the Golden Globe for the best actress. On 25 November 2013, on the occasion of the presentation of the documentary All the stories of Piera directed by Peter Marcias at the Turin Film Festival, she received the Maria Adriana Prolo Lifetime Achievement Award, conferred on her by the National Cinema Museum Association.