Muses

Virna Lisi (1936)

The Italian actress first appears on screen within musical films with the help of the singer Giacomo Rondinella who is a friend of her family. In 1953, her elegant and beautiful blonde silhouette is remarked in E Napoli Canta before meeting with international recognition when she plays in Joseph Losey's Eva, in 1962, opposite Jeanne Moreau and with The Black Tulip, in 1963 alongside Alain Delon. She is remarked by Hollywood who chooses her to replace Marylin Monroe opposite Jack Lemmon in How To Murder Your Wife, in 1965. However, she rapidly returns to Italy and stars in Signore et Signori, in 1965 and Arabella, in 1967. During the 1970s, she is rarely seen on screens, refusing to appear nude or to play the stereotyped sex symbol and only accepts to appear in the comedy, Bluebeard, in 1972 and 'films d'auteur'. She makes a notable comeback in 1994 when she earns the part of Catherine de Medicis in Patrice Chéreau's historical drama, The Queen Margot. Virna Lisi has always refused to become the light sex symbol she could have been: despising eroticism and scandals. She much preferred to embody in real life the perfect respectable and conformist bourgeois who rejected feminism and stood firmly behind her rich husband.

Virna Lisi in Signore & Signori directed by Pietro Germi
Virna Lisi in Signore & Signori directed by Pietro Germi
Allan Grant, Virna Lisi in How to Murder Your Wife directed by Richard Quine, 1965
Allan Grant, Virna Lisi in How to Murder Your Wife directed by Richard Quine, 1965
Allan Grant, Portrait of Virna Lisi, 1964
Allan Grant, Portrait of Virna Lisi, 1964
Allan Grant, Ubaldo Pieralisi, brother of actress Virna Lisi on Hollywood set of film How to Murder Your Wife with Virna and her husband, 1964
Allan Grant, Ubaldo Pieralisi, brother of actress Virna Lisi on Hollywood set of film How to Murder Your Wife with Virna and her husband, 1964
Allan Grant, Portrait of Virna Lisi,  1964
Allan Grant, Portrait of Virna Lisi, 1964
Allan Grant, Dance instructor Bob Sidney, giving lessons to Italian actress Virna Lisi, 1964
Allan Grant, Dance instructor Bob Sidney, giving lessons to Italian actress Virna Lisi, 1964
Manuel Litran, Portrait of Virna Lisi, 1965
Manuel Litran, Portrait of Virna Lisi, 1965
Virna Lisi, photograph by Douglas Kirkland, 1966
Virna Lisi, photograph by Douglas Kirkland, 1966
Leombruno-bodi, Portrait of Virna Lisi, 1965
Leombruno-bodi, Portrait of Virna Lisi, 1965
Leombruno-bodi, Portrait of Virna Lisi, 1963
Leombruno-bodi, Portrait of Virna Lisi, 1963
Helmut Berger and Virna Lisi at the  Sylvie Vartan gala. Paris, Olympia, septembre 1970
Helmut Berger and Virna Lisi at the Sylvie Vartan gala. Paris, Olympia, septembre 1970
Paolo Di Paolo, Portrait of Virna Lisi, 1960's
Paolo Di Paolo, Portrait of Virna Lisi, 1960's
Anthony Quinn and Virna Lisi in La Vingt-cinquième Heure directed by Henri Verneuil, 1966
Anthony Quinn and Virna Lisi in La Vingt-cinquième Heure directed by Henri Verneuil, 1966
Anthony Quinn and Virna Lisi in La Vingt-cinquième Heure directed by Henri Verneuil, 1966
Anthony Quinn and Virna Lisi in La Vingt-cinquième Heure directed by Henri Verneuil, 1966
Virna Lisi is serenaded by musicians between scenes  of La Vingt-cinquième Heure directed by Henri Verneuil, 1966
Virna Lisi is serenaded by musicians between scenes of La Vingt-cinquième Heure directed by Henri Verneuil, 1966
Virna Lisi in Arabella directed by Mauro Bolognini, 1967
Virna Lisi in Arabella directed by Mauro Bolognini, 1967
Virna Lisi and Marcello Mastroianni in Aujourd'hui, demain et après-demain directed by Eduardo de Filippo, 1965
Virna Lisi and Marcello Mastroianni in Aujourd'hui, demain et après-demain directed by Eduardo de Filippo, 1965
Portrait of Virna Lisi for How to Murder Your Wife directed by Richard Quine, 1965
Portrait of Virna Lisi for How to Murder Your Wife directed by Richard Quine, 1965
Virna Lisi in How to Murder Your Wife directed by Richard Quine, 1965
Virna Lisi in How to Murder Your Wife directed by Richard Quine, 1965
Virna Lisi and Helmut Berger, 1970
Virna Lisi and Helmut Berger, 1970
Virna Lisi and Helmut Berger, 1970
Virna Lisi and Helmut Berger, 1970
Virna Lisi, 1960's
Virna Lisi, 1960's
Virna Lisi in Assault on a Queen directed by Jack Donohue, 1966
Virna Lisi in Assault on a Queen directed by Jack Donohue, 1966
Frank Sinatra and Virna Lisi in Assault on a Queen directed by Jack Donohue, 1966
Frank Sinatra and Virna Lisi in Assault on a Queen directed by Jack Donohue, 1966
Frank Sinatra and Virna Lisi in Assault on a Queen directed by Jack Donohue, 1966
Frank Sinatra and Virna Lisi in Assault on a Queen directed by Jack Donohue, 1966
Bob Willoughby, Director Richard Quine watches a rehearsal of Jack Lemmon and Virna Lisi, in the Columbia film How to Murder Your Wife, 1964
Bob Willoughby, Director Richard Quine watches a rehearsal of Jack Lemmon and Virna Lisi, in the Columbia film How to Murder Your Wife, 1964
Pierluigi Praturlon, Portrait of Virna Lisi for La donna del lago directed by Luigi Bazzoni, 1965
Pierluigi Praturlon, Portrait of Virna Lisi for La donna del lago directed by Luigi Bazzoni, 1965
Angelo Frontoni, Portrait of Virna Lisi for The Secret of Santa Vittoria directed by Stanley Kramer, 1969
Angelo Frontoni, Portrait of Virna Lisi for The Secret of Santa Vittoria directed by Stanley Kramer, 1969
Virna Lisi on the set of Duel of the Titans directed by Sergio Corbucci, 1961
Virna Lisi on the set of Duel of the Titans directed by Sergio Corbucci, 1961
Virna Lisi on the set of Duel of the Titans directed by Sergio Corbucci, 1961
Virna Lisi on the set of Duel of the Titans directed by Sergio Corbucci, 1961
Virna Lisi on the set of Duel of the Titans directed by Sergio Corbucci, 1961
Virna Lisi on the set of Duel of the Titans directed by Sergio Corbucci, 1961
Gordon Scott, Steve Reeves and Virna Lisi in Duel of the Titans directed by Sergio Corbucci, 1961
Gordon Scott, Steve Reeves and Virna Lisi in Duel of the Titans directed by Sergio Corbucci, 1961
Virna Lisi and Richard Burton in Bluebeard directed by edward Dmytryk and Luciano Sacropanti, 1972
Virna Lisi and Richard Burton in Bluebeard directed by edward Dmytryk and Luciano Sacropanti, 1972
Virna Lisi and Richard Burton in Bluebeard directed by edward Dmytryk and Luciano Sacropanti, 1972
Virna Lisi and Richard Burton in Bluebeard directed by edward Dmytryk and Luciano Sacropanti, 1972
Virna Lisi and Claudine Augier in Anyone can play directed by Luigi Zampa, 1968
Virna Lisi and Claudine Augier in Anyone can play directed by Luigi Zampa, 1968
Virna Lisi for How to Murder Your Wife directed by Richard Quine, 1965
Virna Lisi for How to Murder Your Wife directed by Richard Quine, 1965
Virna Lisi and Bourvil in Les bonnes Causes directed by Christian-Jaque, 1963
Virna Lisi and Bourvil in Les bonnes Causes directed by Christian-Jaque, 1963
Vittorio Gassman and Virna Lisi in A virgin for the prince directed by Pasquale Festa Campanile, 1966
Vittorio Gassman and Virna Lisi in A virgin for the prince directed by Pasquale Festa Campanile, 1966
Virna Lisi in Les poupées / Le Coup de téléphone directed by Dino Risi, 1964
Virna Lisi in Les poupées / Le Coup de téléphone directed by Dino Risi, 1964
Virna Lisi in Les poupées / Le Coup de téléphone directed by Dino Risi, 1964
Virna Lisi in Les poupées / Le Coup de téléphone directed by Dino Risi, 1964
Virna Lisi, 1960's
Virna Lisi, 1960's
Virna Lisi, 1960's
Virna Lisi, 1960's
Virna Lisi in Arabella directed bu Mauro Bolognini, 1967
Virna Lisi in Arabella directed bu Mauro Bolognini, 1967
Georges Lois, Portrait of Virna Lisi, Esquire cover, March 1965
Georges Lois, Portrait of Virna Lisi, Esquire cover, March 1965
Georges Lois, Portrait of Virna Lisi, 1965
Georges Lois, Portrait of Virna Lisi, 1965
Virna Lisi and Jeanne Moreau in Eva directed by Joseph Losey, 1962
Virna Lisi and Jeanne Moreau in Eva directed by Joseph Losey, 1962
Virna Lisi and Claudine Augier in Anyone can play directed by Luigi Zampa, 1968
Virna Lisi and Claudine Augier in Anyone can play directed by Luigi Zampa, 1968
Pierre Brasseur and Virna Lisi in Les bonnes Causes directed by Christian-Jaque, 1963
Pierre Brasseur and Virna Lisi in Les bonnes Causes directed by Christian-Jaque, 1963
Virna Lisi in How to Murder Your Wife directed by Richard Quine, 1965
Virna Lisi in How to Murder Your Wife directed by Richard Quine, 1965
Virna Lisi  in Eva directed by Joseph Losey, 1962
Virna Lisi in Eva directed by Joseph Losey, 1962
Virna Lisi in How to Murder Your Wife directed by Richard Quine, 1965
Virna Lisi in How to Murder Your Wife directed by Richard Quine, 1965
Virna Lisi in Casanova 70 directed by Mario Monicelli, 1965
Virna Lisi in Casanova 70 directed by Mario Monicelli, 1965
Virna Lisi and Marcello Mastroianni in Aujourd'hui, demain et après-demain directed by Eduardo de Filippo, 1965
Virna Lisi and Marcello Mastroianni in Aujourd'hui, demain et après-demain directed by Eduardo de Filippo, 1965
Virna Lisi and Marcello Mastroianni in Aujourd'hui, demain et après-demain directed by Eduardo de Filippo, 1965
Virna Lisi and Marcello Mastroianni in Aujourd'hui, demain et après-demain directed by Eduardo de Filippo, 1965
Murray Garrett, Portrait of Shirley Mac Laine and Virna Lisi,1960's
Murray Garrett, Portrait of Shirley Mac Laine and Virna Lisi,1960's
Virna Lisi, photo by Murray Garrett, 1960's
Virna Lisi, photo by Murray Garrett, 1960's
Portrait of Virna Lisi, 1968
Portrait of Virna Lisi, 1968
Portrait of Virna Lisi, 1960's
Portrait of Virna Lisi, 1960's
Portrait of Virna Lisi, 1960's
Portrait of Virna Lisi, 1960's
Virna Lisi and Helmut Berger in Un beau Monstre directed by Sergio Gobbi, 1970
Virna Lisi and Helmut Berger in Un beau Monstre directed by Sergio Gobbi, 1970
Virna Lisi and Peter McEnery in Better a Widow directed by Duccio Tessari, 1968
Virna Lisi and Peter McEnery in Better a Widow directed by Duccio Tessari, 1968
Virna Lisi and George C.Scott in Not with My Wife, You Don't! directed by Norman Panama, 1966
Virna Lisi and George C.Scott in Not with My Wife, You Don't! directed by Norman Panama, 1966
Manuel Litran, Portrait of Virna Lisi, 1965
Manuel Litran, Portrait of Virna Lisi, 1965
Virna Lisi in The statue directed by Rod Amateau, 1971
Virna Lisi in The statue directed by Rod Amateau, 1971
Virna Lisi in A virgin for the prince directed by Pasquale Festa Campanile, 1966, photo by Leonia Celli
Virna Lisi in A virgin for the prince directed by Pasquale Festa Campanile, 1966, photo by Leonia Celli
Virna Lisi in Arabella directed by Mauro Bolognini, 1967
Virna Lisi in Arabella directed by Mauro Bolognini, 1967
Tazio Secchiaroli, Portrait of Virna Lisi, 1960's
Tazio Secchiaroli, Portrait of Virna Lisi, 1960's
Tazio Secchiaroli, Portrait of Virna Lisi, 1960's
Tazio Secchiaroli, Portrait of Virna Lisi, 1960's
Virna Lisi and Peter McEnery in Better a Widow directed by Duccio Tessari, 1968
Virna Lisi and Peter McEnery in Better a Widow directed by Duccio Tessari, 1968
Virna Lisi and Helmut Berger in Un beau Monstre directed by Sergio Gobbi, 1970
Virna Lisi and Helmut Berger in Un beau Monstre directed by Sergio Gobbi, 1970
Virna Lisi and Alain Delon La Tulipe Noire directed by Christian-Jaque, 1964
Virna Lisi and Alain Delon La Tulipe Noire directed by Christian-Jaque, 1964
Virna Lisi and Alain Delon La Tulipe Noire directed by Christian-Jaque, 1964
Virna Lisi and Alain Delon La Tulipe Noire directed by Christian-Jaque, 1964
Virna Lisi and Alain Delon La Tulipe Noire directed by Christian-Jaque, 1964
Virna Lisi and Alain Delon La Tulipe Noire directed by Christian-Jaque, 1964
Pierluigi Praturlon, Portrait of Virna Lisi for La donna del lago directed by Luigi Bazzoni, 1965
Pierluigi Praturlon, Portrait of Virna Lisi for La donna del lago directed by Luigi Bazzoni, 1965
Virna Lisi, 1960's
Virna Lisi, 1960's
Virna Lisi, 1960's
Virna Lisi, 1960's
Virna Lisi and Marcello Mastroianni in Aujourd'hui, demain et après-demain directed by Eduardo de Filippo, 1965
Virna Lisi and Marcello Mastroianni in Aujourd'hui, demain et après-demain directed by Eduardo de Filippo, 1965
Virna Lisi in A virgin for the prince directed by Pasquale Festa Campanile, 1966
Virna Lisi in A virgin for the prince directed by Pasquale Festa Campanile, 1966
Max B.Miller, Portrait of James Coburn and Virna Lisi at the Academy Awards, Los Angeles, California, 1966
Max B.Miller, Portrait of James Coburn and Virna Lisi at the Academy Awards, Los Angeles, California, 1966
Richard Avedon, Portrait of Virna Lisi, Vogue, 1971
Richard Avedon, Portrait of Virna Lisi, Vogue, 1971
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