Born in Tunisia in a Sicilian family, the young woman travels to Venice after earning the title of 'Tunis' most beautiful Italian girl', in 1955. There, Claudia Cardinale declines all the film propositions that are made to her on the pretext of wanting to become a teacher. However, the reason is darker, she is pregnant after having been raped in her country. After hiding her pregnancy and presenting her son as her little brother, she finally makes her film début, in 1958, in Goha and becomes one of the 1960s' leading actresses in Europe with such films as La Fille à la Valise, in 1960, 8 ½, in 1963 and Circus World, in 1964. With her big dark hair, her cat's eyes, sexy figure and seductive gravelly voice, she is modelled into Italy's answer to Brigitte Bardot, opposite whom she stars in Les Pétroleuses, in 1971. She has remained a much sought-after actress until the present day appearing in confirmed directors' films such as Claude Lelouch's And Now Ladies and Gentlemen, in 2001 or Nicole Garcia's Un Balcon sur la Mer, in 2010, while she also accompanies the younger generation such as Mehdi Ben Attia for Le Fil, in 2009. During her career, it had seemed coherent that her feline appearance echoed with several of her memorable films such as The Leopard and The Pink Panther.