Isabella Rossellini

Isabella Rossellini

born on 18/6/1952 in Roma, Lazio, Italy

Isabella Rossellini

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Isabella Rossellini

Rossellini at the 2005 Torino Film Festivalmark
Born Isabella Fiorella Elettra Giovanna Rossellini
June 18 1952
Rome, Italy
Occupation Actress, filmmaker, author, model, philanthropist
Years active 1976present
Spouse(s) Martin Scorsese (1979-1982)
Jonathan Wiedemann (1983-1986)
Partner David Lynch (1986-1991)
Gary Oldman (1994-1996)
Parents Roberto Rossellini (deceased)
Ingrid Bergman (deceased)

Isabella Fiorella Elettra Giovanna Rossellini (born 18 June 1952) is an Italian actress, filmmaker, author, philanthropist, and model. Rossellini is noted for her 14-year tenure as a Lancôme model, and for her roles in films such as Blue Velvet and Death Becomes Her.

Background and early life

Rossellini is a daughter of Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman and Italian director Roberto Rossellini. She has three siblings from her mother: her twin sister Isotta Ingrid Rossellini, who is an adjunct professor of Italian literature; a brother, Roberto Ingmar Rossellini;[1] and a half-sister, Pia Lindström, who formerly worked on television and is from her mother's first marriage. She has four other siblings from her father's two other marriages: Romano (died at age 9), Renzo, Gil, and Raffaella.[2]

Rossellini was born in Rome, and raised there, as well as in Santa Marinella and Paris. She underwent an operation for appendicitis at the age of five.[3] At 13, she was diagnosed with scoliosis. In order to correct it, she had to undergo an 18 month ordeal of painful stretchings, body casts, surgery on her spine using pieces of one of her shin bones (used to add supports for the individual vertebrae without risking foreign body rejection issues), and a recovery from that surgery. Consequently, she has permanent incision scars on her back and shin.

At 19, she went to New York, where she attended Finch College, while working as a translator and a RAI television reporter. She also appeared intermittently on L'altra Domenica ("The Other Sunday"), a TV show featuring Roberto Benigni. However, she did not decide to stay full time in New York until her marriage to Martin Scorsese (1979-1982).



At the age of 28, her modeling career began, when she was photographed by Bruce Weber for British Vogue and by Bill King for American Vogue. During her career, she has also worked with many other renowned photographers, including Richard Avedon, Steven Meisel, Helmut Newton, Peter Lindbergh, Norman Parkinson, Eve Arnold, Francesco Scavullo, Annie Leibovitz, Denis Piel, and Robert Mapplethorpe. Her image has appeared on such magazines as Marie Claire, Harper's Bazaar, Vanity Fair, and ELLE. In March 1988, an exhibition dedicated to photographs of her, called Portrait of a Woman, was held at the Musee d'Art Moderne in Paris.

Rossellini's modeling career led her into the world of cosmetics, when she became the exclusive spokesmodel for the international cosmetics brand Lancôme in 1982, replacing Nancy Dutiel in the United States and Carol Alt in Europe. At Lancôme, in 1990, she was involved in product development for the fragrance Trésor. In 1996, she was removed as the face of Lancôme for being "too old", since she was in her 40s at the time.

In October 1992, Rossellini modelled for Madonna's controversial book Sex. Rossellini also appeared in Madonna's music video for her successful Top 5 hit song "Erotica" released that autumn.

In 1995, Rossellini worked with the Coty Group and developed her own brand of cosmetics, Isabella Rossellini's Manifesto. She is signed to Trump Model Management.


Rossellini made her film debut with a brief appearance as a nun opposite her mother in the 1976 film A Matter of Time. Her first role was the 1979 film Il Prato. She did not become successful with acting until after her mother's death in 1982, when she was cast in her first American film, White Nights (1985). She is probably best known for her pivotal role as the tortured nightclub singer Dorothy Vallens in David Lynch's Blue Velvet. Some other notable film roles include her work in Cousins, Death Becomes Her, Immortal Beloved, and Fearless.

In 2003, Rossellini had a recurring role on the television series, Alias. In that same year, she also appeared in the Canadian film The Saddest Music in the World directed by Guy Maddin. In 2004, she played the High Priestess Thar in the Sci Fi Channel miniseries Legend of Earthsea. In addition, she acted in an Off-Broadway production of The Stendhal Syndrome. She became an ambassador for the Silversea Cruise Line, which has her appearing in print ads and on their website.[4]

In 2006, Rossellini appeared in several television documentaries. First, she narrated a two-hour television special on Italy for the Discovery Channel's Discovery Atlas series. In addition, on an episode of the Sundance Channel series Iconoclasts, which also featured the Segway PT inventor Dean Kamen, she told about her past and current activities.[5] In 2007, Rossellini guest starred on two episodes of the television show 30 Rock, playing Alec Baldwin's character's ex-wife. She's also appeared on an episode of the TV series Friends in 1996 as herself.

In 2008, Rossellini toured the festival circuit, including the Sundance Film Festival, with a series of short films entitled Green Porno, which she wrote and co-directed with Jody Shapiro. Each Green Porno film is two minutes long, and has Rossellini reenacting the mating rituals of various animals.

Based on her success with Green Porno, in 2009 Rossellini headed the judging panel of the first Metropolis Art Prize, an art video contest run by web and mobile video service Babelgum, culminating in a large scale art display across the giant advertising monitors in Times Square, New York.

Rossellini has been announced as the President of the Jury for the 61st Berlin International Film Festival in 2011.[6]


Rossellini received a 1987 Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead for her role in Blue Velvet. In 1997, she received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV for her role in Crime of the Century and an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her work on the television series Chicago Hope.


Rossellini is involved in conservation efforts. She is a board member of the Wildlife Conservation Network,[7] and president and director of the Howard Gilman Foundation, a leading institution focused on the preservation of wildlife, arts, photography and dance.[8] [9] She received $100,000 from Disney to help with her conservation efforts in those two organizations.[10] She has also helped with the Central Park Conservancy,[11] and is a major benefactor of the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society of Bellport, Long Island, where she is a part-time resident.[12]

Rossellini is involved in training guide dogs for the blind.[13][14] She is a former trustee of the George Eastman House and a 1997 George Eastman Award honoree for her support of film preservation.[15] She is also a National Ambassador for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.[16]


Rossellini has written three books - her self-described fictional memoir, Some of Me (1997), Looking at Me (on pictures and photographers, 2002), and In the name of the Father, the Daughter and the Holy Spirits: Remembering Roberto Rossellini (2006), accompanied by the Guy Maddin-directed short film My Dad Is 100 Years Old (both the film and the book are tributes to her father). In the film, she played almost every role, including David Selznick, Alfred Hitchcock, and her mother Ingrid Bergman.

In 2008, Rossellini wrote a number of television shorts on the Sundance Channel called Green Porno. The short segments (about 2 minutes each) are written, hosted and acted out by Rossellini. She has written a book to accompany the third season - a multimedia experiment that contains a companion DVD, both of which serve as additional information for the series' third season.[17]

Personal life

Rossellini holds dual United States and Italian citizenship.[4][18]

She was married to Martin Scorsese from 1979 to 1982. After her marriage to Scorsese ended, she married Jon Wiedemann (1983-1986), a Harvard-educated model from Texas (now a Microsoft executive). Later, she dated David Lynch, Gary Oldman, and Gregory Mosher.

She has a daughter, Elettra Rossellini Wiedemann (born 1983), and a son, Roberto (born 1993), whom she adopted with Gary Oldman.[19][20]



  • A Matter of Time (1976)
  • Il Prato (The Meadow)
  • Il Pap'occhio (1980)
  • White Nights (1985) Darya Greenwood
  • Blue Velvet (1986) Dorothy Vallens
  • Oci Ciornie (1987)
  • Tough Guys Don't Dance (1987) Madeleine Regency
  • Siesta (1987) Marie
  • Zelly and Me (1988)
  • Cousins (1989)
  • Red Riding Hood (1989) Lady Jean
  • Wild at Heart (1990)
  • Dames Galantes (1990)
  • Caccia Alla Vedova (1991)
  • Death Becomes Her (1992) Lisle von Rhoman
  • The Pickle (1993)
  • The Innocent (1993)
  • Fearless (1993) Laura Klein
  • Wyatt Earp (1994)
  • Immortal Beloved (1994)
  • Croce e delizia (1995)
  • Big Night (1996)
  • The Funeral (1996)
  • The Odyssey (1997)
  • Left Luggage (1998)
  • The Impostors (1998)
  • Merlin (1998)
  • Il Cielo cade (2000)
  • Empire (2002)
  • Roger Dodger (2002)
  • The Tulse Luper Suitcases, Part 1: The Moab Story (2003)
  • The Saddest Music in the World (2003)
  • The Tulse Luper Suitcases, Part 2: Vaux to the Sea (2004)
  • King of the Corner (2004)
  • Heights (2004)
  • La Fiesta Del Chivo (2005)
  • My Dad is 100 Years Old (2005)
  • The Architect (2006)
  • Infamous (2006)
  • Infected (2006)
  • Oh La La (2006)
  • The Last Jews of Libya (2007)
  • The Accidental Husband (2008)
  • Green Porno (2008)[21]
  • Two Lovers (2009)
  • My Dog Tulip (2009)
  • The Solitude of Prime Numbers (2010)


  • The Tracey Ullman Show (3 episodes, 1989-1990)
  • Ivory Hunters (1990)
  • Lies Of the Twins (1991)
  • Fallen Angels" (1 episode, 1993)
  • The Gift (1994)
  • Tales from the Crypt (1 episode, 1995)
  • Friends (1 episode, 1996)
  • Crime of the Century (1996)
  • Chicago Hope (2 episodes, 1997)
  • The Odyssey (1997)
  • Merlin (1998)
  • The Simpsons (1 episode, in 'Mom and Pop Art' 1999)
  • Don Quixote (2000)
  • Napoleon (2002)
  • Monte Walsh (2003)
  • Earthsea (2004)
  • Alias (5 episodes, 2004-2005)
  • Filthy Gorgeous (2006)
  • Discovery Atlas: Italy Revealed (2006)
  • Iconoclasts (2006)
  • 30 Rock (2 episodes, 2007)
  • Green Porno (Sundance Channel)-18 episodes (2008-2009)
  • The Phantom (2009)


  • The Stendhal Syndrome (2004) (off-Broadway)

Further reading

  • Isabella Rossellini: Biography (Flash). Iconoclasts. Sundance Channel L.L.C.. Retrieved on 2007-01-29.
  • Rossellini, Isabella (1997). Some of Me, New York: Random House.
  • Rossellini, Isabella (2002). Looking at Me (on pictures and photographers), Munich: Schirmer Art.
  • Rossellini, Isabella (2006). In the Name of the Father, the Daughter and the Holy Spirits, Remembering Roberto Rossellini, London: Haus Publishing.


  1. Mocci, Alessia, Isabella Rossellini: Happy Birthday!!! 18 giugno 2010,, 18 June 2010. URL accessed on 14 May 2011.
  2. MacNab, Geoffrey, Like Father..., Guardian Unlimited, Guardian News and Media Limited, 6 September 2004. URL accessed on 2007-01-29.
  3. Ingrid and Daughter have Tearful Reunion, 8 July 1957.
  4. 4.0 4.1 News: Actress Isabella Rossellini Joins Silversea. Cruise Critic News: Cruise Reviews and News (11 October 2004). Retrieved on 2007-02-09.
  5. Episode 4: Isabella Rossellini + Dean Kamen. Iconoclasts: change the way you see celebrity. Sundance Channel L.L.C.. Retrieved on 2007-01-29.
  6. Isabella Rossellini to head Berlin Film Festival jury. BBC News. Retrieved on 2010-12-15.
  7. About WCN. Wildlife Conservation Network. Wildlife Conservation Network, Inc.. Archived from the original on 1 January 2007. Retrieved on 2007-01-29.
  8. Foundation Announces 2 New Grant Programs, 21 February 2002.
  9. Famous Conservationists: Isabella Rossellini. Animal Planet. Discovery Communications Inc.. Retrieved on 2007-01-29.
  10. Environmentality: Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund. Disney Worldwide Outreach. Disney. Retrieved on 2007-01-29.
  11. Power Play - July 2004 - Isabella Rossellini. Park and Recreation Magazine. National Recreation and Park Association. Retrieved on 2007-01-29.
  12. Mead, Julia C., EXHIBITS; How the Gruccis' Pyrotechnics Grew, New York Times, NYT, 24 August 2003. URL accessed on 2007-12-02.
  13. Puppy Program. Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc.. Retrieved on 2007-01-29.
  14. Dobnik, Verena, Rossellini gains new insight from guide dog training, Chicago Sun-Times, The Chicago Sun-Times, Inc., 28 December 2004. URL accessed on 2007-01-29.
  15. Press Room: Isabella Rossellini visits Eastman House May 1. George Eastman House: International Museum of Photography and Film. George Eastman House (2006-03-29). Archived from the original on 1 October 2006. Retrieved on 2007-01-29.
  16. News Releases: Angela Bassett, Alyssa Milano, Isabella Rossellini, Liv Tyler and Courtney B. Vance appointed National Ambassadors for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. United States for UNICEF. United States Fund for UNICEF (18 November 2003). Retrieved on 2007-01-29.
  17. Richard, Michael Graham (2009-03-09). Isabella Rossellini's Green Porno Renewed for a 3rd Season and a Book. TreeHugger. Retrieved on 2009-10-28.
  18. Isabella Rossellini (2001-11-06). "In Defense of Fallaci". New York Times.
  19. Shelden, Michael, People always say: 'It's Ingrid',, Telegraph Media Group Limited, 16 June 2006. URL accessed on 2007-01-29.
  20. Rivkin, Annabel, She's Elettra, Evening Standard, Associated Newspapers Ltd., 12 November 2004. URL accessed on 2007-01-29.
  21. Green Porno Press Kit (PDF). The Sundance Channel (2008-03-24). Archived from the original on 28 May 2008. Retrieved on 2008-05-03.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Isabella Rossellini

  • The Babelgum Metropolis Art Prize, of which Isabella Rossellini is the head judge.
  • Isabella Rossellini at the Internet Movie Database
  • Isabella Rossellini at the TCM Movie Database
  • Isabella Rossellini in the Fashion Model Directory
  • Isabella Rossellini at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
  • Interview with Isabella Rossellini before the release of The Saddest Music in the World.
  • Interview with Isabella Rossellini after 14 years with Lancôme
  • Interview with Isabella Rossellini about her career and her parent's legacy
This page was last modified 15.06.2011 03:21:50

This article uses material from the article Isabella Rossellini from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.