Valentina Cortese




Birth Name



Valentina Cortese is an Italian actress. She was born in Milan on 1 January, 1923. Her first film role was as Alina in The Hero of Venice in 1941. Her big break came when she played both Fantine and Cosette in a 1948 film adaptation of Les MisÉrables. Further acclaim in The Glass Mountain attracted offers from Hollywood, and in 1949 Cortese appeared with Orson Welles in Black Magic; Richard Conte in Thieves' Highway; and Spencer Tracey and James Stewart in East of the Rising Sun. Cortese returned to Italy and worked with Frederico Fellini and Michelangelo Antonioni. Francois Truffaut cast her in Day for Night, and she received a 1975 Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of Severine, losing to Ingrid Bergman. Cortse's later films included Ring of Darkness, Blue Tango, and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Cortese was married to Richard Basehart from 1951-60. They had one son, the actor Jackie Basehart.