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Name: Monica Bellucci
Birth Name: Monica Anna Maria Bellucci
Height: 5' 10"
Date of Birth: September30, 1964
Film critics are quick to compare Monica Bellucci to previous
Italian beauties, but she is her own brand of sultry icon. With
roles as a topless vampire in Bram Stoker's Dracula, a taciturn war
widow in Malèna (2000), a charmed courtesan in Le Pacte des Loups
(Brotherhood of the Wolf) (2002), and a sci-fi vixen in the Matrix
sequels (2003), Bellucci has proved to be a bold blend of earthy and
ethereal, actress and star.
Born on September 30, 1968, Bellucci grew up in the small Italian
village of Citta di Castello, where her father owned a trucking
company. At 18, she enrolled at the University of Perugia with plans
to study law. To pay her tuition, Bellucci started modeling. Two
years later, she dropped out of school to relocate to Milan, where
she signed with Elite Model Management. Besides strutting the cat
walk in fashion shows, Bellucci appeared in international
advertising campaigns for designers such as Dolce & Gabbana.
With her modeling career in full swing, she began to take acting
classes and made her screen debut in the television film Vita Coi
Figli (Life With the Sons) in 1990.
Bellucci made her French-language debut in 1996's award-winning
romance L'Appartement (The Apartment). She earned a César nomination
for her performance in the role, as well as began dating her
co-star, French actor Vincent Cassel. The couple (who married a few
years later) re-teamed onscreen immediately, portraying comically
troubled lovers in the gender-bending romance Come Mi Vuoi (As You
Want Me) (1996) and murderous bank robbers in Jan Kounen's infamous
thriller Dobermann (1997).
The subject of numerous
fan sites and men's magazine articles, Bellucci went on to star as
the seductive Queen of the Nile in the comic book adaptation Astérix
& Obélisk: Mission Cléopâtre. In 2001, she joined Dracula
co-star Keanu Reeves in the cast of the highly anticipated
follow-ups to The Matrix (1999), The Matrix Reloaded (2003) and The
Matrix Revolutions (2003). Soon after, Bruce Willis personally chose
Bellucci to play a humanitarian doctor whom he must save from
war-torn Nigeria in Tears of the Sun, director Antoine Fuqua's
follow-up to his hit Training Day (2001).
In 2004, Bellucci's momentum continued to build when she starred as
Mary Magdalene in The Passion of the Christ, Mel Gibson's
self-produced blockbuster retelling of the final 12 hours of Jesus
Christ. In the wake of that film's success, Bellucci teamed with two
other renowned directors, Terry Gilliam and Spike Lee, with roles in
The Brothers Grimm and She Hate Me, respectively.