Alida Valli, one of Italy’s great actresses who costarred in the 1949 film “The Third Man” and Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Paradine Case,” died April 22 in Rome. She was 84.
Valli, who was born Alida von Altenburger, had a film career that spanned more than 60 years and worked with some of the greats of Italian cinema, including Luchino Visconti and Michelangelo Antonioni.
Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi called Valli one of Italy’s most popular actresses and said her death was a “serious loss to Italian film, theater and culture.” Ciampi noted Valli had won awards including a career Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.
Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni said Italian cinema had lost one of its most significant stars in the dark-haired beauty, who was often compared to Greta Garbo or Ingrid Bergman.
Valli, who was born in Pula, in what is now Croatia, made her film debut in Italy in the mid-1930s but moved to Hollywood a decade later, where she appeared opposite Gregory Peck in Hitchcock’s “The Paradine Case.”
Two years later, in 1949, she got top female billing in Carol Reed’s “The Third Man,” the classic tale about the new world order of moral ambiguity, set in post-World War II Vienna.
After her brief sojourn in Hollywood, Valli returned to Italy, where she starred in Visconti’s 1953 film “Senso” (Sense) and also appeared on stage.