Gabel, Scilla

the famous actresses of the Italian Genre cinema
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Gabel, Scilla

Post by PeplumParadise » 12/10/2021, 23:38

Scilla Gabel in Modesty Blaise (1966)
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Scilla Gabel was an actress in leading and prominent supporting roles in Italian films and television from 1955-1988.

She was born Gianfranca Gabellini on January 4th 1938 in Rimini, Italy. At the time of writing she is still living. She married TV director Piero Schivazappa on April 14th 1968 and they have one son, Emiliano, born in 1974. From interviews we learn that she had 3 sisters. She is 1.74 m (5’ 8 1/2”) tall.

I have found several reports, including her Wikipedia profile, that tell us that, prior to choosing to become an actress, Scilla studied law at Oxford University in England, where she reportedly graduated with a doctorate. An alternate history, from an article in British magazine Photoplay, says that at 14 she joined the local drama society, where she was spotted by a talent scout from the Academia di Silvio D'Amico, where she was offered a scholarship and left school at 16. The latter seems far more likely as she would have to have been 14 or 15 when she attended Oxford in order to return to Rome by 1954, but choose which legend you prefer!

In 1954 she began studying acting at Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, graduating in 1956 (I have opted to include her in our “Diva” section as she never received the “c.s.c.” credit in any of her films). The C.S.C. website lists her as having the pseudonym “Angela Mensa”, but I cannot find any evidence of her ever having used this name.

She made her film debut in 1955 and in 1957 she gained some notoriety when she appeared as the body double for Sophia Loren in Boy on a Dolphin. The publicity from this seems to have been beneficial to her career as she rapidly rose up the cast lists in the next few years. In 1959 she had some minor plastic surgery to make her look less like Loren, most notably to her nose, which is confirmed by several contemporary magazine articles.

In the early 1960’s she rose to the status of leading lady, particularly making her mark in the peplum genre, and she worked steadily throughout the decade. Scilla also did some modelling during this period, including an appearance in Playboy magazine in 1963, as well as investing in a fashionable nightclub. She married TV director Piero Schivazappa in 1968, having presumably met him on the set of the mini-series Odissea, for which he directed one episode.

From the start of the 1970’s until her final appearance in 1988 she worked exclusively in television, mostly in series directed by her husband. This proved a fortuitous decision as it enabled her to sidestep the pitfalls of exploitation films and declining careers faced by many of her contemporaries. She also reportedly appeared in the theatre during this period.

Little is know of Scilla’s life following her retirement, but she did hit the headlines in unfortunate circumstances in 1999, when her 87 year-old father, Giuseppe, was stabbed to death by a tenant he was attempting to evict.

In English her name is pronounced as "Sheila".

Filmography
1956
  1. Due sosia in allegria .... role? (poster credit)

    1957
  2. Boy on a Dolphin …. Body double for Sophia Loren as Phaedra (uncredited)
  3. Gente Felice …. Gina (credited)

    1958
  4. Capitan Fracassa (TV mini-series) all episodes …. Zerbina (credited)
  5. Gambe d'oro …. Gianna Savelli (credited)
  6. La legge del vizio .... Lola (poster credit - role unconfirmed)

    1959
  7. Agi Murad, il diavolo bianco …. Princess Maria Vorontsova (credited)
  8. I ragazzi dei Parioli …. Nuccia (credited)
  9. Tarzan's Greatest Adventure …. Toni (credited)

    1960
  10. Genitori in blue jeans …. Colette (credited)
  11. I piaceri del sabato notte …. Patrizia (credited)
  12. Il mulino delle donne di pietra …. Elfie Wahl (credited)
  13. La Venere dei pirati …. Isabella (credited)
  14. Le canaglie …. Gina (credited as "Scylla Gabel")
  15. Noi duri …. Josette (credited)
  16. Ragazza mia (TV mini-series) all episodes …. Gladys (credited)

    1961
  17. Festival Girls …. Nadja (credited)
  18. Il pozzo delle tre verità …. Rossana Stromboli (credited)
  19. Il ratto delle sabine …. Dusia (credited)
  20. La grande vallata .... role? (poster credit)
  21. Le femmine seminano il vento …. Kyssa (poster credit)
  22. Mara .... Mara (poster credit - role unconfirmed)

    1962
  23. Il paladino della corte di Francia …. Beatrice (credited)
  24. Maciste, il gladiatore più forte del mondo …. Thalima (credited)
  25. Sodoma e Gomorra …. Tamar (credited)
  26. Un branco di vigliacchi …. Signora De Rossi (credited)
  27. Una tragedia americana (TV mini-series) Ep, 1 …. Ortensia (credited)
  28. Village of Daughters …. Angelina Vimercati (credited)

    1963
  29. I diavoli di Spartivento …. Isabella (credited as "Seilla Gabel")
  30. I due colonnelli …. Iride (credited)
  31. I fuorilegge del matrimonio …. Wilma (credited)
  32. Il giorno più corto …. The soldier's lover (uncredited - re-used footage)
  33. Il terrore dei mantelli rossi …. Cristina (credited)
  34. La seconda moglie (TV movie) …. Lady Mabel Orreyed (credited)

    1964
  35. Cadavere per signora …. Renata (credited)
  36. Gli schiavi più forti del mondo …. Claudia (credited)
  37. Il figlio di Cleopatra …. Livia (credited)
  38. La vendetta di Spartacus …. Cinzia (credited)
  39. Una storia di notte …. A German tourist (credited)

    1965
  40. Con rispetto parlando .... role? (poster credit)
  41. Io uccido, tu uccidi …. Renata (uncredited - re-used footage)
  42. La donna di fiori (TV mini-series) Ep. 1 …. Cheril (credited)

    1966
  43. 100 ragazze per un playboy …. Bibi Lori or Anita Bionda (credited)
  44. Djurado …. Barbara Donovan (credited)
  45. Modesty Blaise …. Melina (credited)
  46. Tiro a segno per uccidere …. La Tigra (credited)
  47. Vivere insieme (TV series) S. 1, Ep. 39: "L'appuntamento" …. Elena D'Urso (credited)

    1967
  48. Das große Glück .... Molly Pink (poster credit - role unconfirmed)
  49. Zärtliche Haie .... Zeezee (poster credit - role unconfirmed)

    1968
  50. Odissea (TV mini-series) …. Elena (credited)

    1969
  51. Johnny Belinda (TV movie) …. Belinda (credited)

    1971
  52. ...e le stelle stanno a guardare (TV mini-series) Eps.1, 4, 5, 6, 7 …. Laura Millington (credited)

    1973
  53. Vino e pane (TV mini-series) all episodes …. Annina (credited)

    1974
  54. L'assassinio dei fratelli Rosselli (TV mini-series) all episodes …. Marion Rosselli (credited)

    1975
  55. Una città in fondo alla strada (TV mini-series) Eps.1, 2 …. Signora Martelli (credited)

    1976
  56. Dov'è Anna? (TV mini-series) all episodes …. Paola Silvestri (credited)
  57. Il garofano rosso (TV mini-series) Eps.2, 3 …. Zobeida (credited)

    1980
  58. L'esclusa (TV mini-series) all episodes …. Marta Ajala (credited)

    1981
  59. L'elemento D (TV mini-series) all episodes …. Sybille Siegerwald (credited)

    1982
  60. Un eroe del nostro tempo (TV mini-series) all episodes …. Virginia (credited)

    1983
  61. Quer pasticciaccio brutto de via Merulana (TV mini-series) all episodes …. Liliana Balducci (credited)

    1984
  62. Quei trentasei gradini (TV mini-series) - ep.1 …. Contessa Dora (credited)

    1988
  63. Festa di Capodanno (TV mini-series) - ep.1 …. Laura Bartezzaghi (credited - role unconfirmed)
Titles to check
  • Tua per la vita (1955) ANICA as La sartina dell' Atelier (credited as Scilla Gabellini)
  • Women in Love (1958 TV movie) IMDb as Topazzia in the episode 'After So Long'
Gabel is gone!
Titles where Scilla is credited with appearing somewhere online, but cannot be found.
  • Legend of the Lost (1957) Some sources list this as being a second film where Scilla appeared as a body double for Sophia Loren, however I have looked through the film and there are really no scenes where Miss Loren would require a body double.
  • Bastardo, vamos a matar (1971) IMDb as Susanna. They say should appear uncredited (which she never did), but she does not.
Last edited by Emiliano on 18/10/2021, 23:17, edited 20 times in total.

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Re: Gabel, Scilla

Post by PeplumParadise » 12/10/2021, 23:38

Due sosia in allegria (1956) credited on the poster, role uncertain.

That seems like it is probably supposed to be Scilla in the centre of the poster.
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Re: Gabel, Scilla

Post by PeplumParadise » 13/10/2021, 8:29

Boy on a Dolphin (1957) as Body double for Sophia Loren as Phaedra in swimming scenes.

Scilla received a lot of publicity for her appearance here, so even though she is not really recognisable I don't think there can be any doubt that it is her.
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Re: Gabel, Scilla

Post by PeplumParadise » 13/10/2021, 8:41

Gente felice (1957) credited, as Gina
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Re: Gabel, Scilla

Post by PeplumParadise » 13/10/2021, 8:55

Capitan Fracassa (1958 TV mini-series) Scilla appears and is credited in all 5 episodes, as Zerbina.

Episode 1
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Episode 2
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Episode 3
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Episode 4
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Episode 5
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Last edited by PeplumParadise on 13/10/2021, 9:01, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Gabel, Scilla

Post by PeplumParadise » 13/10/2021, 8:59

Gambe d'oro (1958) credited, as Gianna Savelli.
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Re: Gabel, Scilla

Post by PeplumParadise » 13/10/2021, 9:05

La legge del vizio (Filles de nuit) (1958) credited and pictured on the posters, as Lola (role to be confirmed).
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Re: Gabel, Scilla

Post by PeplumParadise » 13/10/2021, 9:15

Agi Murad, il diavolo bianco (1959) credited, as Princess Maria Vorontsova.
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Re: Gabel, Scilla

Post by PeplumParadise » 13/10/2021, 9:17

I ragazzi dei Parioli (1959) credited, as Nuccia.
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Re: Gabel, Scilla

Post by PeplumParadise » 13/10/2021, 9:28

Tarzan's Greatest Adventure (1959) credited, as Toni.

Scilla gained some international exposure in this American production, shot in Kenya, appearing opposite future peplum star Gordon Scott as Tarzan and an up-and-coming British actor called Sean Connery. The credits say "introducing", presumably for the benefit of international audiences.
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