Giuseppina Greci, known professionally as José, was an actress active in Italian films from the late 50’s until the early 70’s (with a one-off television role in the 80’s).
She was born in Ferrara, Italy on January 10th 1941 and died on June 1st 2017 in Rome, aged 76. She was the daughter of journalist and television writer Luigi Greci. Roger Browne has been quoted as saying that she married a director, without giving the name. It is also rumoured that she was the companion of writer Dino Verde for many years.
At the age of 15 she enrolled at the Silvio D’Amico National Academy of Dramatic Art, where she studied for 2 years, afterwards finding work in theatre and television. In 1957, at the age of 17, she was chosen to play the role of Mary, mother of Jesus, in MGM’s production of Ben-Hur, to be shot in Rome. From the ensuing publicity she managed to build a career as a leading lady, predominantly in peplum and eurospy features, and it as one of the brightest stars of those genres that she is remembered today.
Her career quietly fizzled out in the early 70’s. While she did do some very chaste modelling, she never appeared naked or bared her breasts in films or magazines, and I suspect her career suffered as a result, after that became the norm for an actress to maintain a career in Italian cinema. It also can’t have helped that in 3 of her most successful films internationally she was lumbered with different unlikely pseudonyms, not the way to establish yourself as a star when the public doesn’t know what to call you. Like several other actresses featured here whose careers ended around the same time (Wandisa Guida, Gisella Arden), she reappeared once in the 80’s and then a final time in 1993, before vanishing completely from view until the news of her death two years ago.
Her biographical details are gathered from, and concurred by, multiple sources.
I think it unlikely there will be much in the way of new roles to be found for her, possibly some TV work. I did, however, uncover her role, hidden behind an odd pseudonym which had seemingly gone unnoticed by anyone for years, in the western Sfida a Rio Bravo, so it seems that even for leading ladies there can be roles to be uncovered.
- Canne al vento (TV movie) (credited) .... Grixenda
- Ben-Hur (uncredited) .... Mary
- La cento chilometri (credited) .... One of Elena's friends
- La vendetta dei barbari (credited) .... Sabina
- Le italiane e l'amore (credited) .... The wife
- Romolo e Remo (credited) .... Estia
- Il sangue e la sfida (poster credit) .... role?
- Le sette folgori di Assur (credited) .... Crisia
- Maciste, il gladiatore più forte del mondo (credited) .... Revia
- Ursus gladiatore ribelle (credited) .... Arminia
- Golia e il cavaliere mascherato (credited) .... Dona Blanca
- I dieci gladiatori (credited as Susan Paget) .... Livia
- La portatrice di pane (credited) .... Amanda
- Maciste contro i Mongoli (credited) .... Bianca de Tudela
- Maciste, l'eroe più grande del mondo (credited) .... Regia
- Zorro e i tre moschettieri (credited) .... Isabella
- Delitto allo specchio (credited) .... Kitty
- La vendetta dei gladiatori (credited) .... Priscilla
- Maciste nell'inferno di Gengis Khan (credited) .... Arminia
- Sfida a Rio Bravo (credited as Cordin Davis) .... Clementine Hewitt
- Una spada per l'impero (credited) .... Nissia
- Operazione poker (credited) .... Helga Firelli
- S.077 spionaggio a Tangeri (credited) .... Lee Randall
- Sette contro tutti (credited as Liz Havilland) .... Assuer
- Cifrato speciale (credited) .... Lynn
- Maigret a Pigalle (credited) .... Arlette
- Un milione di dollari per sette assassini (credited) .... Ellen
- All'ultimo sangue (credited) .... Consuelo
- La più bella coppia del mondo (credited) .... Signora Gennaroni
- Tutto sul rosso (credited) .... Yvette
- Il cenerentolo (TV movie) (credited) .... Loretta
- Stasera Fernandel (TV series, episode 6: "Una tranquilla villeggiatura") (credited) .... role?
- Afyon oppio (credited) .... Lucia
- Catene (poster credit) .... role?
- Io e te, amore mio, ci ameremo eternamente (TV movie) (credited) .... role?
- Don Fumino (TV series) - episode 14: "La compagna di scuola" (credited) .... Giudietta
- "La voce della foresta" (Published in Bolero Film from April to late 1960) - credited
- "Una vita sbagliata" (Published in Bolero Film from July 1961 to January 1962) - credited
- "Il fatale amore di Bianca Cappello" (Published in Grand Hotel from June to October 1969) - credited
- "Non chiudere la porta" (Published in Sogno from June to October 1971) - credited
Images and credit shots are needed for the following "poster credit" and "listing credit" titles
- Il sangue e la sfida (1962)
- Il cenerentolo (1969)
- Stasera Fernandel (1969)
- Catene (1974)
- Io e te, amore mio, ci ameremo eternamente (1985)
No way José!
There are 2 films where José has previously been mis-credited as appearing due to "Susan Paget" being credited, an understandable mistake for people who haven't seen the films since she used this pseudonym in I dieci gladiatori. The actress appearing in both these films however is not José, but Fulvia Gasser.
- Anno 79 - La distruzione di Ercolano (1962)
- Il vecchio testamento (1963)