Daniela Rocca was an actress, model and writer, active in Italian films between 1954-1970.
Daniela was born on September 12th 1937, in the small town of Acireale, near Catania, Italy.
Like many other starlets in the 50's she came to acting after appearing in beauty contests, winning the title of Miss Catania in 1953, which led to her competing in the Miss Italia contest the following year. She didn't win, but caught the eye of film producers, landing her first role in La Luciana the same year. After a slow start her acting career gathered momentum following her notable appearance in the French production of Marchands de filles in 1957. With appearances in 7 genre productions between 1959-61 she became one of the queens of the then-booming peplum genre. This in turn led to her being cast in the role of her career, that of the ugly-duckling wife/victim opposite Marcello Mastroianni in the internationally acclaimed production Divorzio all'italiana, directed by Pietro Germi.
What should have been her moment of triumph turned to tragedy when she fell in love with the director. When the affection was not reciprocated she attempted suicide, which in turn resulted in her being blacklisted as unreliable by the industry. The information available does not make it clear when exactly this occurred, but she continued starring in Italian films throughout 1962 and 63, so presumably it was a couple of years coming. In order to escape the stigma she appeared in several productions shot in France, but the damage had been done and she only had 2 further fairly insignificant roles in 1967 and 1970, her career being over at the age of 32.
The loss of her career in turn led to depression and a further suicide attempt, which resulted in her being sent to a mental institution in Palermo, where she stayed until 1975. She appeared in a television interview in 1978 where she discussed her mental health issues and ill-treatment by the Italian film industry which had discarded her.
She spent her later years in a retirement home in Milo, where she wrote several books and poetry.
Daniela died in obscurity from a heart attack on May 28th 1995 in Catania, aged only 57.
The bulk of the biographical information comes from this obituary by Wolfgang Achtner from Britain's Independent newspaper, though it must be noted that there are some inconsistencies and inaccuracies in the article. Most of the "facts" from the obituary also appear in the biographies found on IMDb and Wikipedia.
- La Luciana (credited) .... One of Alberto's friends
- Il padrone sono me (credited) .... Maria
- Addio sogni di gloria (poster credit) .... Role?
- Marchands de filles (credited) .... Bettina
- Caltiki il mostro immortale (credited) .... Linda
- Giuditta e Oloferne (credited) .... Naomi
- La battaglia di Maratona (credited) .... Karis
- Le legioni di Cleopatra (credited) .... Teyre
- Non perdiamo la testa (credited) .... Violante
- Austerlitz (credited as Daniella Rocca) .... Caroline Bonaparte
- Esther and the King (credited as Daniella Rocca) .... Queen Vashti
- La regina delle Amazzoni (credited as Daniella Rocca) .... Melitta
- La vendetta dei barbari (credited as Daniella Rocca) .... Galla Placidia
- Divorzio all'italiana (credited) .... Rosalia Cefalù
- I masnadieri (credited as Daniella Rocca) .... Princess Alba of Portoreale
- I don giovanni della Costa Azzurra (credited) .... Assuntina Greco, aka Géneviève
- La città prigioniera (credited) .... Doushka
- Peccati d'estate (credited) .... Teresa
- L'attico (credited) .... Silvana D'Angelo
- La noia (credited) .... Rita
- Sinfonia per un massacro (credited) .... Hélène Valoti
- Behold a Pale Horse (credited) .... Rosana
- Assicurasi vergine (credited) .... Carmela
- Un giorno, una vita (credited) .... Olga
- Gran permio (1963) TV game show series, various episodes, as Sicilian team mother
- La macchina cinema (1978) TV documentary series, episode "Una vita per il cinema", as interviewee
- "Pia de' Tolomei" (Published in Grand Hotel from October 1968 to February 1969) - credited
Titles to be checked.
- Il nostro campione (1955) IMDb
- Helen of Troy (1956) This title is mentioned in a biographies of Daniela on the Scenario and Romecentral websites. I could not recognise her among the more visible unidentified actors, but this film has yet to appear in HD format, so, if she does appear in a the capacity of an extra, maybe when it does she can be found.
- Il cielo brucia (1958) Mentioned in a biographies on the Scenario and Romecentral websites.
There always has to be one!
- Colpo grosso ma non troppo (1965) IMDb with no role. Daniela and several other high-profile actors are listed as appearing, but they don't!