Rocca, Daniela

the most famous actresses of the Italian genre cinema
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Rocca, Daniela

Post by PeplumParadise » 02/12/2020, 11:59

Daniela Rocca in Esther and the King (1960)
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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.

Filmography
1954
  1. La Luciana .... One of Alberto's friends (credited)

    1955
  2. Il padrone sono me .... Maria (credited)

    1957
  3. Addio sogni di gloria .... role? (poster credit)
  4. Marchands de filles .... Bettina (credited)

    1959
  5. Caltiki il mostro immortale .... Linda (credited)
  6. Giuditta e Oloferne .... Naomi (credited)
  7. La battaglia di Maratona .... Karis (credited)
  8. Le legioni di Cleopatra .... Teyre (credited)
  9. Non perdiamo la testa .... Violante (credited)

    1960
  10. Austerlitz .... Caroline Bonaparte (credited as Daniella Rocca)
  11. Esther and the King .... Queen Vashti (credited as Daniella Rocca)
  12. La regina delle Amazzoni .... Melitta (credited as Daniella Rocca)
  13. La vendetta dei barbari .... Galla Placidia (credited as Daniella Rocca)

    1961
  14. Divorzio all'italiana .... Rosalia Cefalù (credited)
  15. I masnadieri .... Princess Alba of Portoreale (credited as Daniella Rocca)

    1962
  16. I don giovanni della Costa Azzurra .... Assuntina Greco, aka Géneviève (credited)
  17. La città prigioniera .... Doushka (credited)
  18. Peccati d'estate .... Teresa (credited)

    1963
  19. L'attico .... Silvana D'Angelo (credited)
  20. La noia .... Rita (credited)
  21. Sinfonia per un massacro .... Hélène Valoti (credited)

    1964
  22. Behold a Pale Horse .... Rosana (credited)

    1967
  23. Assicurasi vergine .... Carmela (credited)

    1970
  24. Un giorno, una vita .... Olga (credited)

Additional credits
  • 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

More Daniela!
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.

No Rocca!
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!

Fotoromanzi
  • "Pia de' Tolomei" (Published in Grand Hotel from October 1968 to February 1969) - credited
Last edited by Emiliano on 15/04/2021, 13:58, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Daniela Rocca

Post by PeplumParadise » 02/12/2020, 12:07

Il padrone sono me (1955) credited, as Maria.

Of her 3 early roles this is the only one I have been able to find so far. She has low billing, is only seen briefly and when she is it is mostly in murky shadows.
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Re: Daniela Rocca

Post by PeplumParadise » 02/12/2020, 12:23

Addio sogni di gloria (1957) credited on the poster, role uncertain.
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Re: Daniela Rocca

Post by PeplumParadise » 02/12/2020, 12:27

Marchands de filles (1957) credited, as Bettina

This French production looks to have been Daniela's first role of substance.
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Re: Daniela Rocca

Post by PeplumParadise » 02/12/2020, 12:30

Caltiki il mostro immortale (1959) credited, as Linda
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Re: Daniela Rocca

Post by PeplumParadise » 02/12/2020, 12:35

Giuditta e Oloferne (1959) credited, as Naomi.

Despite having fairly high billing, Daniela has no lines here and is only seen briefly. I suspect that she may have originally had a larger role which mostly ended up on the cutting room floor.
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Re: Daniela Rocca

Post by PeplumParadise » 02/12/2020, 12:50

La battaglia di Maratona (1959) credited, as Karis.

Of her 3 peplum roles in 1959 this was by far the most substantial, establishing her bad girl persona which led to better parts. The film, which starred Steve Reeves hot off his 2 Hercules pictures, was a big international box-office success
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Re: Daniela Rocca

Post by PeplumParadise » 02/12/2020, 12:56

Le legioni di Cleopatra (1959) credited, as Teyre.

This was another role where she is underused as a slave girl and makes little impression.
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Re: Daniela Rocca

Post by PeplumParadise » 02/12/2020, 12:59

Non perdiamo la testa (1959) credited, as Violante.

Daniela shows a flair for comedy here and holds her own in a large ensemble cast.
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Re: Daniela Rocca

Post by PeplumParadise » 02/12/2020, 13:06

Austerlitz (1960) credited as Daniella Rocca, as Caroline Bonaparte.

This was one of those films with a big all-star international cast where everyone pops up on screen for a few minutes, there only to add their name to the marquee.
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