Silvana Mangano (April 23, 1930 - December 16, 1989) was an actress of Italy's neo-realistic period. She was born in Rome, Italy. Trained as a dancer, she was supporting herself as a model.
In 1946, at 16, Mangano won the Miss Rome beauty pageant. One year later she was one of the girls in the Miss Italia contest. Potential actress Lucia Bose became "The Queen", among Mangano and some other future stars of Italian cinema like as Gina Lollobrigida, Eleonora Rossi Drago and Gianna Maria Canale.
Mangano's earliest connection with filmmaking occurred through her romantic relationship with actor Marcello Mastroianni. This led her to a movie contract, though it would take sometime for Mangano to ascend to international stardom with her stunning performance in Bitter Rice (Riso Amaro, Giuseppe De Santis, 1949).
Though she never scaled the heights of her contemporaries Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida, Mangano remained a favorite star between the 1950s and 1970s, appearing in Anna (Alberto Lattuada, 1951), The Gold of Naples (L' Oro di Napoli, Vittorio De Sica, 1954), Mambo (Robert Rossen, 1955), Theorem (Teorema, Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1968), and Death in Venice (Morte a Venezia, Luchino Visconti, 1971).
Married to Bitter Rice producer Dino De Laurentiis, Mangano had four children, one of whom, daughter Raffaella, coproduced with her father the Mangano's next-to-last film Dune (David Lynch, 1984). Her granddaughter is Giada De Laurentiis, hostess of Everyday Italian on the Food Network.
Silvana Mangano died of lung cancer in Madrid, Spain, at 59 years of age.