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Monica Bellucci Biography

Monica Bellucci was born on September 30th, 1968, in the village of Citta di Castello, in Umbria, Italy. Initially pursuing a career as a lawyer, Monica decided to start modeling in order to help pay for her tuition while at the University of Perugia. But of course, the glamorous life of a model -- which includes travel and a sweet income -- tempted Monica away from her law studies. In 1988, Monica moved to one of Europe's fashion centers -- Milan. There, she signed with Elite Model Management and found plenty of modeling work. By 1989, Monica was making it big in Paris and across the Atlantic, in New York. But although she had achieved huge success in so little time as a model (posing for Dolce & Gabbana and French Elle), Monica thrived for more.

Monica's classic and elegant good looks are matched only by an equally sophisticated and refined fashion sense. She made her film debut in 1990, with roles in Vita coi figli and Briganti (a.k.a Bandits: Love and Liberty). The following year, Monica starred as Francesca in the film La Riffa, and made her American film debut with the role of Dracula's Bride in 1992's Bram Stoker's Dracula, co-starring Gary Oldman and Winona Ryder. Roles began to pour in for the Italian beauty. After a role in Ostinato destino, she appeared in I Mitici (a.k.a. The Heroes) in 1994, and Palla di neve in 1995. She also starred as the Pharaoh's wife in the made-for-TV movie, Joseph. But it was her role in the 1996 film, L'Appartement, that earned Monica her acting accolades. In 1997, Bellucci was cast in Come mi vuoi (a.k.a As You Want Me), Dobermann and Mauvais genre. After roles in more European films such as 1998's L'Ultimo capodanno, A los que aman, and Compromis, she starred in 1999's Comme un poisson hors de l'eau (a.k.a. Like a Fish Out of Water). But it was the critical success of the Italian film Malena (2000), in which Monica starred in the title role, that really catapulted her to fame. In 2001, Bellucci starred in Brotherhood of the Wolf (co-starring her husband Cassel) and as Cleopatra in Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatre. The following year she starred in Tears of the Sun, with Bruce Willis, and of course, as Persephone in the highly anticipated sequels to 1999's The Matrix. In 2004, Monica Bellucci was seen as Magdalene in Mel Gibson's controversial blockbuster, The Passion of the Christ, and returned to French film with Agents secrets. She can also add 2004's The Brothers Grimm (with Matt Damon and Heath Ledger), Spike Lee's She Hate Me, and 2005's Lord of War (with Nicolas Cage) to her filmography.

With over 20 movies to her credit she isn't a novice to film, unfortunately her fame comes from Italian cinema. Monica has not benefited from the Hollywood marketing machine that movie studios are capable of. Although the model-turned-actress has reached incredible heights in both streams of her career, she still dreams of working with the legendary Robert De Niro. Critics are quick to compare Monica Bellucci to previous Italian beauties, but she has her own brand of sensual style. With roles as a topless vampire in "Dracula", and her recent role as a sci-fi vixen in the Matrix sequels, Monica has proven to be a bold blend of a seductive actress and a talented star.


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