Born in Rome in 1908, Anna Magnani lived a difficult childhood due to the abandonment of the mother, with which even as an adult she will continue to have a troubled relationship. Entrusted to the care of her grandmother shortly after her birth, she will be raised by grandmother and her five aunts, devoting herself to the study of music and, since 1927, the acting, enrolling in art school Eleonora Duse directed by Silvio D'Amico . After the film debut in the movie "The Blind Woman of Sorrento", it is in 1941 that the director Vittorio De Sica gives her a chance to express herselve in a leading role, the one of the stand-up comedian in the film "Teresa Venerdì".
The international fame arrived in 1945 with the film masterpiece and symbol of Italian Neorealism "Rome, Open City" by Rossellini - with whom she will live a long love story - in which Anna Magnani is the protagonist of one of the most famous sequences in film history : running behind a German truck, in which her husband is locked up, after which her character (the 'Sora Pina') is killed by the Nazis machine-gun.
"I realized that I was born an actress," said Anna Magnani in an interview, "I decided to become one in the cradle, within a tear over and a caress less. All my life I cried with my whole being for this tear, I begged this caress ". The close link between her personal life and her greatness as an actress was recognized everywhere, not just in Italy, so much so that Time called it "divine, simply divine" and added: "Compared to her, our actresses seem mannequins wax compared to a human being ".
In 1972, there was her last film appearance, in strongly wanted by Federico Fellini cameo for his film "Roma". At the night, a sore Anna Magnani cross the alleys of Rome. She meets Fellini and, laughing, closes the door in front of the camera, and there ends her long and magnificent film career. She died in Rome on 26 September 1973 at the age of 65, nipped by a pancreatic tumor, assisted until the last by her son Luca and Rossellini, to which she had get closer recently.