It takes more than just talent to make a name as an actress; it requires good looks, charisma and a lot of hard work to make it both in front of the camera and on stage. Thankfully, Greta Scacchi had what it took to become the iconic household name she is today. It also did not hurt that she is fluent in English, French, German, and Italian. This undoubtedly made her a prime choice for European casting directors, helping her land roles and secure her place in the history of European entertainment, consequently leading her to the international entertainment arena.
Greta Scacchi Bio
On the 18th of February 1960 in Milan, Italy, Greta Scacchi was welcomed to the world by her parents; Luca Scacchi and Pamela Risbey. Her father, who is Italian, made a living as an art dealer and painter while her mother, who is English, was a dancer and antique dealer. She has two older brothers.
At around the age of 4, Scacchi’s parents divorced and her mother returned to England with her three children. The family first settled in London before moving to Haywards Heath, West Sussex. It is unclear when exactly her mother found love again and remarried, however, her family moved to Perth, Australia in 1975 after her stepfather became a visiting professor at the University of Western Australia.
In Perth, Greta Scacchi attended Hollywood Senior High School and was a member of the University of Western Australia’s Dramatic Society. It was during this time that she went on to make her theatrical debut at the New Dolphin Theatre in the Edward Bond play, Early Morning.
Scacchi returned to England in 1977 to study at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. After five years, she was able to make her film acting debut in Das Zweite Gesicht (1982), a German movie that translates to The Second Face. As her film career was taking off, she was able to land a wide range of parts in theatre, appearing in Cider with Rosie at the Phoenix Arts Theatre, Leicester and In Times Like These at the Bristol Old Vic. Other films in which she went on to put in outstanding performances in around this time include Heat and Dust (1983), The Ebony Tower (1984), White Mischief (1987), Presumed Innocent (1990), The Player (1992), and Country Life (1994).
In 1996, Greta Scacchi played the Emmy Award-winning role of Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna of Russia in Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny. That same year, she played the role of Cecilia in Sam Shepard’s Simpatico at the Sydney Theatre Company. In 1999, she put in an AFI award-winning performance in the film Looking for Alibrandi and also played the lead in Easy Virtue.
Having appeared in a number of films and series as well as on theatre in the late 1990s, Scacchi continued to balance such roles in the early 2000s. In 2001, she returned to Sydney to play Kate in Harold Pinter’s Old Times while also starring in the film Festival in Cannes as Alice Palmer. In the following years, she played Margaret Thatcher in Jeffrey Archer: The Truth (2002) and Julia Reuter in Baltic Storm (2003) before touring Italy with an Italian production of Vecchi Tempi.
In 2005, she appeared in Thea Sharrock’s production of Noël Coward’s Private Lives at the Theatre Royal, Bath. The following year, she starred as Nola Johns in the Western film Broken Trail (2006).
Greta Scacchi’s Daughter
In the early 90s, Greta Scacchi began dating actor Vincent D’Onofrio. While it is not clear how long the relationship lasted, the two had a daughter named Leila George in 1992. In 1998, Scacchi welcomed another child to the world, a son named Matteo with her husband Carlo Mantegazza.
Not much is known about the early life of Scacchi’s daughter, Leila George, who made headlines after she was pictured kissing Oscar award-winning actor Sean Penn in 2016. This is because her parents kept her out of the spotlight; born in Sydney, Australia and then raised somewhere around Brighton, U.K.
The young lady publicly stated that she was scared of following her parents’ footsteps since they had achieved a lot in the film industry. Despite this, she went on to enroll at the Strasberg Institute in New York and has now moved on to pursue an acting career, famously appearing alongside James Franco and Tori Spelling in the Lifetime TV movie Mother, May I Sleep with Danger? (2016).
Where Is The Australian-Italian Actress Now?
Greta Scacchi is still very much active in both the theatre and film acting world. The Australian-Italian actress, who was made a knight in the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic in October 2013, most recently appeared in films like Operation Finale (2018) and Palm Beach (2019).
On the theatre front, she is most recently known to have appeared in a revival of John Osborne’s The Entertainer at the Garrick Theatre in London’s West End, playing the character of Phoebe Rice.