Simonetta Stefanelli is a former Italian actress who is now an entrepreneur. Although her acting career ended in 1992, she is still popular in that regards as a result of some of her great works such as The Godfather, Moses the Lawgiver, and Three Brothers. Following the early successes she recorded as an actress, she got various offers to act in Hollywood, however, she rejected them, choosing later to quit acting completely.
Simonetta Stefanelli Biography
It was on 30 November 1954 that the actress was born in Rome, Italy. She was raised here also, and when she was only 14, her journey as an actress began when she appeared in La moglie giapponese in 1968.
1971 saw her appearing in 4 films, Non Commettere Atti Impuri, Die Sonne angreifen which was a German TV film, Man of the Year, and then the Dino Risi directed film In the Name of the Italian People.
In 1972, she got one of her biggest and most memorable roles when she was offered to portray Apollonia Vitelli-Corleone in The Godfather. She was the wife of Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) whom he married when he fled to Sicily. Unfortunately, she was killed in a car bomb that was meant for Michael. Even though her role was not a very long one, it was very significant and remains one of the roles she is always remembered for.
Ther next film she took after The Godfather in 1972 was the historical drama Il Caso Pisciotta. Concentrating her career in Italy, she took more roles in 1973 with movies such as Gli amici Degli Amici Hanno Saputo, The King is the Best Mayor and The Big Family.
In the years that followed, Simonetta Stefanelli took on more and more roles, until 1981 when she took yet another important role of the young wife of Donato in Three Brothers. This was followed by the TV mini-series Quer Pasticciaccio Brutto de via Merulana in 1983 and then Ars Amandi came in 1985.
In 1986, Simonetta Stefanelli played the role of Marisa Romano in the Italian anthology-comedy film Grandi magazzini and in 1988, she was Lungo la Via in the TV series Non Basta Una Vita. This became her last TV series and it was followed 4 years later by Close Friends which became her last role as an actress. The film was directed by Michele Placido who was Steffanelli’s husband at the time.
Following her exploits in The Godfather which became a success both commercially and critically both in Italy and the global stage, many offers from Hollywood came to Simonetta Stefanelli. While that was what many others were looking for, she rejected them all insisting that all they wanted was for her to show her body and nothing more.
That said, she appeared in the erotic film, Peccati in famiglia in 1975 together with her husband. Even before that in 1973, she posed nude for Playboy Italia, the Italian edition of Playboy. It was after this that she refused to go to Hollywood because she did not want to be a sex symbol.
After calling it quits on acting, The Godfather actress turned to entrepreneurship and she founded Simo Bloom which is a fashion store in Rome. She makes and sells things like shoes and purses.
The former Italian actress got her share of an internet death hoax in 2006 when it went viral that the actress had lost her life. Only 2 years later, the same hoax will resurface again in 2008. Following the hoax, the former actress joked that if she had movie roles, she would have accepted but that would no longer be possible since she was now dead.
As regards her family life, Simonetta Stefanelli has been married once thus far. In 1989, she got married to the Italian actor and Director Michele Placido. On his own, Placido has appeared in many films while with Simonetta, he was in some films with the 1975 erotic film as the most popular.
Stefanelli and Placido remained together for five years before their marriage ended in divorce. Between them, they were blessed with children including Violante Placido, the popular Italian actress, and singer who was born back in 1976, before her parents got married.
In 2013, Violante together with her partner Massimiliano D’Epiro had a son, Vasco, making the actress a grandmother. Michelangelo Placido who was born in 1990 and Brenno Placido, also an actor, who was born in 1991 are the other children of the actress.