Silvana Mangano (April 21, 1930 Rome, Lazio, Italy - December 16, 1989 Madrid, Madrid, Spain) was an Italian actress.
Listed among the major actresses of Italian cinema, she obtained three David di Donatello and three Nastri d'argento for her performances.
Barely eighteen, Mangano was chosen by Giuseppe De Santis for what would become a manifest film of Neorealism, Riso amaro (1949), alongside Vittorio Gassman, Raf Vallone and Doris Dowling. The actress, who presented herself at an audition that was too heavily made up and dressed in an eye-catching way, was discarded on a par with the other participants; some time later, walking in via Veneto in Rome she ran into De Santis: without make-up, with wet hair and a resigned appearance, she hit the director, who subjected her to a second audition and entrusted her with the role of Silvana Meliga.
During the shooting, in the summer of 1948, he met the producer of the film Dino De Laurentiis. The extraordinary success of the film, at home and abroad, imposed Mangano as the national sex symbol of the post-war period: the proud and indolent image of the mondina, with the tight shirt and black thigh-length stockings, will soon become iconic.