Isabella Fiorella Elettra Giovanna Rossellini is an Italian actress, filmmaker, author, philanthropist and model. The daughter of Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman and Italian neorealist film director Roberto Rossellini, she is noted for her successful tenure as a Lancome model, and for her roles in films such as Blue Velvet and Death Becomes Her. Take a look below for 28 more fun and fascinating facts about Isabella Rossellini.
1. Rossellini was born in Rome, the daughter of Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman, who was of Swedish and German descent, and Italian director Roberto Rossellini, who was born in Rome from a family originally from Pisa, Tuscany.
2. She has three siblings from her mother: her fraternal twin sister Isotta Rossellini, who is an adjunct professor of Italian literature; a brother, Robertino Ingmar Rossellini; and a half-sister, Pia Lindström, who formerly worked on television and is from her mother’s first marriage with Petter Lindström.
3. She has four other siblings from her father’s two other marriages: Romano (who died at age nine), Renzo, Gil, and Raffaella.
4. Rossellini was raised in Rome, as well as in Santa Marinella and Paris.
5. She underwent an operation for appendicitis at the age of five.
6. At 11, she was diagnosed with scoliosis.
7. In order to correct it, she had to undergo an 18-month ordeal of painful stretchings, body casts, and surgery on her spine using pieces of one of her shin bones. Consequently, she has incision scars on her back and shin.
8. At 19, she went to New York City, where she attended Finch College, while working as a translator and a RAI television reporter.
9. She also appeared intermittently on L’altra Domenica (The Other Sunday), a TV show featuring Roberto Benigni. However, she did not decide to stay full-time in New York until her marriage to Martin Scorsese (1979–1982), whom she met when she interviewed him for RAI.
10. At the age of 28, her modeling career began, when she was photographed by Bruce Weber for British Vogue and by Bill King for American Vogue.
11. During her career, she has also worked with many other renowned photographers, including Richard Avedon, Steven Meisel, Helmut Newton, Peter Lindbergh, Norman Parkinson, Eve Arnold, Francesco Scavullo, Annie Leibovitz, Denis Piel, and Robert Mapplethorpe.
12. Her image has appeared on such magazines as Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, and ELLE.
13. In March 1988, an exhibition dedicated to photographs of her, called Portrait of a Woman, was held at the Musee d’Art Moderne in Paris.
14. Rossellini’s modeling career led her into the world of cosmetics, when she became the exclusive spokesmodel for the French cosmetics brand Lancôme in 1982, replacing Nancy Dutiel in the United States and Carol Alt in Europe.
15. At Lancôme, in 1990, she was involved in product development for the fragrance Trésor.
16. In 1996, when she was 43, she was removed as the face of Lancôme for being “too old.”
17. In 2016, at the age of 63, she was rehired by Lancôme’s new female CEO, Francoise Lehmann, as a global brand ambassador for the company.
18. In October 1992, Rossellini modeled for Madonna’s controversial book Sex.
19. Rossellini also appeared in Madonna’s music video for her successful Top 5 hit song “Erotica”, released in the autumn/fall of 1992.
20. Rossellini was the inaugural brand ambassador for the Italian Silversea Cruises company in 2004, and she appeared in print ads and on their website. Barbara Muckermann, the senior vice-president of worldwide marketing and communications in 2004, said at the time of the announcement, “Isabella is the ideal personification of Silversea’s exclusive standard of elegance, glamour and sophistication.”
21. Rossellini holds dual Italian and United States citizenship.
22. She was married to Martin Scorsese from 1979 to 1982.
23. After her marriage to Scorsese ended, she married Jon Wiedemann (1983–1986), a Harvard-educated former fashion model from Texas (now a Microsoft design manager).
24. She has a daughter, Elettra Rossellini Wiedemann (born 1983) and an adopted son, Roberto Rossellini (born 1993).
25. She has always lived near her twin sister Isotta Ingrid, while growing up in Rome, Italy or residing in New York City.
26. Rossellini received a 1987 Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead for her role in Blue Velvet.
27. In 1997, she received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV for her role in Crime of the Century and an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her work on the television series Chicago Hope.
28. In 1998, she received an Honorable Mention at the 48th Berlin International Film Festival for her role in the film Left Luggage.