31 January 2021

Daniela Bianchi – actress

James Bond’s love interest whose Italian accent was never heard

Daniela Bianchi in a publicity shot after she was chosen as a Bond girl
Daniela Bianchi in a publicity shot
after she was chosen as a Bond girl
Daniela Bianchi, an actress best known for her role as a Bond girl in the film From Russia With Love, was born on this day in 1942 in Rome.

She played Russian agent Tatiana Romanova in the hit 1963 film starring Sean Connery as James Bond, although her voice had to be dubbed because of her Italian accent.

Daniela’s parents originally came from Sirolo in Le Marche. Her father was a retired Italian army colonel and one of her grandmothers was a Marchesa. Daniela was raised in Rome, where she studied ballet for eight years, and she then went on to become a fashion model.

She was the winner of Miss Rome in 1960 and then runner-up in the Miss Universe contest the same year, where she was also voted Miss Photogenic by the press.

Daniela was chosen over 200 other actresses by the Bond producers for the role of Tatiana Romanova and, at the age of 21, was the youngest ever main Bond girl. She was also the only Italian to be a main Bond girl.

Her character, Tatiana, was a Russian cipher clerk who had been sent by Soviet Army Intelligence to entrap James Bond.

Before and after making From Russia With Love, Daniela appeared in many French and Italian films, including L’ombrellone, which is also known as Weekend Italian Style.

Bianchi with Dr Kildare co-stars Richard Chamberlain and Raymond Massey
Bianchi with Dr Kildare co-stars Richard
Chamberlain and Raymond Massey
She also starred in Operation Kid Brother, a James Bond spoof featuring Sean Connery’s brother, Neil Connery, in 1967. The film was in English and so again her voice had to be dubbed.

Daniela also played Richard Chamberlain’s love interest in the American TV production Dr Kildare, appearing in the three-part story, Rome Will Never Leave You.

Although Daniela retired from acting in 1970, she had a small role in the documentary film, We’re Nothing Like James Bond, in 2012.

After her success in films, Daniela bought a beach house in her parents’ home town of Sirolo.

She married a Genoa shipping magnate, Alberto Cameli, in 1970 and they had a son, Filippo Bianchi. Her husband died in 2018.

Former Bond girl Daniela Bianchi celebrates her 79th birthday today.

Cinecittà has been the hub of the Italian film industry since the 1930s
Cinecittà has been the hub of the Italian
film industry since the 1930s
Travel tip:

Rome, where Daniela Bianchi was born and raised, is the hub of the Italian film industry, with Cinecittà, a large studio complex to the south of the city, built during the fascist era under the personal direction of Benito Mussolini and his son, Vittorio. The studios were bombed by the Allies in the Second World War but were rebuilt and used again in the 1950s for large productions, such as Ben Hur. These days a range of productions, from television drama to music videos, are filmed at Cinecittà and it has its own dedicated Metro stop.

The white sands of San Michele beach, near Daniela Bianchi's hometown of Sirolo
The white sands of San Michele beach, near
Daniela Bianchi's hometown of Sirolo
Travel tip:

Sirolo in Le Marche, where Daniela Bianchi’s parents came from and where she bought a beach house, is a small coastal town in the province of Ancona, near Monte Cornero. It has three beaches and, since 1994, they have all been awarded blue flags every year, indicating that they meet the highest standard of cleanliness and services. Sirolo has a restored medieval town centre, which includes a quaint Gothic arch, and there are many restaurants and bars.

Also on this day:

1788: The death near Rome of Charles Edward Stuart, the English pretender known as Bonnie Prince Charlie

1857: The birth of architect Ernesto Basile

1888: The death of Saint John 'Don' Bosco

1933: The birth of Mafia boss Bernardo Provenzano

(Picture credits: Cinecittà by JRibaX; beach by Luca Boldrini via Wikimedia Commons)


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