The Italian actress Marisa Pavan by no means achieved the celebrity of her twin sister, Pier Angeli, a movie ingénue of the Nineteen Fifties who graced nationwide journal covers, and whose romance with James Dean and subsequent marriage to the singer Vic Damone turned the stuff of Hollywood lore.
Ms. Pavan — analytical, at instances defiant and, in her view, much less conventionally lovely than her sister — however carved out a profitable profession herself. She appeared in quite a lot of high-profile movies all through the Nineteen Fifties, together with “The Rose Tattoo” (1955), for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for finest supporting actress.
And she or he did it her means, bristling on the star-making machine that she believed had turned her sister right into a sexualized confection of the silver display.
“The studios made her be like what they wished her to be like, however from this second on, it was not my sister I had in entrance of me anymore,” Ms. Pavan mentioned in an interview with Margaux Soumoy, the writer of a biography of Ms. Pavan, “Drop the Child; Put a Veil on the Broad!” (2021). “She had turn out to be a studios’ product.”
Ms. Pavan died on Dec. 6 at her dwelling in Gassin, a village on the French Riviera, Ms. Soumoy mentioned. She was 91.
Maria Luisa Pierangeli, generally known as Marisa, and her fraternal twin, Anna Maria Pierangeli, had been born on June 19, 1932, in Cagliari, on the island of Sardinia, to Luigi Pierangeli, an architect, and Enrichetta (Romiti) Pierangeli, who later helped information the careers of her daughters. (Their youthful sister, Patrizia, born 15 years after they had been, additionally turned an actress.)
The household moved to Rome when the twins had been 3 and, throughout World Warfare II, harbored a Jewish normal within the Italian Military who was hiding from the Nazis and the Italian Fascists. His final title was Pavan, which Marisa, who had grown near him, would finally undertake as her display title.
Her sister’s profession began in her teenagers, when she was found on a avenue in Rome. When Mr. Pierangeli died in 1950, the household relocated to the USA to additional her profession.
Marisa had little interest in the limelight till a pal of the household, Albert R. Broccoli, an agent who would go on to provide the James Bond movie franchise, invited her to go to the set of “What Value Glory” (1952), a movie set throughout World Warfare I starring James Cagney and directed by John Ford.
As soon as she was there, the producer Sol Siegel requested her if she might sing in French. She might, and he or she did. “I sang a tune of Jacqueline François,” Ms. Pavan mentioned in a 2015 interview with Movie Discuss, a web based movie journal. She recalled Mr. Siegel responding, “You’re going to check tomorrow!”
“I took all of this as a joke,” Ms. Pavan mentioned. However she took the script dwelling, realized the scene and returned the following day.
She obtained the half — a French woman who falls in love with a U.S. Marine, performed by Robert Wagner — and found a ardour for appearing.
Her profession reached its pinnacle three years later with “The Rose Tattoo,” primarily based on a Tennessee Williams play. Ms. Pavan performed Rosa, the rebellious daughter of a grief-stricken Sicilian widow (Anna Magnani) whose life in a city on the Gulf of Mexico takes a flip when she meets an ebullient trucker (Burt Lancaster).
Her sister, who by then glided by the title Pier Angeli, had a long-term contract with MGM that restricted her freedom to decide on her roles and management her picture, Ms. Soumoy wrote. However Ms. Pavan wished as a substitute to protect her independence and labored with varied studios.
“From the second I noticed that I wished to construct a profession as an actress, I stored telling my brokers to solely discover me high quality components that may match my very own persona and tastes,” Ms. Pavan was quoted as saying in Ms. Soumoy’s e-book. “The very last thing I wished was to be stored prisoner underneath contract to at least one studio like Anna was.”
Her different notable roles included the noblewoman Catherine de Medici in “Diane” (1956), a romance set within the sixteenth century that starred Lana Turner; the wartime fling of Gregory Peck’s conflicted suburban husband and father in “The Man within the Grey Flannel Swimsuit” (1956); and the love curiosity of Tony Curtis within the homicide thriller “The Midnight Story” (1957).
Ms. Pavan married the French movie and stage star Jean-Pierre Aumont in 1956. He died in 2001.
Her sister’s life in the end took a tragic flip as she encountered a faltering profession, a sequence of sad relationships and struggles with psychological and bodily well being. In 1971, Ms. Angeli was discovered lifeless at 39.
Though hypothesis of suicide has swirled for years, Ms. Pavan remained adamant that her sister’s dying was unintended, a response to a drugs a health care provider had given her throughout a bout of tension. It was a loss from which Ms. Pavan by no means totally recovered.
“She felt like she had misplaced half of herself,” Ms. Soumoy mentioned.
Ms. Pavan is survived by her sons, Jean-Claude and Patrick Aumont; her sister Patrizia; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Her eventual parting with the film enterprise appeared to stem from one conflict specifically. Whereas filming the splashy historic romance “Solomon and Sheba” (1959), the headstrong Ms. Pavan squared off towards a producer after a lot of her scenes had been minimize, and threatened to go away the undertaking. The transfer resulted in her efficient blacklisting by studios, based on her biography.
Ms. Pavan pivoted to tv, making appearances on reveals just like the police procedural “Bare Metropolis,” the snappy non-public investigator drama “The Rockford Recordsdata” and the cleaning soap opera “Ryan’s Hope.” She acted into the early Nineties. Late in life, she expressed no remorse over her destiny in Hollywood.
“It was not in my nature to compromise,” she advised Movie Discuss. “They did change my sister; they made her up like a pinup woman. I might put on a wig to play a sure half, however they may not change me in life.”