Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Edwige Fenech was born as Edwige Sfenek on December 24, 1948 in Bone, Constantine, France to a Maltese father and Italian mother. Edwige began her show business career as a participant in beauty contests (she won the title of "Miss Mannequin de la Cote d'Azur" at age 16 and even won a Miss France beauty contest) and worked as a photo model prior to making her film debut  in the 1967 comedy "All Mad About Him." Fenech appeared in such saucy West German sex farces as "The Blonde and the Black Pussycat" and "Sexy Susan Sins Again" in the late 60's. With her lustrous long black hair, lovely, sensuous face, full, shapely figure, and smoldering screen presence, Edwige soon became a very popular and much sought after actress in a diverse array of European productions made in Italy, France, Spain, and West Germany. Fenech achieved her greatest enduring cult cinema popularity by starring in several superior Italian giallos for director Sergio Martino: "Next!," "Demons of the Dead," and "Your Vice Is a Closed Room and Only I Have the Key." (She was the onetime girlfriend of Martino's producer brother Luciano.) Edwige also acted for Martino in a handful of racy Italian sex comedies and the Italian mini-series "Delitti Privati." Other noted Italian film directors Fenech has acted in movies for are Mario Bava ("Five Dolls for an August Moon"), Guliano Carnimeo ("The Case of the Bloody Iris"), Andrea Bianchi ("Strip Nude for Your Killer"), Umberto Lenzi ("The Great Battle"), Steno ("Dr. Jekyll Likes Them Hot"), Dino Risi ("I'm Photogenic"), and Ruggero Deodato ("Phantom of Death")
Serena Grandi is the stage name for Serena Faggioli, born in Bologna. Some films credited her as Vanessa Steiger. She started her acting career in 1980 playing a supporting role in the comedy La Compagna di viaggio by Ferdinando Baldi.
In 1980, credited as Vanessa Steiger, she played the role of Maggie in the controversial film The Anthropophagous Beast, directed by Joe D'amato. This film is well known among horror movie fans for its extreme gore sequence. After several films, she took a starring role in Tinto Brass' Miranda, which gave her the status of sex symbol in her native Italy and set the path for her stardom.
Through the 1980s, she made nearly 20 films, appearing in sexy comedies, sword epics such as Avventure dell'incrdibile Ercole and some horror films. In 1987 Lamberto Bava gave her the role of Gloria in his film, Le foto di Gioia.
In the 1990s, she started to back away from the spotlight a bit. Still, she had appearances in television series and some films. In the late part of the decade, she married Beppe Ercole. They have a son, Eduardo.

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