Argentina Brunetti dies at 98

2005-12-25 09:17
Los Angeles - Argentina Brunetti, a character actress who played the worried wife of Mr Martini in the classic film "It's a Wonderful Life," has died. She was 98.

Brunetti died in her sleep on Tuesday in Rome, said Ben Ohmart, whose Boalsburg, Pennsylvania-based publishing house, BearManor Media, released Brunetti's autobiography.

She had moved to Rome last year to live with her son, Mario, and his family, he said.

A career spanning more than 50 years

Brunetti starred in dozens of films and television shows over a career spanning more than 50 years.

She portrayed Dean Martin's mother in the 1953 comedy "The Caddy," in which Martin sings "That's Amore" to her, and performed with Desi Arnaz in the 1949 film "Holiday in Havana."

Her TV credits include "Hopalong Cassidy," "The Untouchables," "Kojak" and "Everybody Loves Raymond."

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1907, Brunetti followed her Sicilian mother, actress Mimi Aguglia, into the theater.

Beginning with a walk-on role at age three in the opera "Cavalleria Rusticana," Brunetti performed throughout Europe and South America.

Her Hollywood career began in 1937 with contract work dubbing the voices of Jeanette MacDonald and Norma Shearer into Italian.

She earned her first credited role as an Italian immigrant in Frank Capra's 1946 holiday film "It's a Wonderful Life," in which James Stewart's character helps her large family buy a house.

She wrote a weekly column

Off screen, Brunetti was a founding member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and wrote a weekly column for publications in Canada and Italy.

Her autobiography, "In Sicilian Company," which chronicles her family's show business adventures, was released in October. She also hosted a weekly blog, "Argentina Brunetti's Hollywood Stories."

"She not only hoped for a better world, but did many things to make it happen and for this she will be truly missed by family and friends," said a release on her Web site.

The Italian government awarded her the title of "Cavalier of the Republic" for her efforts in enhancing US-Italian relations through her many positive film portrayals of Italians and Italian-Americans.


AB praises selfless skipper

2010-11-21 18:15

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.