Maria Tedeschi was born on July 14, 1894 in Milan, Lombardy, Italy. The sister of actor Alessandro Tedeschi, Maria was one of the most prolific actresses in Italian film history. She begins to appear in cameos in 1934, although in reality she may have started out even earlier in the 1920s. In the early 1950s her appearances become more constant. She can be seen in “La città si difende” (1951), by Pietro Germi, while in later decades she become quite prolific, so that in 1980 in “Sono fotogenico” by Dino Risi, she plays the part of herself, on a set during the filming of a movie: addressing Renato Pozzetto, telling him that she had participated in about two hundred films, that assertion might be true.
Federico Fellini gave her first role in “8 ½” (1963) some substance in the part of the director of the school. She appeared in a large number of films, from cameos to supporting actress often appearing to be a simple person with a particular look, aided by her distinctive facial features and her acute myopia.
Two of her most important roles are probably one as the wife of Claudio Gora in the movie “La mia signora” (1964), by Mauro Bolognini and Tinto Brass and two in “Permettete signora che ami vostra figlia? (1974), by Gian Luigi Polidoro, in which she plays the part of the old actress in theater run by Ugo Tognazzi. Also beloved by Alberto Sordi and Carlo Verdone, an excellent character actress with an aggressive look and always ready wisecracks, in her long film career appearing in almost all genres, from comedy to horror, proving always witty, lively and prepared.
Maria appeared in four Euro-westerns that I am aware of “Renegade Gunfighter” (1965) as a trial observer, “Bandidos” (1967) as the woman with the cigar, “The Price of Death” (1971 (member of the jury) and “Eh? Who’s Afraid of Zorro” (1976) seen as an old lady.
Tedeschi died in Milan, Italy on December 2, 1992. She was 98.
Today we remember Maria Tedeschi on what would have been her 120th birthday.