Ottavio Piccolo was born on October 9, 1949 in Bolzano, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy. She began her acting career at a very young age, taking to the stage at 10-years-old as Helen, the protagonist of “The Miracle Worker” by William Gibson, directed by Luigi Squarzina. She went on to appear on television in ‘The White Nights’ by Dostoevsky. She then made her film debut as one of the daughters of the Prince of Salina in “The Leopard” by Luchino Visconti in 1963.
In 1964 she acted under Giorgio Strehler, in “The Quarrels” and later in Shakespeare’s “King Lear”. Her other teachers in the theater are Luca Ronconi and in the cinema Mauro Bolognini. She would appear in “Metellus”, based on the book of Vasco Pratolini, her performance was enough to merit an award for Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival and the Nastro d'Argento for Best Actress (1971).
This success meant that the actress was "adopted" by the French cinema and was directed, by among others, Claude Sautet and Pierre Granier-Deferre (“The Adventurer”). In 1968 she played the role of the female protagonist in “Serafino” by Pietro Germi, alongside Adriano Celentano. The next year she played a secondary role in the comedy “A of 13”, with Vittorio Gassman, Sharon Tate, Orson Welles and Vittorio De Sica.
In 1970 she recorded a 45 single with Rodolfo Baldini. Since the mid-1970s she would focus mainly on the theater of Shakespeare, Pirandello, Alfieri and Hofmannsthal; but she was better known to the general public for her appearances in numerous television dramas, mostly drawn from classical texts of world literature: among them, ‘Il mulino del Po’ and ‘La coscienza di Zeno’ directed by Sandro Bolchi, and ‘La Certosa di Parma’, directed by Bolognini.
In 1974 Ottavia appeared in her only Euro-western as Hortensia Pulido de Olividades in “Zorro” with Alain Delon.
In 1987 she returned to acting in the movies with “La famiglia” directed by Ettore Scola awarded the Nastro d'argento and “Da grande” by Franco Amurri, alongside Alessandro Haber and Renato Pozzetto.
In the 1990s she returned to Italian television, with great success in with ‘Chiara e gli altri’, the show aired between 1989 and 1991, in France. She did not abandon the theater, however: as Ottavia appeared in, for example, it Frosina in “L'avaro” by Molière with Paolo Villaggio.
In 1999, at the Festival of Cividale del Friuli, Mittelfest, in collaboration with the Association Soroptimist she established the Adelaide Ristori Prize, which she was to win the first edition.
In 2004, she played the role of an analyst in “Tu la conosci Claudia?” with Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo, while in 2009 she starred in the film “Il grande sogno” by Michele Placido.
Ottavia Piccolo is also a respected voice actress: and has lent her voice to for example, Carrie Fisher, Princess Leia in the Star Wars trilogy, and the cat Gobbolino in ‘I Raccontastorie’.
Today we celebrate Ottavia Piccolo’s 65th birthday.