Valentina Rossi-Coenzo was born in Milan, Lombardy, Italy, on January 1 1923. She made her movie debut as Valentina Cortese in 1940 in “Orizzonte dipinto” and played many ‘ingenue’ parts in Italian films of that period, before making a real sensation in “Les Misérables” (1948), playing both female leads, Fantine and Cosette. The international success of the British-made melodrama “The Glass Mountain” (1949) brought her some Hollywood offers, such as “Thieves' Highway” (1949) and “The House on Telegraph Hill” (1951). She then returned to Europe and worked with many great directors, like Michelangelo Antonioni in “Le amiche” (1955), and Federico Fellini, in “Juliet of the Spirits” (1965) and in Francois Truffaut's “Day for Night” (1973) for which she won a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award Nomination. Cortese also had a fruitful stage career, working with directors like Giorgio Strehler and Franco Zeffirelli and starring in plays like Schiller's "Mary Stewart" and Wedekind's "Lulu". Valentina appeared in one Euro-western “The Girl of the Golden West” (1942). She was married to another actor Richard Basehart [1914-1984] from 1951-1960 and is the mother of actor Jackie Basehart [1951- ]. Today we celebrate Valentina Cortese’s 90th birthday.