Ilaria Occhini was born on March 28, 1934 in Florence, Tuscany, Italy. She debuted in film in “Terza liceo” under the name of Isabella Redi, then graduated from the National Academy of Dramatic Arts "Silvio D'Amico" in Rome. She soon established herself on television, directed by Anton Giulio Majano in the drama series “L'Alfiere” and “Jane Eyre”, and debuted at the theater in 1957 with a role in “The Impresario of Smyrna”, by Carlo Goldoni, directed by Luchino Visconti , who later directed her in “A View from the Bridge” and “Figli d'arte”. Occhini appeared as Edith Wichett in the 1965 Euro-western “The Tramplers” starring Joseph Cotton and Gordon Scott.
During her career, she had great satisfaction working with artistic partners, in theater, with directors such as Orazio Costa and Giuseppe Patroni Griffi. On television she is best remembered for the five episode drama “The Andreana”, 1982, directed by Leonardo Cortese. Ilaria also starred in many films, but rarely as a leading lady, with her most successful role being in the comedy of Alessandro Benvenuti “Benvenuti in casa Gori” (1992), for which she won the Silver Ribbon for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.
Since 2005 she’s recaptured the attention of television audiences with the role of the mother of Veronica Pivetti for four seasons in the popular Rai 1 “Provaci ancora professor”, directed by Rossella Izzo. In 2008, she starred in “Mar Nero”, a film by Federico Bondi which earned several awards, including a David di Donatello nomination and winning the Golden Leopard for Best Actress at the International Film Festival of Locarno. In 2010 she won the David di Donatello for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Ferzan Ozpetek's “Nastro d'Argento” and received the Silver Ribbon for her career.
Today Occhini has restored the family vineyards at their farm in Villa La Strip, of the sixteenth century on the hills around Arezzo, and in 2001 she decided to start making wine. She personally takes care of the farm, and an adjoining farm, with the help of her daughter Alexandra La Capria, an actress and screenwriter, born from her marriage with writer Raffaele La Capria, and grandchildren Catherine and Bernardino.
Today we celebrate Ilaria Occhini’s 80th birthday.