Franca Scagnetti was born on May 17, 1924 in Rome, Lazio, Italy. The middle-aged housewife, was discovered on the streets of Trastevere in Rome by theatrical impresario Metellus Gambini. Together with the latter she appeared in the film “Trastevere Fausto Tozzi” (1971). She then started to be active in the theater first as an actress first, and then the cinema, as a character actress, in the first half of the seventies.
Her appearances in films such as “Lo scopone scientifico” (1972), by Luigi Comencini, “Even Angels Eat Beans (1973), by Enzo Barboni, Dario Argento's “Suspiria” (1977), “Casotto” (1977) by Sergio Citti and “Pasolini, an Italian Crime” (1995) by Marco Tullio Giordana, are some of the best known among the large group of Italian films she was active in at that time.
Constantly active in television, Scagnetti also appeared in the drama of great success, as “I ragazzi della 3ª C” (1987), “Giallo, Casa Vianello” (1997), “Le ragazze di Piazza di Spagna” (1998) and “Un medico in famiglia” (1999).
Over time, she was more and more loved and appreciated for her spontaneity and sympathy typically Romanesque, and was affectionately nicknamed "Mamma Roma".
In 1995, she appeared as a guest in an episode of “Domenica In”, complaining, crying, about her long absence from the stage and emphasizing the need to work. According to some newspapers, who wrote her obituary when she died, she had appeared in more than five hundred films. In a 1987 interview she claimed to have participated in 625 movies. Among which only two were Euro-westerns: “Hey Amigo, to Your Death” (1970) as Nathaniel’s wife and “Once Upon a Time in the Wild Wild West” (1973) as Ma.
Franca Scagnetti died at the age of seventy-five in Rome, as a result of an incurable disease on
November 1, 1999.
Today we remember Franca Sagnetti on what would have been her 90th birthday.