July 16, 2020

Lucia Bosé, death of a diva

The “mamma” is dead. Spain has only had one Italian and it was Lucía Bosé. She triumphed in Italian cinema with Michelangelo Antonioni during her neorealist first stage and with Luciano Emmer thanks to several light comedies of modern girls looking for love. In “The Girls of the Plaza de España” (1952), she played one of those three young women who work as seamstresses in a fashion house and eat opposite, sitting on the steps of the square, next to Bernini’s barge fountain, dreaming with the love. The film learned about the popular success and gave rise to the fashion for the pink comedy of girls in search of a romantic relationship: “We believe in love” (1954), “The girls of the Red Cross” (1959) and “The day of lovers »(1960) used this resource.

Lucia Bosé had been born in Milan in 1931 under the name of Lucia Borlani. Her somewhat ethereal beauty, with a childish face and a wide, though sad smile, stood out in the annual Italian Mises contests, where most of the “maggiorata” of cinema made in that post-war country triumphed. At sixteen she won Miss Italy 1947, standing out above future stars of international cinema: Gianna Maria Canale, Gina Lollobrigida, Silvana Mangano and Eleonora Rossi Drago. While fantasizing about succeeding in cinema, Borlani worked at the Galli pastry shop in Milan, where Luchino Visconti discovered her: “You could be a cinematographic animal”. And although they never worked together, it was their dearest muse.

Lucia Bosé, with her androgynous languor and Mitteleuropean haughtiness, was originally framed within the “maggiorate” of oversized breasts, broad hips and wasp waist. He passed the test to play the protagonist of “Bitter Rice” (1949), but his parents did not allow him to play the peasant who planted that cereal, a role that ended up leading Silvana Mangano to stardom; However, they did not oppose his participation in Giuseppe De Santis’ next film, “Non c’è pace tra gli ulivi” (1950), which incurred the same commonplaces: a young village girl immersed in a tragic rural drama.

Hats and jewelry

Her fate changed that same year with Michelangelo Antonioni, who rescued her from the clutches of costumbrismo to star in dramatic bourgeois characters where she could wear spectacular evening dresses, hats, minks and jewelry that enhanced her natural elegance and gave her the aura of a cinema diva . For this image Juan Antonio Bardem chose it to interpret in “Death of a cyclist” (1955) that boring Spanish bourgeois who accidentally kills a cyclist after seeing her in “Chronicle of a Woman” (1950).

Following the film “Era lei che lo volleva!” (1953) fell in love with the comic gallant Walter Chiari, with whom he had a long relationship until he met in Spain the bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguín, whom he married in 1955 after a passionate love story reflected in the magazines. Both men were recognized donjuanes and had all kinds of famous lovers. Chiari was with Elsa Martinelli, Lucía Bosé and the singer Mina, and Dominguín conquered Lana Turner, Rita Hayworth and Lauren Bacall, and maintained a tempestuous idyll with Ava Gardner, with which she broke when falling in love with Bosé.

In 2017, in an interview on television for the space “Domenica in” by Mara Venier, he said of Dominguín: “Si faceva tutte le puttane” – which in Italian sounds as bad as in Spanish. “He betrayed me from the first day of marriage”. She recognized that she was not jealous, but the harassment of the bullfighter was delusional: «He would find them everywhere, in the closet, under the bed, and he would say to me:” What do you want me to do? ” I have loved him, he gave me everything. No one can love more. Who is not a cuckold?.

Lucia Bosé it is still known in Italy as “le ragazze di Piazza di Spagna”. For her, cinema was always a part of her life, but after the wedding and her separation from Dominguín in 1967, she preferred to dedicate herself to the family. From her only marriage she had three children: Miguel, Lucía and Paola, going from being the right-handed woman to becoming the mother of Miguel Bosé. Her life with Dominguín was on the cover of a magazine. Ernest Hemingway was one of his most loyal followers, with whom he had a long friendship. Picasso had a lousy opinion of Luis Miguel, whom he considered a “chic” bullfighter. They were presented by Jean Cocteau when he fought in Nimes and every time he returned to the plazas of Vallauris or Arles he used to bring him water from Spain, which he drank in the jug of the gang. Then he dedicated the bull to him and throwing the montera said: “It is for you, Picasso.” The Dominguín couple and the painter, godfather of their daughter Paola, maintained a friendship of more than 16 years, until the conflictual marriage breakdown. Picasso took sides with Lucia upon learning of Dominguín’s relationship with his cousin Mariví and did not want to see him again. Lucia and her children used to visit him often in the Californie villa, where he lived with Jacqueline Roque, and later in the Vauvenargues castle.

In his memoirs, «Fragmentos de Lucía Bosé», written by Roberto Liberatori, he recounted his first encounter with Luis Miguel. He seemed like a pushy person, but fell in love with him to discover his tender side. She remembers her relationship with Franco and counts the day she stood up for him. As she did not want to get up at six to hear mass, she stayed in bed thinking that Franco would not miss her. But, not seeing her, he asked for her. Luis Miguel ran to the bedroom, picked her up, put a coat on her and led her to the chapel. “Then, during mass, from time to time I made the bullfighter pale, deliberately opening my coat so that it was seen that I was in my nightgown.”

Capital of the “artisteo”

After the separation of the “bullfighter”, as Luis Miguel used to call him, Lucía Bosé turned to her two favorite facets: the family and her children. Installed in the Somosaguas family chalet, she wrote poems, painted and received actors, singers and artists, some in the making. Juan Pardo and Camilo Sesto passed by his house; Raphael and Natalia Figueroa; Tino Casal and Francisco Nieva; Ginés Liévana and Serrat; Luis Eduardo Aute and Luis Racionero, recently deceased, with whom he had a long friendship. With him he went for a season to live in his farmhouse in Ampurdán until life separated them. The last years he dedicated to his Los Angeles Museum, installed in a flour factory in the municipality of Turégano, Segovia. Thanks to her blue hair she felt closer to heaven.


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