Isabella Rossellini


The actress and model Isabella Rossellini (Rome, 1952) rose to international stardom with her roles in David Lynch's Blue Velvet and Wild at Heart and Robert Zemeckis' Death Becomes Her, as well as being the face of leading cosmetics brand Lancôme from 1982 until 1996. The daughter of Swedish film diva and Oscar winner Ingrid Bergman and the Italian neo-realist film director Roberto Rossellini, she grew up in Rome and Paris, eventually settling in New York. Working as a translator and American correspondent for the Italian public broadcaster RAI, she made her screen debut in 1976, in Vincente Minelli' A Matter of Time. In 1986 she rose to fame with her depiction of the troubled night club singer Dorothy Vallens in David Lynch's Blue Velvet, which won her an Independent Spirit Award a year later. In 2010, she starred in Saverio Costanzo´s La solitudine dei numeri primi. She made her debut as a screen writer in 2005, with the short film My Father Is 100 Years Old, an ode to her own father. When actor and director Robert Redford asked her to make a series for his Sundance Festival and the online Sundance Channel in 2008, combining her love of animals, environmental activism and her fascination for biology, she came up with Green Porno, a series of short films on the sex life of animals. The series was awarded a Webby in 2009, the success leading to a number of sequels, including Seduce Me (2010), Bon Appetit! (2010) and Mammas (2013), and the spin-off documentary Animals Distract Me (2011). Bestiaire d’amour is Rossellini's second theatre production, following The Stendhal Syndrome in 2004. As well as her creative work, Rossellini is also involved in environmental campaigning and social justice, being a member of the board of the Wildlife Conservation Network and chairman and director of the Howard Gilman Foundation, an organisation which focuses on conservation and the promotion of the arts of photography and dance. In addition, she is involved with The Nature Conservancy and the training of guide dogs and she has been National Ambassador of the United States Fund for UNICEF since 2003.