Greta Scacchi is one lady whose legacies will remain evergreen in the annals of Hollywood. The veteran thespian got her head start on the stage, as well as several TV commercials. She later rose to become one of the ultimate sex symbols of the 80s and 90s; thanks to femme fatale roles in several acclaimed movies. Since the dawn of the new millennium, Scacchi has largely restricted herself to art films and theatrical productions whilst refusing commercial Hollywood roles. Want to know more about the actress?
7 Facts You Didn’t Know About Greta Scacchi
1. Greta Scacchi had a humble beginning
Greta Scacchi was born on the 18th of February 1960, in Milan, Italy. Her father is an Italian man named Luca while her mother is an English lady named Pamela Risbey. The actress also has two brothers namely Paul Gracco and Tom Gracco. Scacchi spent the first four years of her life in Milan before her parents divorced. Her mom then took her and her brothers back to England where they lived for the next decade.
Scacchi’s mom later remarried an Australian professor and the entire family relocated to Perth in 1975. While in Perth, Scacchi completed her high school education and joined the dramatic society at her step-father’s college. She also did various odd jobs, including working as a sheep rustler. Scacchi returned to London in 1977 and honed her acting skills at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
2. She made her screen debut in a German movie
Back in London, Scacchi busied herself by appearing in several stage productions, as well as TV commercials. One of these works later snagged the attention of filmmaker, Dominik Graft, and he gave Scacchi her debut screen appearance in the 1982 German thriller, Das Zweite Gesicht. Greta Scacchi thereafter landed her breakthrough role in the 1983 movie, Heat, and Dust. Heat and Dust is a romantic drama which tells two interconnected stories. The first is set in the 1920s and follows the illicit affair between the wife of a British officer, named Olivia, and an Indian nawab. The second plot is set in 1982 and revolves around the efforts of Olivia’s great-niece to uncover more facts about her legendary ancestor. Heat and Dust featured the likes of Julie Christie and Shashi Kapoor while Scacchi portrayed the role of Olivia. Her performance earned her a BAFTA nomination for the most promising newcomer.
3. Greta Scacchi is married to her first cousin
The Australian/Italian actress is married to her first cousin, Carlo Mantegazza – the son of her father’s sister. Even though such a union is perfectly legal in several countries, Scacchi’s family disapproved of the affair. The two love birds, however, could not care less and tied the knot in Lake Como in 1997. Scacchi and her husband now have a son named Matteo and he was born in 1998. Prior to her marriage to Mantegazza, Greta Scacchi was involved in some high-profile relationships. The actress previously dated New Zealand musician, Tim Finn, from 1983 to 1989. She also dated American actor, producer, director and singer, Vincent Phillip D’Onofrio, from 1989 to 1993. The couple even welcomed a daughter, named Leila, in 1992. D’Onofrio, however, deserted them when Leila was just 6 months old.
4. She has received several awards including a Primetime Emmy
Greta Scacchi has received many award nominations in the course of her career. They included one Golden Globe, one SAG, one BAFTA, and two Emmy nominations. The actress nabbed the 1996 Primetime Emmy award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Special. This was for her role in the TV film, Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny – a 1996 biographical historical drama about the efforts of Grigori Rasputin to cure the heir of the Russian throne, Alexei, of hemophilia. In the series, Scacchi portrayed the role of Alexei’s mother, Alexandra Fyodorovna. Scacchi also received an AFI Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2000. This was for her role in the Australian film, Looking for Alibrandi.
5. She speaks German, English, French and Italian languages
Scacchi is fluent in several languages and this has made her the toast of European casting directors. The Milan-born actress has therefore featured in several Hollywood productions, as well as foreign language films. They include The Ebony Tower, Camille, The Coca Cola Kid, White Mischief, The Red Violin, II Commissario Maigret, Broken Trail, Un Altro Mondo, Presumed Innocent, Hidenbrug, La Tenerezza, Hidden Love, Jeffrey Archer: The Truth, and Un Homme Amoureux. Greta Scacchi has also not forgotten her theatre roots. She has appeared in stage productions such as The Glass Menagerie, King Lear, The Sea Gull, A Little Night Music, The Deep Blue Sea, Vecchi Tempi, Easy Virtue, Simpatico, and Miss Julie.
6. She turned down the role of Catherine Trammel in Basic Instinct
When the 1992 erotic thriller, Basic Instinct, was in development, Scacchi was approached to play the lead female role of Catherine Trammel. Catherine is a lesbian writer, as well as a murder suspect, who later commences an affair with the investigating detective. Scacchi turned down the role of Catherine because she didn’t like the script. She also didn’t want to play a character which she described as a “male heterosexual lesbian fantasy”. The role of Catherine was later portrayed by Sharon Stone and it propelled her to international stardom. Scacchi has since declared that she has no regrets about her decision.
7. She once posed nude with a codfish
In 2009, Greta Scacchi posed nude with a codfish in order to promote a documentary on the dangers of overfishing. Her actions did not come as a surprise as the actress is passionate about environmental issues. Scacchi supports several environmental organisations, including Greenpeace – an internationally renowned non-profit organization which campaigns on issues such as commercial whaling, deforestation, overfishing and climate change.