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Maria Bazzi

Biography: 

(1898-1959)

After the death of Elonora Duse, Maria Bazzi claimed the mantle of Italy's great tragic actress. Famous for her blue eyes and lustrous black hair, she toured the United States on several occasions during the 20th century. She had the misfortune in 1925 to be designated the "dramatic ambassadress to the United States" by Mussolini in 1925. Mussolini intended that Bazzi act the title role in his play "Signori, a'incomincia" (a drama about a girl who longs to run off with a troupe of Gypsy musicians). Bazzi herself composed plays during the 1930s, one of which "L'ebreo errante" was quashed by fascist censors. David S. Shields/ALS