From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Born in Rome to an Italian father and an English mother, Mangano lived in poor times caused by the war. Trained for seven years as a dancer, she was supporting herself as a model.
In 1946, at age 16, Mangano won the Miss Rome beauty pageant and through this she obtained a rôle in a Mario Costa movie. One year later she became a contestant in the Miss Italia contest. Potential actress Lucia Bosé became "The Queen", among Mangano and several other future stars of Italian cinema such as Gina Lollobrigida, Eleonora Rossi Drago and Gianna Maria Canale.
Mangano's earliest connection with filmmaking occurred through her romantic relationship with actor Marcello Mastroianni. This led her to a movie contract, though it would take some time for Mangano to ascend to international stardom with her performance in Bitter Rice (Riso Amaro, Giuseppe De Santis, 1949). Thereafter, she signed a contract with Lux Films, in 1949, and later married Dino De Laurentiis, on the verge of becoming a known producer.
Though she never scaled the heights of her contemporaries Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida, Mangano remained a favorite star between the 1950s and 1970s, appearing in Anna (Alberto Lattuada, 1951), The Gold of Naples (L'oro di Napoli, Vittorio De Sica, 1954), Mambo (Robert Rossen, 1955), Theorem (Teorema, Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1968), Death in Venice (Morte a Venezia, Luchino Visconti, 1971), and The Scientific Cardplayer (1972).
Married to Bitter Rice producer Dino De Laurentiis, Mangano had four children, one of whom, daughter Raffaella, coproduced with her father on Mangano's next-to-last film, Dune (David Lynch, 1984). Her granddaughter is Giada De Laurentiis, host of Everyday Italian on the Food Network.
- Le jugement dernier (1945)
- L'elisir d'amore (1946)
- Il delitto di Giovanni Episcopo (1947)
- Gli uomini sono nemici (1948)
- Riso amaro (1949)
- Il lupo della Sila (1949)
- Black Magic (1949)
- Il Brigante Musolino (1950)
- Anna (1951)
- Il più comico spettacolo del mondo (1953)
- Mambo (1954)
- L'oro di Napoli (1954)
- Ulysses (1954)
- Uomini e lupi (1956)
- La tempesta (1958)
- This Angry Age (1958)
- La grande guerra (1959)
- Crimen (1960)
- Five (5) Branded Women (1960)
- Il giudizio universale (1961)
- Barabbas (1961)
- Il processo di Verona (1963)
- La mia signora (1964)
- Il disco volante (1964)
- Io, io, io... e gli altri (1965)
- Scusi, lei è favorevole o contrario? (1966)
- Le streghe (1967)
- Edipo Re (1967)
- Capriccio all'italiana (1968)
- Teorema (1968)
- Scipione detto anche l'africano (1971)
- Morte a Venezia (1971)
- Il Decameron (1971)
- D'amore si muore (1972)
- Lo scopone scientifico (1972)
- Ludwig (1972) - Cosima Wagner
- Gruppo di famiglia in un interno (1974) - Marchesa Bianca Brumonti
- Dune (1984) - Rev. Mother Ramallo
- Oci ciornie (1987)
Although performed by Flo Sandon's, Silvana Mangano was credited on the label of the recording of "El Negro Zumbon", known as "Anna" in the U.S.A., which is from the soundtrack of the film Anna (1951) and was a hit song in 1953.