Born in Tunisia while the country was still under a French protectorate to Sicilian parents; she grew up speaking Arabic, French and a Sicilian dialect and only learned Italian when she became an actress.
Won a local competition for the Most Beautiful Italian Girl in Tunisia, where the prize was a trip to the Venice Film Festival.
Feature film debut was a small role in the Omar Sharif film Doha (1958).
Released an autobiography in 1995.
Was named a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in 2000.
Featured on the official poster for the 70th Cannes Film Festival.
1993, Venice Film Festival — Lifetime Achievement: Winner
2002, Berlin Film Festival — Lifetime Achievement (Honorary Golden Bear): Winner
1961, David di Donatello Awards — Special David (Honorary): Winner
1968, David di Donatello Awards — Best Actress: Winner
1972, David di Donatello Awards — Best Actress: Winner
1965, Nastri d'argento — Best Actress: Winner
2014, Taormina Film Fest — Taormina Arte Award: Winner
2016, David di Donatello Awards — Best Supporting Actress: Nominee
1982, Nastri d'argento — Best Supporting Actress: Winner