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Italian actress Mariangela Melato known for comic roles in 1970s dies of cancer at age 71


FILE - In this, Monday, Sept. 22, 2008 file photo, Italian actress Mariangela Melato smiles to photographers prior to the start of the Giorgio Armani Spring/Summer 2009 fashion collection, presented in Milan, Italy. Melato, 71, known for her critically acclaimed performance as a spoiled socialite stranded with a sailor she had tormented in the 1974 film comedy "Swept Away" has died in a Rome hospital. The Antea hospital said she died Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. The LaPresse news agency said she was suffering from pancreatic cancer. The blonde actress obtained her most success in a series of films in the 1970s directed by the Italian Lina Wertmuller, including "The Seduction of Mimi" and "Love and Anarchy." (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, File)

ROME - Italian actress Mariangela Melato, known for her critically acclaimed performance as a spoiled socialite stranded with a sailor she had tormented in the 1974 film comedy "Swept Away," has died in a Rome hospital at age 71.

The Antea hospital said she died Friday. The LaPresse news agency said she was suffering from pancreatic cancer.

The blond actress had most success in a series of films in the 1970s directed by Italian Lina Wertmuller, including "The Seduction of Mimi" and "Love and Anarchy."

One of the most acclaimed was the role of a socialite who finds herself stranded with Giancarlo Giannini. Her role was played by Madonna in a 2002 remake.

Melato had less success in Hollywood roles, which included a supporting part in "Flash Gordon" in 1980.


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