Sandra Milo, Star of Federico Fellini’s ‘8½’ and ‘Juliet of the Spirits,’ Dies at 90

Italian actor Sandra Milo, known for memorable roles in Federico Fellini’s “8½” and “Juliet of the Spirits” as well as her work with Roberto Rossellini, died on Monday at her Rome home. She was 90.

News of Milo’s death was announced on social media by her daughters, Debora and Azzurra, and son Ciro, who said Milo died in her sleep on Monday morning.

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Italian deputy culture minister Lucia Borgonzoni mourned the passing of Milo as the loss of a “protagonist of Italian cinema … a great, talented artist with an overwhelming charisma” and “the muse of great directors such as Federico Fellini who won the hearts of millions of Italians.”

Milo, whose work spanned several genres, made her big screen debut in 1955 alongside popular comic actor Alberto Sordi in Antonio Pietrangeli’s “Lo Scapolo” (“The Bachelor”). Other comedies followed such as “Totò in the Moon” (“Totò Nella Luna”), one of several films that she made with the iconic Italian comedian known as Totò.

In 1959, Milo landed a role in Roberto Rossellinis’ “Il Generale Della Rovere” and continued their collaboration by playing a young Roman aristocrat in the 1961 drama “Vanina Vanini.”

Milo’s meeting with Fellini in 1963 marked a big leap in her career thanks to “8½,” in which she played Carla, the lover of director Guido Anselmi, played by Marcello Mastroianni. Subsequently, Milo appeared in “Giuliet of the Spirits,” in which she plays an uninhibited femme fatale.

From the end of the 1960s onwards, Milo almost stopped making films and mainly worked in television. She returned to the big screen in Pupi Avati’s “Il Cuore Altrove” (“A Heart Elsewhere”), which went to Cannes in 2003. More recently, Milo held roles in Gabriele Salvatores’ “Happy Family” (2010) and Gabriele Muccino’s “A Casa Tutti Bene” (“There’s No Place Like Home”), which was a local hit in 2018.

In 2021, Milo received the David di Donatello Lifetime Achievement Award, the country’s top film prize. In 2022, she was back on television with “Quelle Brave Ragazze” (“Those Good Girls”), a reality show on pay-TV Sky Italia in which Milo, music impresario Mara Maionchi and singer Orietta Berti – who, like her, were all over 80 – embarked on a road trip in a pink leopard-print van.

Milo is survived by her three children.

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