Elsa Martinelli, at home, seated at her piano, 1957. Photo by Angelo Frontoni.
Born Elisa Tia, Martinelli in 1953 was discovered by Roberto Capucci who introduced her to the world of fashion. She became a model and began playing small roles in films. She appeared in Claude Autant-Lara’s Le Rouge et le Noir (1954), but her first important film role came the following year with The Indian Fighter opposite Kirk Douglas, who claimed to have spotted her on a magazine cover.