Virna Lisi (born 8 September 1937) is a Cannes and César awards-winning Italian film actress.
In television Lisi was the figure who promoted a toothpaste brand, with a slogan which would become a catchphrase amongst the Italians: "con quella bocca può dire ciò che vuole" (with such mouth, she can say whatever she wants).
In Hollywood, the producers were looking for a new figure of the Marilyn Monroe vibe and so Virna Lisi made a dent in Hollywood comedy as a tempting blue-eyed blonde starring opposite Jack Lemmon in How to Murder Your Wife (1965), and appearing with Tony Curtis in Not with My Wife, You Don't! (1966).
Virna Lisi starred with Frank Sinatra, in Assault on a Queen (1966). Also Lisi starred in films such as La Ragazza e il Generale, co-starring with Rod Steiger, and two films with Anthony Quinn, The Secret of Santa Vittoria, directed by Stanley Kramer, and the war drama The 25th Hour.
She also gained attention for a photo of her shaving her face that appeared on the March 1965 cover of Esquire magazine, a photo meant as a provocation of feminism.
Virna Lisi was unhappy being so confined to glamour roles by Hollywood so eventually she decided to return to Europe. When Lisi was cast for the title role in Barbarella (1968) she turned it down.
Indeed, to overcome her typecast just of a seductive woman, Virna Lisi sought new types of roles, of evil women or of a lover in relationships of disparate age for example.
In those years, Virna Lisi participated in Italian productions, in Casanova 70 and Le bambole (1965), Arabella (1967), and Le dolci signore (1968).
Also Lisi starred some films of author, of which The Birds, the Bees and the Italians (1965) is an example.
In the early 1970s, Virna Lisi decided temporarily to attend her family, husband Franco Pesci and her son Corrado.
Nonetheless, a career renaissance occurred soon for Virna with a large list of productions, including Al di là del bene e del male (1977), Ernesto (1979), and La cicala (1980).