First muse of John Cavetes, the actress with a rocky career, died on Saturday in a pension for needy former actors.
The actress Lelia Goldoni, heroine of Shadowsthe feature film by John Cavetes released in 1959, died at the age of 86. She was found dead at the Actors Fund Home, a medical aid center in Engelwood, New Jersey, according to the British daily. The Guardian . Her manager and friend, JD Sobol, confirmed the actress died on Saturday.
Born in 1936 in New York, Lelia Goldoni began acting at the age of 19 at the Burn Lane theatre, whose workshops were directed by John Cavetes.
His career began in the cinema in the 1940s, relates Offshore Festival website. The actress makes her first appearance in house of strangers of Joseph Mankiewicz. In 1949, when the film was released, she also played in We were strangers, a feature film by John Huston. She collaborates with several directors including Martin ScorseseFor Alice is no longer here, in which she plays a small role. She also plays in several feature films by John Schlesinger and Robert Mulligan.
heroine of Shadows
In 1959, Cavetes gives him his biggest role with Shadows, a docufiction about three brothers and sisters living in New York in the 1960s. Initially, the film was born out of an improvisational sketch about two black brothers, who pretend to be white. John Cavetes, who plans to make a feature film, offers Goldoni to play the sister of the two protagonists. His character eventually becomes one of the film’s central figures. Of Italian origin, the actress is therefore presented as a black woman. This first feature film, distributed in England from 1960, launched Cavetes’ career. For this film, Lelia Gordoni is nominated for the Baftas in the category best female hope.
During the decade that followed, she played small roles for British television before returning to live in the United States in 1973. Back in Hollywood, she was spotted by directors Mary Dove and Martin Scorsese for the films The Day of the Locust And Alice doesn’t live here anymore. For this last role, she is nominated for the Baftas for the second time. In 1978, she played alongside Donald Sutherland, Jeff Goldblum and Leonard Nimoy in Invasion of the Body Snatchers, remake by Philip Kaufman made in 1978.
Later, the actress became a director and producer for a documentary, Genius on the Wrong Coastreleased in 1993. She then became a film professor – she taught acting and script analysis – at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute, UCLA and Hampshire College, Machusetts.