Date of Birth: September 30, 1964
Born in the Italian town of Citta di Castello, Monica Bellucci idolized screen icons such as Sophia Loren and Gina Lolabrigida while she was growing up. Although she originally studied law, a friend persuaded her to try modeling in order to earn some extra money for school. However, Bellucci began to land so many modeling jobs that she had to drop out of college,especially when she was chosen by director Dino Risi to appear in his TV movie Vita Coi Figli (1990) after seeing her photo in a magazine. She appeared in two more Italian productions before coming to the attention of American director Francis Ford Coppola, who cast her in Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992). Although the movie was filmed in the States, she soon returned to Italy to appear in numerous films in her native land.
In 1996, Bellucci won international acclaim when she appeared in the French film, L'Appartement(1996), receiving a Caesar nomination (the French equivalent of the Academy Awards) for her performance. She fell in love with her co-star, French actor Vincent Cassel, and the two were not only married in 1999 but have co-starred in several more films since. For the next few years, she did mostly French productions, but took time out to make an English language filmthe France/US co-production Under Suspicion (2000), starring Gene Hackman and Morgan Freeman.
In Tears of the Sun (2003), Bellucci landed her first starring role in a major Hollywood motion picture, playing a doctor in a foreign land who refuses to leave the people she is treating when a Navy lieutenant (Bruce Willis) comes to the rescue. She next played a leading role opposite Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne in the dual sequels The Matrix Reloaded (2003) and The Matrix Revolutions (2003). In Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ (2004) she played the role of Mary Magdalene. More recent credits include The Private Lives of Pippa Lee (2009) directed by Rebecca Miller and The Sorcerer's Apprentice (2010), starring alongside Nicolas Cage.
She and her husband have a daughter, Deva Cassel, born September 2004 in Rome, Italy.