Angel, Angeli

Angel, Angeli

Pier Angeli was born in Sardinia, Italy. Pier and twin sister Marisa, both had their wide-eyes, set on becoming film stars. One of the family’s past-times was going to the “teatro” (theater), so the little girls were influenced by the glamour of 1930’s cinema…and we know how alluring that can be! Pier was 16 when she appeared, in 2 Italian productions, they’re forgettable and she was uncredited. Angeli worked ordinary jobs and on-stage, until she was “found” by a Hollywood scout. Her first Hollywood break-through was in, “Flame & Flesh” with Lana Turner. 1953-1954 was a good year for, Pier. She went on to star with Paul Newman, Ava Gardner, and Kirk Douglas. In Kirk’s auto-biography he claims he and Pier were lovers during his time and had been, engaged. But, the real sparks flew, when she met James Dean, while he was filming, “East of Eden”in early 1954. The two were hot and heavy, Dean wanted to marry Pier and Pier indeed wanted James. Angeli’s mother vehemently, opposed the union. She disapproved of James Dean’s bad-boy image, his recklessness, and his overall, behavior. Pier’s mom may have seen some wear & tear on her daughter, according to Pier: “He wanted me to love him unconditionally, but Jimmy was not able to love someone else in return . . . it was the troubled boy that wanted to be loved very badly. I loved Jimmy as I have loved no one else in my life, but I could not give him the enormous amount that he needed. Loving Jimmy was something that could empty a person.”. Mother Angeli had different plans for her daughter and arranged a very intimate, meeting with actor, Vic Damone. The two married in late, 1954 leaving a very lonely, Dean. Legend has it that Dean sat outside the church, revving the motor of his bike as the vows were being said. By September 1955, James Dean had died. Damone & Pier had a child, the two divorced in, 1958. The divorce grabbed headlines, as a bitter custody battle, ensued. During her Damone marriage, Pier made the movie, “Somebody Up There Likes Me” she was slated to star in the film with, James Dean, but the role went to Paul Newman, after Dean’s death. Pier had been released from MGM and no good roles, really came her way. Angeli realized she was never going to hit real, stardom. She moved back to Europe, appearing in some foreign films. Pier tragically, was found dead from an accidental barbiturate overdose, at age 39 (1971). She jad been despondent & told her friends, she feared turning 40. Although, Pier was married a second time and had 2 children, she never got over Dean. “I have loved one person in my whole life, and that was James Dean.” -Pier Angeli, 1965.


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