The beautiful actress, producer, and screenwriter Daria Nicolodi died in Rome yesterday. I have not seen her in many years, though more recently, to my great surprise, she tracked me down via social media and we had chatted a bit. (Ironically, I at first thought it might be someone pretending to be her!) She was every bit as sweet and kind as I remembered. I had hoped to actually see her in 2020, but COVID prevented that possibility. That will be a regret I carry for the rest of my life.
Daria was the Italian “Scream Queen,” and starred in several films directed by the master of Italian suspense/horror films, Dario Argento (who was also her partner for many years), including the famous Deep Red (Profondo Rosso) in 1975.
This movie is a significant member of the Giallo movie genre, which represented an important movement in Italian film that influenced many directors around the world. In other words, you haven’t seen all the best and most important Gialli if you haven’t seen Profondo Rosso.
I met Daria when she was the star of Shock (1977), the final film of another maestro, Italian director Mario Bava. In the film, I played her annoying and creepy child. Let’s just say the movie does not end well for my movie mother, or anyone else for that matter, except for me (cue evil chuckle).
Daria was the sweetest person in real life, and incredibly kind to me. She’s one of my most cherished movie memories. My heart goes out to her family. I am pained at the loss we all share. Her sweet soul remains with the many it touched. Rest in peace, darling Daria.