BEST SELLING AUTHOR - AWARD-WINNING ACTRESS - AWARD-WINNING SINGER/SONGWRITER - AWARD-WINNING POET - LEADING HEALING ARTS EXPONENT
I consider myself to be a free spirited, iconoclast, citizen of the world.
My first journey was that of a refugee fleeing from World-War-II torn Croatia (Yugoslavia then) to Italy in 1943, when I was six-years-old. My next move, at the age of eleven, was that of emigrant to apartheid South Africa.
In the early sixties I came back to Rome to enjoy the Dolce Vita times and to be actress. One of my most fun roles was playing a handmaiden to Elizabeth Taylor in the film Cleopatra. Later, married to an Englishman, I fully experienced the sex-drugs-&-rock-&-roll era in swinging London. I had a daughter, was a battered wife, a divorcee; worked at the Playboy Club as a bunny croupier and wrote a novel which was bought by 20th Century Fox in 1969. They gave me a generous amount of money and for a while I dreamed of glory, but alas, true to many Hollywood projects, the film never got made. In 1972 I wrote Female Sexual Fantasies -- the first book in our times on women’s sexual fantasies. It was published in America (where it sold 250,000 copies), England and Australia.
This gave me the financial freedom to realize one of my childhood fantasies, which was to see the USA in a Chevrolet. So I took a long over-land journey (dragging my feisty six-year old daughter behind me) which culminated withme wearing flowers in my hair in San Francisco. Later I found the Goddess in a temple in India; and in 1973 met William Berger: a drop-dead-handsome, non-conforming, charismatic American actor who lived in Rome. Although I knew that if I took him on I would, at some point, be living in a ménage a trois with him, I couldn’t do without him and embarked on some very exciting adventures, which, at times, had me crying tears to my knees.
We had a son, made a commune in Sardinia, and eventually moved to Rome. Here I ran a lively household, wrote songs, worked as an actress in films and performed a one-woman show -- Story of a Life in 21 Songs -- a cabaret where I recounted memories and sang accompanying myself on the guitar.
When I finally could no longer handle my partner’s infidelities I left him, began living a more stable life, and when I discovered I had curative hands I became involved in the healing arts.
This, however, did not stop me from pursuing my film career and in 1987 I landed a major part in Ettore Scola's, La Famiglia. The film was selected by the American Academy of Motion Pictures as one of the best foreign language films of that year, and as the director did not want to go to Los Angeles, the production sent me, and so I got to go to the Oscars. We did not win, but for a moment I revelled in stardom. In 1991 I was certified as an aromatherapist by the Shirley Price School of Aromatherapy in England, and established the first aromatherapy studio in Rome. After over thirty years in Rome, in 2010 I moved back to London, where I'm having a wonderful new life as I continue to practice my healing skills and write. My memoir (1937 - 1972) And I'm Still Here is published on Amazon Kindle.
Three of my non-fiction pieces: King of the Street (the story of an English hobo in Rome) and Visiting Judith Malina and Flower Power are published in internationaltimes.it
Via della Scala, a piece I wrote on the street I lived in Rome, can be read on: www.pilgrimjournal.com (advent/Christmas 2010)
From 10 March to 19 June 2011 a photograph of me taken by Ida Kar was displayed on the prestigious walls of the National Portrait Gallery. Never in my wildest dreams -- and there have been some -- did I dream I would be seen in the NPG.
On June 2011 Eddie Mair interviewed me for iPM.
On July 2012 I was on a panel discussing bohemia on the program Off the Page, on BBC Radio 4
In June 2014 artist Geoff Francis shot a video of me: https//www.dropbox.com/s/iydowm6ngeqpb5e/hanja.mov?dl=0
My motto is Gandhi’s aphorism: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” I try to walk my talk.
One of my songs:
HE SAID THAT SHE SAID He said that she said that I said that they said And then one day we were no longer friends Because he said that she said that I didn’t like her But I do. Then I told myself I’d never play that game again But she came and said that he . . . and the story preoccupied me
It’s a rap I cannot beat, We gossip every time we meet Whether we sit at the beach or under a tree What fascinates us is: What did he say about me? What did he say about me?
If I ask her will she tell me the truth? Or maybe by speaking to whatever’s his name Will bring me right down to the roots Of what they really think about them
But, he said that she said that they said that he . . . No . . .who was it? Had something to do with the story of the man who was our neighbour About whom they told me with the greatest of fervor, He drinks and he stinks and he’s wife is a bore And further it would appear he likes to have sex on the floor Likes to have sex on the floor.
So now, whenever I see him I remember what they said about him, And even though I like him a lot I have to be careful, because they certainly do not.
He said that she said that they said that I said And then one day we were no longer friends Because he said that she said that I said that they said And then one day we were no longer friends
It’s a rap I cannot beat We gossip every time we meet Whether we sit at the beach or under a tree What fascinates us is: What did he say about me? What did he say about me?
This song and two others can be viewed on youtube.
You can also download my revised edition of Women's Sexual Fantasies on Amazon Kindle, or buy it as an-ebook from Amazon's Createspace.
The Second Time Around, the sizzling love story between two septuagenarians, can be downloaded on Amazon Kindle.
Awards Filo d'Argento Prize for Best Song, Casano Ionio, Italy, 1984 Noxide Poetry Prize, Sicily, 1985 Carro d'Oro Prize for Best Actress in La Famiglia, Salerno, 1986. RAIPrize for best Radio Play of 1986for Un Uomo e Due Donne Publications Freely Female: Women's Sexual Fantasies, published by Ace Books (USA) 1973; Aim Books (Australia) 1975; Granada Publishing Ltd. (UK) 1977 Encounter.An Interview with Judith Malina, Harper's & Queen, July, 1979 Sexual Mythology, Resurgence, December, 1979 The Group, New Observations, July, 1989 Interview with R. D. Laing, R. D. Laing: Creative Destroyer, 1997 Aromaterapia,Convivia, October, 1999 Il Tea-Tree,Convivia, March 2000
Via Della Scala, www.pilgrimjournal.com
Visiting Judith Malina, internationaltimes.it
King of the Street, internationaltimes.it
Flower Power, internationaltimes.it
Films Storie di Uomini, Donne e Bambini, by Eleonora Giorgi, 2002 La Cena, by Ettore Scola, 1998 Capitano Fracassa, by Ettore Scola, 1988 Una Casa a Roma, by B. Cortini, 1987 Teresa, by Dino Risi, 1987 La Famiglia, by Ettore Scola, 1986 Al limite, cioé, non glielo dico, by F. Rosetti, 1984 Anno Domini, by Stewart Cooper, 1984 Caro Papà, by Dino Risi, 1983 Nanà, by Dan Wallman, 1983 Casanova, by Leonard Nimoy, 1982 Il diritto del Signore, by G. Stegani, 1982 Rosso Sangue, by A. Massacese, 1981 The Saint, 1968 Danger Man, by Patrick McGoohan1966 The Knack, by Richard Lester, 1965 Cleopatra, 1962
One-Woman Shows and Performances (Selected) Ronnie Scott’s, London, August 1980 Teatro Politeama, Rome, January 1981 Three Horseshoes, London, May 1981 Teatro Goldoni, Rome, May 1982 Red Lion, London, August 1982 Music Inn, Rome, November 1982 Teatro La Maddalena, Rome, April 1983 Boccadon Festival, Cornwall, England, July 1983 Festival di Salerno, Italy, October 1984 Folk Studio, Rome, May 1987
Education & Training T’ai-Chi Chuan Training, 1996 to present Watsu Training, 1994-2000 Gestalt Pregnancy Massage, 1995 Bach Flower Therapy Training, 1993-6 Sensitive Gestalt Massage Training, 1993 Diploma, Pranic Healing, 1992 Diploma, Shirley Price Aromatherapy School, London, 1991 Member, International Society of Professional Aromatherapists, 1991 Diploma, ITEC Anatomy & Physiology Theory, 1991 Creative Writing Workshops with Dacia Maraini, Rome, 1983-7 Voice Lessons, Rome, 1987 Acting Workshops with William Berger, Rome, 1981 University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, Psychology, 1957