Valentina Cortese (born January 1, 1925) is an Italian actress.
She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in La Nuit américaine. She also appeared in the Franco Zeffirelli miniseries Jesus of Nazareth (movie).
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Shortly before her death, she agreed to be interviewed for the documentary series Hollywood discussing her film career. She retired in 1943. Costello attempted to resume her career and achieved some successes, most notably in Little Lord Fauntleroy (1936), and The Magnificent Ambersons (1942). Her acting career became less of a priority for her following the birth of her children, however her marriage to Barrymore proved to be a difficult one due to his increasing alcoholism, and they were divorced in 1935.
Costello spoke with a lisp, and found it difficult to make the transition to talking pictures, but after two years of voice coaching she was comfortable speaking before a microphone. In 1926 she starred along with John Barrymore in The Sea Beast and after a two year affair, the couple married in 1928. By the mid twenties, she had become a successful and highly regarded film personality in her own right, and as a young adult her career developed to the degree that in 1926 she was named a WAMPAS Baby Star, and had acquired the name "The Goddess of the Silver Screen". The two sisters appeared on Broadway together and their success resulted in contracts with Warner Brothers Studios.
She made her first film appearances, along with her sister Helene, as a child in her father's films. Costello was born in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, the daughter of actors Maurice and Mae Costello. Dolores Costello (September 17, 1903 - March 1, 1979) was an American film actress who achieved her greatest success during the era of silent movies.