Saturday, December 24, 2005

 

Wonderful Life's "Mrs Martini" Passes Away

On this Christmas Eve comes word that Aregentina Brunetti, the Italian actress who played the minor role of Mr. Martini's wife, and the mother of the large Martini clan, in Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life, has died at the age of 98. Brunetti -- whose career spanned more than 50 years (including a turn as Dean Martin's mother in the film The Caddy) -- played the matriarch of the large Martini family who accepts the symbolic loaf of bread from Donna Reed's character Mary, as she, and her family, move to a bigger, better house in Bailey Park, thanks to Jimmy Stewart's character George Bailey. In the film, the immigrant family represents director Capra's own experience of upward mobility in this country. It's a Wonderful Life is a film full of hope, on many levels, which is what tonight, Christmas Eve, the night that frames the film's story, is all about.

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