A sensual, versatile legend of arthouse and grindhouse Italian cinema, Florinda Bolkan was born Florinda Soares Bulcão in Uruburetama, Ceará, Brazil, as the youngest of three children from a Brazilian father and an Indios mother. Her father, diplomat José Pedro Soares Bulcão, died when she was 14, and she began working as a secretary to support her family while attending school and learning English and French. Eventually, she began working as a flight inspector for Varig. In 1967, she visited Rome and was introduced by producer Marina Cicogna (who would become her lover over the next 21 years) to Luchino Visconti, who finally persuaded her to pursue modelling and acting. She quickly landed supporting roles in Crime Thief (1969), Candy (1968) (in which she played a sister to Ringo Starr) and Visconti's The Damned (1969). By this time, Florinda had chosen to use "Bolkan" as her last name, believing it to have more international appeal. Despite eventually becoming fluent in the language,

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