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Pier Angeli's Death

Pier Angeli

The life and death of Pier Angeli:

This Italian born actress appeared in several films and TV shows but had her career, and life, cut short by an accidental overdose of barbiturates.

Anna Maria Pierangeli was born in Caligari, Sardinia and was the twin sister of another future actress, Marisa Pavan.

Pier Angeli and her sister

Anna Maria started her film career in Italy and made her American movie debut in MGM's "Teresa" in 1951. She was an instant success, drawing comparisons to film legend Greta Gardo and winning a Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year. She'd already split her family name into two as her stage name.

She was in contention for a role in "The Rose Tattoo" but the part went to her twin Marisa, who was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar.

Pier also appeared in 1953's "The Story of Three Loves" with her own lover, Kirk Douglas…

Pier Angeli and Kirk Douglas

…and played opposite Paul Newman in "Somebody up There Likes Me", the biopic on the life of boxer Rocky Graziano.

James Dean, another of Pier's Hollywood boyfriends, was originally cast to play the part of Graziano but died in a car wreck before filming began.

James Dean car wreck

During the 1960's Pier returned to Europe and was making films there.

In her personal life, Pier was married to singer Vic Damone in 1954…

Pier Angeli and Vic Damone

...but they divorced four years later, after having a son they named Perry.

Pier Angeli with her husband and sone

A second marriage to Italian composer Armando Trovajoli…

Pier Angeli and Armando Trovajoli

...lasted from 1962-1969 and she had another son with him, named Andrew.

In September 1971, at the age of 39, Pier died in her Beverly Hills home of an accidental overdose of barbiturates, a category of sedatives.

newspaper report of Pier Angeli death

She's buried in France's Cimetiere des Bulvis.

Pier Angeli grave