Isabella Fiorella Elettra Giovanna Rossellini (born 18 June 1952) is an Italian-American actress, author, philanthropist, and former model. The daughter of the Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman and the Italian film director Roberto Rossellini, she is noted for her successful tenure as a Lancôme model, and for her roles in films such as Blue Velvet (1986) and Death Becomes Her (1992). Rossellini received a Golden Globe Award nomination for her performance in Crime of the Century (1996).
Rossellini was born in Rome, the daughter of Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman, who was of Swedish and German descent, and Italian director Roberto Rossellini, who was born in Rome from a family originally from Pisa, Tuscany.
She has three siblings from her mother: her fraternal twin sister Isotta Rossellini, an adjunct professor of Italian literature. While growing up in Rome, Italy or residing in New York City, Isabella Rossellini has always lived near her; a brother, Robertino Ingmar Rossellini; and a half-sister, Pia Lindström from her mother's first marriage with Petter Lindström. She has four other siblings from her father's two other marriages.
Rossellini was raised in Rome, as well as in Santa Marinella and Paris. She underwent an operation for appendicitis at the age of five.
At 11, she was diagnosed with scoliosis. In order to correct it, she had to undergo an 18-month ordeal of painful stretchings, body casts and surgery on her spine using pieces of one of her shin bones. Consequently, she has incision scars on her back and shin.
At 19, she went to New York City, where she attended Finch College, while working as a translator and a RAI television reporter, one of his interviewees was filmmaker Martin Scorsese, with whom she would marry in 1979.
At the age of 28, her modeling career began, when she was photographed by Bruce Weber for British Vogue and by Bill King for American Vogue. During her career, she has also worked with many other renowned photographers, including Richard Avedon, Steven Meisel, Helmut Newton, Peter Lindbergh, Norman Parkinson, Eve Arnold, Francesco Scavullo, Annie Leibovitz, Denis Piel, and Robert Mapplethorpe. Her image has appeared on such magazines as Marie Claire, Harper's Bazaar, Vanity Fair, and Elle. In March 1988, an exhibition dedicated to photographs of her, called Portrait of a Woman, was held at the Musee d'Art Moderne in Paris.
Rossellini's modeling career led her into the world of cosmetics, when she became the exclusive spokesmodel for the French cosmetics brand Lancôme in 1982, replacing Nancy Dutiel in the United States and Carol Alt in Europe.
The same year, her marriage to Scorsese ended.
In 1983, Rossellini was married to Jon Wiedemann, with whom she has a daughter, Elettra Rossellini Wiedemann (born 1983). The marriage ended three years later in 1986.
Rossellini made her film debut with a brief appearance as a nun opposite her mother in the 1976 film A Matter of Time. Her first role was the 1979 film Il Prato, but his most memorable role was as the tortured nightclub singer Dorothy Vallens in the David Lynch film Blue Velvet, in which she also contributed her own singing. She received a 1987 Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead for her role in Blue Velvet.
Other than films, Rossellini also played in a few TV series such as Friends, Alias,
and received a Golden Globe and Emmy Award nomination for her performances in two of them.
In October 1992, Rossellini modelled for Madonna's controversial book Sex. Rossellini also appeared in Madonna's music video for her successful Top 5 hit song "Erotica", released in autumn 1992.
In 1996, when she was 43, she was removed as the face of Lancôme for being "too old".
Next year, Rossellini published her self-described fictional memoir, Some of Me (1997).
The memoir would be followed by another two books: Looking at Me (2002), and In the name of the Father, the Daughter and the Holy Spirits: Remembering Roberto Rossellini (2006).
In 2004 Rossellini became the inaugural brand ambassador for the Italian Silversea Cruises company , and she appeared in print ads and on their website. Barbara Muckermann, the senior vice-president of worldwide marketing and communications in 2004, said at the time of the announcement, "Isabella is the ideal personification of Silversea's exclusive standard of elegance, glamour and sophistication."
In 2007, Rossellini Rossellini enrolled at Hunter College in New York to study animal behavior, and the Sundance Channel commissioned her to contribute a short-film project to the environmental program The Green(Later Green Porno)
Debuting in 2008, the first series of Green Porno had over 4 million views on YouTube and two further seasons were produced; there are 18 episodes in the series. Rossellini worked with a small budget for Green Porno and she was responsible for the scripts, helped to design the creatures, directed the episodes, and is the primary actor in the series. In each of the episodes, she acts out the mating rituals and reproductive behaviour of various animals while commentary is played.
Rossellini said that her research has influenced her perspective on societal notions of beauty: "If you look at nature, there is no perfection. Everything is always evolving and adapting according to whatever the environmental pressure. The more diversity there is, the more things are going to survive."
Green Porno was followed by two other animal-themed television productions: Seduce Me: The Spawn of Green Porno and Mammas. As with Green Porno, Rossellini wrote, directed and acted in the series; she is also a producer of the series.
Rossellini also brought her Green Porno on stage at The Gateway Performing Arts Center of Suffolk County, in Bellport, New York, the south shore Long Island village where she is a local organic farmer. The show was called "Link Link Circus" (as in Ring Ring), performed by Rossellini, her dog, Peter Pan, and some puppets.
In 2016, at the age of 63, Rossellini was rehired by Lancôme's new female CEO, Francoise Lehmann, as a global brand ambassador for the company, which dismissed her as she was too old 20 years ago.