Oscar Actors: Pavan, Marisa–Background, Career, Awards

Updated July 1, 2022
Career Summary:

Occupational Inheritance: No

Nationality: Italian

Social Class: Middle; father construction engineer


Family: Twin sister of Pier Angeli



Teacher/Inspirational Figure:

Radio Debut:

TV Debut:

Stage Debut:

Broadway Debut:

Film Debut: 1952; aged 20

Breakthrough Role: The Rose tattoo, 1955; age 23

Oscar Role:

Other Noms: The Rose tattoo, 1955; age 23

Other Awards:

Frequent Collaborator:

Screen Image: character actor

Last Film:

Career Output:

Film Career Span: 1952-

Marriage: Jean Pierre Aumont



Pavan (born Maria Luisa Pierangeli; June 19, 1932) is an Italian actress who first became known as the twin sister of film star Pier Angeli (Anna Maria Pierangeli) before achieving success in her own screen career.

Pavan and her twin sister, Pier Angeli, were born in 1932 in Cagliari, Sardinia, the children of Enrichetta (née Romiti) and Luigi Pierangeli, a construction engineer. The two girls also had a younger sister, Patrizia Pierangeli, who became an actress as well.

Pavan had no dramatic training when she signed contract with Paramount at age 19.

Although her screen debut was in 1952 in What Price Glory, Pavan’s breakthrough role came three years later, when she was cast as Anna Magnani’s daughter in The Rose Tattoo. That part was initially assigned to her twin sister, but by the time production began, Angeli was unavailable for the role.

Pavan’s performance earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She also won the Golden Globe Award for (Best Supporting Actress) for her performance in the film.

Pavan co-starred in Diane (1956), The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1956), The Midnight Story (1957) and John Paul Jones (1959).

She played Abishag in King Vidor’s biblical epic Solomon and Sheba (1959).

Her later films included Slightly Pregnant Man (1973), Antoine and Sebastian (1974) and the TV miniseries The Moneychangers (1976).

In 1985, she played Chantal Dubujak on Ryan’s Hope.

On March 27, 1956, Pavan married French actor Jean-Pierre Aumont in Santa Barbara, California, and the couple remained together until his death in 2001. They had two sons: Jean-Claude, born in 1957, and Patrick, in 1960.

Select filmography

What Price Glory (1952)
I Chose Love (1953)
Down Three Dark Streets (1954)
Drum Beat (1954)
The Rose Tattoo (1955)
Alfred Hitchcock Presents – “You Got to Have Luck” (1956)
Diane (1956)
The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1956)
The Midnight Story (1957)
John Paul Jones (1959)
Solomon and Sheba (1959)
Shangri-La (TV movie, 1960)
Naked City–“Requiem for Sunday Afternoon” Josephine (1961)
Combat – Season 2 Episode 12 “Ambush,” Marie Marchand (1963)
The F.B.I.–Season 1 Episode 9 “The Exiles” Maria Blanca (1965)
The Diary of Anne Frank (TV movie, 1967)
Cutter’s Trail (TV movie) (1970)
A Slightly Pregnant Man (1973)
Antoine and Sebastian (1974)
Hawaii Five-O (TV, 1977) “East Wind, Ill Wind” – Madame Sandanarik
The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald (TV movie, 1977)
Wonder Woman “Formula 407” (TV, 1977)