Carmela Carolina Fernanda "Carmen" Russo is an Italian dancer, actress, television personality and singer.
Russo started her career as a model in the mid-1970s participating in several beauty contests in Italy. She first came to the public’s attention for her roles in the commedia erotica all’italiana, (sex comedy) genre, such as Mia moglie torna a scuola,Giovani, belle… probabilmente ricche and Paulo Roberto Cotechiño, centravanti di sfondamento.
She subsequently established herself as a television star in the 1980s with the variety shows Drive In, Risatissima andGrand Hotel. In 2003 and 2006 she also participated in the Italian and Spanish version of the reality show Celebrity Survivor. She won in the Spanish version Supervivientes. During her career she released also three unsuccessful studio albums, Stars on Donna, Le canzoni di "Drive in…" and Una notte italiana and she was also chosen many times as a model for Playmen magazine during the 1980s.
1974 – 1975: Beauty contests and night shows
In 1974, at the age of thirteen years old, Russo won her first important beauty contests "Miss Liguria". The previous year Russo also won the title of "Miss Emilia" held in Pavullo nel Frignano, but it was a qualification that had no value for the national contest. By winning the victory of "Miss Liguria" Russo had the opportunity to participate in the election of "Miss Italia" but she was disqualified because was too young.
1975 – 1979: Rome, film appearances and TV
Russo with Mention decided in 1975 to move in Rome, home of the major Italian film studios. The couple arrived in Rome and placed immediately in a tiny apartment very close to Cinecittà. With the tenacity and ambition that have always characterized Russo, every morning she did long queues to submit auditions for a part in a movie. Russo was immediately hired for a little part in the comedy movie Di che segno sei? with Adriano Celentano and Alberto Sordi. With this film Russo leaves for a while the stage of night clubs of the province.
In 1977 she was hired by Federico Fellini for the film La città delle donne with Marcello Mastroianni. In the movie she shows her breasts but was not credited. She then appeared in the crime movie Genova a mano armata as the cashier at the bar, and also made an appearance in Die linkshändige Frau (The Left-Handed Woman). The movie was a hit, especially in Germany and was entered into the 1978 Cannes Film Festival.
Although Russo began her career as an actress, she continued to work as a showgirl in nightclubs and in 1978 Russo host with Ettore Andenna in the TV show "La bustarella" aired on Antenna 3 Lombardia. In the same year she also participated in "Portobello" with Enzo Tortora aired in Raiuno. Later Russo appeared in many others film and debuted in the theater supporting Walter Chiari in "Hai mai provato con l’acqua calda?". With this play, Russo won the Premio De Curtis. Due to the expansion of her career, she decided to settle permanently in Rome where there was also the home of the agency "Gymnasium".
1980 – 1983: Major roles, Playmen and music
During the summer of 1979 Russo appeared for the first time in the Italian magazine for men Playmen, at the age of nineteen. After she appeared again in the magazine in late 1980, in 1981 and two times in 1982 and 1984. She became also one of the highest paid nude models in Italy.
In 1980 she participated in the making of two films: Patrick vive ancora with Gianni Dei and La settimana bianca. During the making of La settimana bianca in the summer of 1980 she met Gianfranco D’Angelo, who helped Russo to enter the world of television. In this year Russo also shot Le porno killers, her first role as a protagonist. In the film Russo played a bisexual killer. In the movie she was credited as Carmen Bizet. 1981 is the year of the artistic breakthrough for Russo. She left Mention and ended the job as show girl in nightclubs. Russo’s next films were starring roles in the sex comedies La maestra di sci and Mia moglie torna a scuola.
At the end of 1981 Russo signed with Fontana Records for the release of a single -only. Her first single, "Notte senza luna" was promoted on the Italian radios. On December 1981 Russo performs the B-side of the song "Stiamo insieme stasera" during the Italian TV show Blitz aired on Raiuno. The performance was shot on the Italian destroyer Ardito (D 550). Russo also performs "Stuntman", an unreleased song.
The biennium 1982-1983 for Russo was very successful. During this year she starred in four films. Russo begins with Quella peste di Pierina with Marina Marfoglia andOreste Lionello. A few months after turning Buona come il pane. Is subsequently was chosen by Pierfrancesco Pingitore for the movie Il tifoso, l’arbitro e il calciatorewith Pippo Franco, Alvaro Vitali, Marisa Merlini and Daniela Poggi and then for Giovani, belle… probabilmente ricche with Gianfranco D’Angelo, Nadia Cassini andEdwige Fenech. In early 1983, Russo also released her first full-length studio album Stars on Donna, released as Carmen. The album contains cover version of songs by Donna Summer and Giorgio Moroder.
Text from Wikipedia
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