Letter From Anna Magnani to Bette Davis
[from “Anna Magnani. Corrispondenza Americana”]
Dear, dear Bette
before leaving I want to write to you, and not wait to be back in Rome – I’ve wanted to write to you on the last evening of my stay in New York in order to spend more time with you – I’ll never forget you – I’ll never forget our meeting, I’ll never forget your face – I’ll take it with me to Italy – I don’t know why but I came out of your house excited and overwhelmed – the excitement of being in front of you, you alive in front of me alive, having admired you so many many times, captured by the screen, amazed by your performances – amazed because I suddenly found myself in your room, in front of a child – I swear the first impression I had was grand – a woman full of life, with so much inside of her, so much warmth, so much youthful interest for everything – you still have so much to say with your art – so very much. I was in front of you, speechless. Remember? I just looked at you and listened, I became a lamb, I was hypnotized. Dear dear great Bette, you’re so human, so tremendously human, and I feel so near to you, and so similar, as a woman. As an artist you know what you mean to me. Always fight for your art – always fight for your artistic freedom against everything and everyone. That’s the only way to be yourself and, in your case, that’s the only way to be a great actress. I hug you, I hug you with infinite emotion and devotion. I’ll never forget you.
posted by Dixie Turner