A global star, a highly acclaimed actress, "the most beautiful Italian girl in Tunisia", Claudia Cardinale... The beautiful 18-year-old Sicilian girl from Tunisia immediately catches the attention of the Italian film industry and she signs a seven year contract, making her screen debut in 1958. But it is Luchino Visconti who saw the star light and her talent, casting her first in Rocco and His Brothers (1960) in a minor role, and then as the lead in The Leopard (1963) alongside giants Burt Lancaster and Alain Delon. The same year she won the Silver Ribbon for Best Actress with Bebo's Girl, and worked with the legendary Fellini in 8 1/2 where she became the darling of the Italian audience. Then came her success in the English-speaking world in Blake Edwards' The Pink Panther (1964), Blindfold (1965) with Rock Hudson, Don't Make Waves (1967) with Tony Curtis. It is however Richard Brooks' western The Professionals (1966) that she considers the best of her Hollywood films. She was a star already, but she had said, "I don't like the star system. I'm a normal person. I like to live in Europe. I mean, I've been going to Hollywood many, many times, but I didn't want to sign a contract." Another pinnacle came with Sergio Leone's western classic Once Upon a Time in the West (1968). She appeared in the sequels The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976) and The Son of Pink Panther (1993). Werner Herzog's 1982 Fitzcarraldo was another one of the high-profile projects she took part in, just like Claude Lelouch's And now... Ladies and Gentlemen in 2002. A strong woman of political convictions, a UNESCO Good Will Ambassador for the Defence of Women's Rights since 1999, with about 70 films in which she acted, Claudia Cardinale has been and will remain as one of the most beautiful and talented European actresses.