Pier Angeli topless in Addio, Alexandra

This obscure film, originally released in the USA with an X rating, is also known as Love Me – Love My Wife.

Per IMDb:

“This movie isn’t a comedy – it’s erotic. Stefano (Glenn Saxon) and Elisabetta (Colette Descombes) are in trouble in their marriage. They go to the Netherlands to visit their friend Alexandra (Pier Angeli). Alexandra falls in love with Stefano. It origins a menage à 3, originated by Stefano’s love for both Elisabetta and Alexandra.

Pier Angeli (billed as Anna Maria Pierangeli, her birth name) had her career downhill when she went to Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, to act in this movie. It seems that the 37-year-old actress accepted the role of Alexandra in a last (and desperate) effort to save her career.

After this movie, Miss Angeli still participated in four other films – one in 1969, two in 1970, and one in 1971. She committed suicide on September 10, 1971 at the age of 39.”

Scoop’s note: The coroner ruled that she died of a barbiturate overdose. Contrary to the quote above, there was never a determination of suicide, although that can’t be ruled out.

Pier Angeli was once the girlfriend of the legendary James Dean, was briefly engaged to Kirk Douglas, and married singer Vic Damone. During her marriage to Damone, they appeared as guests on the June 17, 1956 episode of What’s My Line:

Two years after making Addio Alexandra, Angeli was found dead of a barbiturate overdose at her home in Beverly Hills. She was 39.

17 thoughts on “Pier Angeli topless in Addio, Alexandra

    1. Great minds think alike. I had ordered that a few hours before I saw your comment. I have a feeling it may be a waste of time and money, but I guess I can roll the dice on the off chance that it’s a lost treasure.

      1. Robertsvideos indeed ~ bookmarked the link @ (10/11) yrs ago, but probably have only used it a couple times since. Back in the day before the interwebs used VideoSearchofMiami a good source for uncut foreign films and r-rated footage cut out of US tv movies, etc on VHS ie Connie Stevens ‘The Sex Symbol’.

        Digressing …

  1. “In a 1989 television interview with Skip E. Lowe, actor John Ericson and his wife, actress Karen Ericson, claimed that Pier Angeli did not commit suicide. They said that her twin sister, actress Marisa Pavan, told them Pier had gotten sick. A doctor came to the house and gave her medication that she had a negative reaction to; her tongue swelled and she choked to death. The reaction, however, was delayed, so she died after the doctor had left her house. The rumors quickly spread that she had taken her own life.” From IMDb.

    1. Obviously not true. It is directly contradicted by three things: logic, the eyewitness and the scientific evidence.

      (1) Logic. If you think about it, you’ll realize there’s no way Pier’s sister could have known any of that. Helena Sorrell described Pier at bedtime, and found her in the morning. Nobody else was there.

      (2) Eyewitness. Sorrell’s story is well known and has been widely circulated.

      (3) Science. The story completely ignores the scientific evidence in the toxicology report that her body contained a lethal amount of drugs. That was determined to be the immediate cause of death by a professional autopsy.

      Of course, the medical examiner could not reach any conclusion about how the barbiturates got there, but there are really only two possible ways: (1) accidental overdose; (2) suicide. There is no reason to conclude that she committed suicide, but neither is there any reason to rule it out, especially considering her degenerating emotional condition.

      The only possible explanation for the sister’s story is that it is totally fabricated, basically a conspiracy theory spun from the cloth of the doctor’s visit that night.

      “Why would she do that?” You may ask.

      I can only speculate. Her family members were well known to be devout Catholics and had to find a way to get her a proper Catholic funeral mass and burial, and a place in heaven. All of those were denied by the Church before 1980 to Catholics who committed suicide. If the “shock” story is true, then suicide is completely ruled out. But if the barbiturates were the cause of death, then suicide is, I suppose, about a 50/50 possibility.

      The sister’s story is just a desperate hope that her sister did not commit the mortal sin of suicide, thus condemning herself to damnation, and preventing her from being reunited with her family in the afterlife.

      1. Well, it is her twin sister and you would expect the twin to suffer from the same severe allergic reactions. I think that’s the wild card here.

        It’s certainly true that the mother was very Catholic. Hence, an objection to the nonCatholic James Dean.

    2. Found this…devout Catholic and divorce didn’t mix back then however.

      “ The book “Pier Angeli: A Fragile Life” states that Dr. Ramon Spritzler, one of Angeli’s doctors, had prescribed the anti-insomnia drug Doriden, one to be taken per night, but that she quickly began taking two or three per night (he claimed, up to four). Spritzler referred Angeli to another doctor, Martin Pops, who prescribed Donnatal Elixir (for a minor hiatal hernia). Donnital contains small amounts of barbiturate. According to the book, Angeli telephoned Spritzler on the night of her death, begging him for more Doriden. Spritzler claimed he refused, but that he gave her an injection of 10mg of Compazine, which is primarily an anti-psychotic drug. Angeli’s friend Norma Eberhardt is quoted in the book as saying that on the night of Angeli’s death, after her friend Helena Sorell had discovered Angeli’s body, “I took all the medicines from her bedside table, all the pills from Europe — I didn’t know what half of them were — and dumped everything down the toilet. I knew the police and reporters would come snooping around and I didn’t want anyone finding anything…I didn’t want them to say that Anna (Angeli) committed suicide.” (p. 198) Of course, as Angeli was a devout Catholic, suicide would’ve been a mortal sin, so it is certainly conceivable that some close to her might have wanted to portray her death as the result of something other than suicide. Does that mean that Angeli did commit suicide? Not necessarily. But the coroner’s findings were inconclusive and in lieu of knowing Angeli’s intent or the exact cause of her death, we can never know for certain if she had acted to end her life. It is reliable that she was an a distressed mental state and that she had access to medications that could’ve proved fatal if taken in excess or in combination.”

  2. Even though it aired its last primetime episode months before I was born, I am a huge fan of What’s My Line. The Game Show Network used to air a 90 minute block of What’s My Line, I’ve Got a Secret, and To Tell the Truth beginning at 3 am. About 15 or 16 years ago, I couldn’t sleep and was flipping around at 3 am and found WML. Panelist Bennett Cerf (the founder of Random House) and host John Daly were talking about the (then) recent launch of the Sputnik satellite. I found that fascinating. The game itself was often hysterical, particularly celebrity mystery guests attempting to disguise their voices. Ronald Reagan appeared once and used a voice similar to the one Vic Damone used. Some really big stars appeared as mystery guests because it was one of the highest rated shows on television during its 17 year (1950 – 1967) run in prime time. ABC has revived several old game shows for it’s prime time lineup in the last few years, including To Tell The Truth. Why can’t they bring WML back? With the right host and panelists I think it would do very well. The episode with Vic Damone and Pier Angeli had two guest panelists, actor/comedian Robert Q. Lewis and ventriloquist Paul Winchell. The regular panelists were actress Arlene Francis and broadway columnist Dorothy Kilgallen. Winchell, in addition to his ventriloquist act, did voice acting and was the original voice of Tigger from Winnie the Pooh and Gargamel from the Smurfs. But I think the most fascinating thing about him is that he patented one of the first artificial hearts. Anyway, after seeing that first episode because I was up so late I started recording all the episodes on my DVR. GSN no longer airs them, but just about every episode is available on YouTube because neither CBS nor Goodson-Todman thought to copyright the episodes. Many episodes of I’ve Got a Secret are also available, including a 1956 episode with a 96-year-old man who had witnessed Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. It’s kind of amazing a witness lived long enough to appear on television. But then again, the last widow of a Civil War veteran died LAST YEAR.

    1. Those old episodes of What’s My Line and IGAS are absolute treasures. What a time capsule! It’s such a great opportunity to see not only film and TV stars, but the great athletes of the era as well. Name a baseball star from the era and they were on those shows – Mantle, Mays, Musial, Williams, Jackie Robinson, Campy, DiMaggio, Berra …

      The shows were filmed in NY, and most of those guys were on the NY teams, so the panel ferreted out their identities quite quickly. (And Teddy Ballgame was in town playing the Yankees, so Bennett Cerf zeroed right in on him.)

      1. It was amazing just how good the panel was at not just identifying celebrities but occupations I never would have believed they could guess, such as the man that operated a skirt blowing machine at the Steel Pier in Atlantic City. They not only guessed it, but they guessed it after only 5 No answers. Another thing I found fascinating were contestants that appeared before they became well known. For instance they once had on the District Attorney of St. Louis. I recognized the name Thomas Eagleton though I could never have identified him from a picture. All I knew was that he had been briefly George McGovern’s running mate in 1972 before it came out he had been treated with electroconvulsive therapy. But it was the same man. Another time they had a man on who owned some fried chicken restaurants, but I would have recognized Colonel Harlan Sanders even if he had signed in as Mr. X. Most of the famous people who appeared were famous at the time, but some really went beyond famous in my opinion. At various times the show featured literary giants like George Axelrod and James Michener, artists like Salvador Dali, architect Frank Lloyd Wright and Eleanor freaking Roosevelt. Much as I really want to see the show revived, I can’t see how it be anywhere near as good as the original.

        1. I concluded from that show that Bennett Cerf possessed all possible human knowledge.

          1. Cerf knew everything and Dorothy Kilgallen knew too much about the Kennedy assassination

          2. When you think about it, a significant percentage of human knowledge could probably have been found in the books published by Random House. But part of the reason the show was so good was because the panelists were so smart. Though occasionally they would have a guest panelist such as Errol Flynn that seemed significantly less so. But to be fair to Flynn, if he did the show every week he’d probably come across better. If they revived the show the panel would probably be made up of D list celebrities and comedians as opposed to intellectuals. There aren’t many people left who appeared on the original show. Woody Allen is still alive, not that he would be invited to appear on a revival. There are probably a few more, perhaps a bit more than a few if you add in the daytime version that aired for 4 or 5 years after the primetime show ended. I was actually alive when that show aired not that I have any memory of watching it. Oh Betty White appeared on the original as both a panelist and a mystery guest. But I think she might be semi-retired at this point even though she won’t even turn 100 until next January. But who am I to talk. I’m only 53 and I’ve been retired for years.

            Oh as for Dorothy and the Kennedy assassination, my mother told me there were people that thought she was murdered because of it but I’m skeptical. I figure skepticism is healthy whenever contemplating a conspiracy theory. But more specifically, while Dorothy apparently questioned whether Oswald acted alone or was involved at all, I don’t know why she would have had any evidence implicating “the real killers.” Then again maybe the conspiracy theory is true. But even if it is I would have to guess most if not all of the people involved must be dead by now. It has been 58 years.

  3. IIRC would have married James Dean, but her family disapproved because he wasn’t Catholic and then he died so that was that. She basically never recovered and was never happy after that. Quick rebound marriage to Damone which is never a good idea.

    Yes, two nude scenes which are impossible to find even with the interwebs lol. Stopped looking @ 10/15 yrs ago.

    ok, never say never …

    1. Which do you think bothered her family more, the Catholic thing or the being dead thing?

      Also, you never know what’s going to turn up somewhere. As I understand it, a complete 16mm copy of the opening premiere version of the Fritz Lang’s 1927 film “Metropolis” was found in Argentina in 2008.

      Of course, that would suggest that for a 1969 film like “Addio, Alexandra”, we’re going to have to wait until 2050. I don’t think I’ll be interested then, since I will probably have something in common with James Dean by that time.

  4. “Angeli died of anaphylatic shock after being given a tranquilizer by her doctor.”

    1. She was found by her roommate one morning. The coroner’s report found a barbiturate OD. The report drew no conclusions about whether it was self-administered, nor offered any speculation about whether it was an accident. Her doctor did admit that he gave her an injection of 10mg of Compazine, which is primarily an anti-psychotic drug, on the evening before Helena Sorrell found her body, but I couldn’t find anything to support the anaphylactic shock theory. Sorrell reported on Pier’s condition as being “as usual” when she went to bed on the night she died, so there were no signs of a reaction by then. (And there were all those barbiturates in her system.) The two most logical conclusions are that she OD’d intentionally or OD’d unintentionally. Given that her mental health was deteriorating, suicide can not be ruled out, but we can’t assume it either.

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