Actress Argentina Brunetti dead at 98

Dec. 24, 2005 at 1:09 PM

ROME, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- Actress Argentina Brunetti, who played the Italian immigrant Mrs. Martini in "It's a Wonderful Life," has died in Rome at at 98.

Brunetti died in her sleep Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

Brunetti appeared in more than 90 movies and 60 TV shows during a 50 year career. "It's a Wonderful Life" was Brunetti's first credited role, in which James Stewart's character helps her large family buy a house.

Dean Martin sang "That's Amore" to her character, his mom, in 1953's "The Caddy" with Jerry Lewis. She also played mothers in "The George Raft Story" starring Ray Danton, "Holiday in Havana" with Desi Arnaz, "Knock on Any Door" with John Derek and "Apache War Smoke" with Robert Blake, the Times said.

Her TV credits include "Hopalong Cassidy," "The Untouchables," "The Flying Nun" and "Everybody Loves Raymond."

The actress was a founding member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and penned a weekly column for Italian-language publications in Canada and Italy.

Her late husband, Miro, was also a foreign correspondent in Hollywood.

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