look-alikes: Clara Petacci (Claretta)

Clara Petacci

Clara [Claretta] Petacci (1912–1945) was a young Roman woman who became Benito Mussolini’s mistress although she was nearly thirty years his junior. Despite her fascist associations she earned some respect in her home country as a woman in love who did not abandon her lover in times of trouble; this is reflected by her sympathetic treatment in some movies, eg Claretta.

When Mussolini was captured by partisans in April 1945 it is said that Petacci was offered the opportunity to escape, but she refused and was shot with him; some accounts have her trying to protect him with her own body. In reality, she was probably doomed from the moment she was captured with. Her body along with Mussolini’s was hanged upside down at a petrol station in the Piazzale Loreto in Milan.

The movies & TV shows

Mussolini and I (1985): Barbara De Rossi featured as Claretta in this mini-series also known as Mussolini: The Decline and Fall of Il Duce. Manlio Rocchetti was the makeup artist.

Mussolini: The Untold Story (1985): Virginia Madsen played Claretta in this mini-series based on the memoirs of Mussolini’s eldest son. Pierantonio Mecacci was the makeup artist.

Claretta (1984): featured Claudia Cardinale in the title role and was made with the participation of Claretta’s sister. If anyone has any images of Claudia as Claretta, please email themakeupgallery.

Caesar and Claretta (1975): featured Helen Mirren as Claretta. Coming soon …

Mussolini ultimo atto (1974) : featured Lisa Gastoni – some ten years too old for the role – as Claretta in 1945. Alberto De Rossi was the chief makeup artist; Giannetto De Rossi the makeup artist.