Nobody living in Italy could have failed to notice that 2008 is the centenary year of the birth of one of Italy’s greatest and best loved actresses, Anna Magnani, with numerous television documentaries, exhibitions, DVD releases and book publications accompanying the event. Sadly, Nannarella as she was affectionately known in Italy, died in 1973 but left behind a long list of performances which have since become iconic in the world of cinema, most notably perhaps, the desperate plight of Pina in Rossellini’s Roma, città aperta. International audiences probably remember her best for her Oscar winning role as Serafina Delle Rose opposite Bert Reynolds in The Rose Tattoo, in a part written specifically for her by Tennessee Williams.
The Italian Post Office issued a stamp on her birthday 7 March, but this wasn’t the first time that she has appeared on an Italian postage stamp. This philatelic postcard was issued on the occasion of the second edition of the Rome Film Festival and was cancelled on 19th October 2007 although the 800 lire Anna Magnani postage stamp was originally issued on 27 August 1997 as part of a series celebrating Scenes from Italian cinema (Scene di film del cinema italiano ). In fact, this stamp shows a portrait of La Magnani in Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Mamma Roma . The stamp was designed by R.Morena and had a print run of 3.000.000.