Dalida was an Egyptian-born Italian singer and actress who was born on 17 January, 1933, in Cairo, Egypt. She performed and recorded in more than ten languages, including Arabic, Italian, Greek, German, French, English, Japanese, Hebrew, Dutch and Spanish.
Birth Name : Iolanda Cristina di Pietro Gigliotti
Born : 17 January, 1933
Birth Place : Cairo, Egypt
Died : May 3, 1987
Death Place : Paris, France
Buried : Montmartre Cemetery, Paris, France
Nationality : Italian
Occupation : Actress, Singer
Years Active : 1956 – 1987 (Singer)
1954 – 1986 (Actress)
Spouse : Lucien Morisse (m. 1961)
Siblings : Bruno Gigliotti, Orlando Gigliotti
Education and Career:
Dalida’s singing career began in Egypt, when she was discovered by Cherif Kamel. Her quest for a career in French Cinema proved to be of limited success. Later she started taking singing lessons and she was booked as a cabaret act on the “Champs-Elysees”, which was successful. Dalida was introduced to Lucien Morisse and Eddie Barclay, who played a considerable role in launching her starlet career.
Her first films were less than successful, despite her looks, but she started performing in music halls and singing in Italian, French, Arabic and other languages. She recorded songs for her second single album titled “Bambino” by using her stage name Dalida, which brought instant fame. She appeared at the Paris Olympia in the opening act for Charles Aznavour and later for Gilbert Becaud in1957.
Dalida recorded five hundred French songs, two hundred of which was translated into Italian, and three hundred translated into other languages. She sold about 150 million albums worldwide. She won numerous awards and achieved more than seventy gold award records.
Dalida was born as Iolanda Cristina di Pietro Gigliotti to parents who emigrated from Italy. Her childhood is disrupted by an eye disorder that forces him to wear glasses and making it slightly squinting. Her father Pietro Gigliotti was first violinist at the Cairo Opera House and her mother Giuseppina was a seamstress. She was the middle child between two brothers named Orlando and Bruno.
Despite Dalida’s fame and fortune, her personal life was so tough and filled with much drama and tragedy. She married Lucien Morisse in 1961, but the marriage lasted for a few months and she left him for the painter Jean Sobieski. A few years later, her ex-husband Lucien Morisse died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Her new lover, Luigi Tenco (Italian singer) also took his own life and Dalida also attempted suicide in 1967. In 1983, Dalida was living with the flamboyant and less than reputable Richard Chanfray when he also committed suicide. Later she recovered from these tragedies and concentrated to her performance.
Dalida died on 3 May, 1987 in Paris, France as a result of a barbiturate overdose. She left a suicide note (translated): “Life has become unbearable…. Forgive me”.
She is buried in the Cimetiere de Montmartre, Paris, France and a life-size statue of the singer stands alongside her tomb.
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