Maria Grazia Cucinotta

Maria Grazia Cucinotta Biography

Maria Grazia Cucinotta as Cigar Girl

Maria Grazia Cucinotta, a renowned Italian actress and model, was born on July 27, 1968, in Sicily. Her island upbringing gave her the courage to dream and the willpower to pursue her dreams, which eventually led her to a successful artistic and personal journey.

During her adolescence, her perceived flaws, such as her height and figure, would eventually become her greatest strengths, as she quickly became a sought-after model on Italian catwalks at the age of sixteen.

In 1987, Maria Grazia Cucinotta participated in the Miss Italia competition, where she won the title of Miss Cinema Sicily and reached the finals. The same year, she made her debut on Renzo Arbore’s historic variety show, Back all, in the role of an odalisque, which boosted her visibility with audiences and producers alike. She eventually moved to Rome to continue her modeling career and acting and diction studies.


From 1988 to 1994, Maria Grazia Cucinotta continued with various appearances on commercials, entertainment broadcasts, sitcoms, television miniseries, and small roles in films, including Zucchero’s music video for Diamond.

However, it was in 1994 that her career breakthrough came, when she was chosen by Massimo Troisi to play the role of Beatrice in The Postman, a film that won 19 awards, 9 nominations, and 1 Oscar for Best Soundtrack at the US Academy Awards. It was a poignant film that touched the hearts of viewers around the world and established Maria as an actress in the Italian and international cinema scene.

From 1995 to 1997, Maria Grazia Cucinotta worked at a fast pace on Italian and foreign films, including Pieraccioni’s The Graduates, a Spanish horror film El Dìa de la Bestia by Alex de la Iglesia, and Ugo Fabrizio Giordano’s The Mayor, where she starred alongside Anthony Quinn and Raoul Bova. She further cemented herself with television audiences in Italy and the US with various roles in TV series such as The Fourth King and The Sopranos.

In the years that followed, Maria Grazia Cucinotta continued to hone her craft, working alongside prominent artists such as Ugo Chiti, Guy Greville-Morris, and Franco Giraldi. She also landed a role in Bond 19 The World Is Not Enough, where she was cast as the charming Cigar Girl who puts James Bond’s abilities to the test during a lively chase through the canals of the Thames.

Since then Maria Grazia Cucinotta has starred in many Italian films. In 2008, she starred in Io non ci casco as Dr. Rosa and also served as the film’s producer. She continued to both act and produce in 2009, taking on the role of Agnese in Purple Sea and Marianna in The Trick in the Sheet. In 2010, she appeared in La bella società as Maria and The Museum of Wonders as Memè.

Her career continued to flourish in the following years, with notable roles in 2011’s Un giorno della vita as Amelia and The Rite as Aunt Andria. She also lent her voice to the Italian voice-over of the 2013 animated film Epic as Queen Tara.

In 2014, Maria Grazia Cucinotta starred as Vittoria in Maldamore, also serving as the film’s producer. Her most recent roles include Donna Maria in the 2021 film American Night and a part in the movie Gli anni belli.

For more information on Maria Grazia Cucinotta check out her personal website.