'Swept Away' actress Mariangela Melato died at 71

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Image Credit: Everett Collection

Italian actress Mariangela Melato, known for her critically acclaimed performance as a spoiled socialite stranded with a sailor she had tormented in the 1974 film comedy Swept Away, has died in a Rome hospital at age 71.

The Antea hospital said she died Friday. The LaPresse news agency said she was suffering from pancreatic cancer.

The blond actress had most success in a series of films in the 1970s directed by Italian Lina Wertmuller, including The Seduction of Mimi and Love and Anarchy.

One of the most acclaimed was the role of a socialite who finds herself stranded with Giancarlo Giannini. Her role was played by Madonna in a 2002 remake.

Melato had less success in Hollywood roles, which included a supporting part in Flash Gordon in 1980.

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