Federico Fellini, the Italian film director and writer, is known for the extravagant personal style he developed early in his career, with its ornate visual effects, uninhibited sentiment, mischievous humor, and romantic fantasy. His collaboration with Roberto Rossellini on Open City (1945) brought him widespread critical acclaim in Italy. Fellini first attracted attention abroad with I Vitelloni (1953) and La Strada (1955), which focuses on the poor in a deeply sensitive manner touched with poetry. The latter brought him international success, as did La Dolce Vita (1959), with its portrait of the rich and rootless in a decadent Rome, the autobiographical 8? (1963), and the supple Juliet of the Spirits (1965), inspired by his actress-wife Giulietta Massina. Fellini's penchant for obscurity, his symbolism, and his sharp satire have made him controversial from time to time, but his imaginative impact is uncontested.
Biographer Charlotte Chandler was born in California. She has written numerous biographies featuring Hollywood stars such as Groucho Marx, Ingrid Bergman, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, and Alfred Hitchcok. Her interview with Mae West was chosen for the Penguin anthology of Great Interviews of the Twentieth Century. She currently lives in New York City and is active in film preservation.