Countess De Liguoro
A seminal name in Italian silent films, Countess Rina De Liguoro starred as Messalina in 1922, Ione in The Last Days of Pompeii (1926; original title Gli Ultimi Giorni di Pompeii), and as the Marquesa in Cagliostro (1928). A concert pianist of some renown as well, the countess was appearing in Los Angeles when MGM cast her as Nina opposite Greta Garbo in Romance (1930) and, rather incongruously, as a replacement for "the ever-popular" Mae Busch in Politiquerías (1931), the Spanish-language version of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy's Chickens Come Home (1931). Thus, it was a lady described in contemporary news articles as hailing from "a historic family of Italy," who in a state of abject unconsciousness, rode on Oliver Hardy's shoulders in the comedy's grand finale. After her brief stint in Hollywood, De Liguoro returned to Italian films to become a much-used character actress, retiring after a supporting role in Luchino Visconti's beautiful Il Gattopardo (1963).