In one of those strange quirks of cinema, Italian actress Daniela Rocca became a star not for portraying the glamorous beauty she really was, but for playing the part of the frumpy, dumpy wife that Marcello Mastroianni is desperate to escape in Pietro Germi's international box-office hit Divorzio all'Italiana (1962). Rocca was born and raised in Catania, a working-class area plagued by poverty. It was her unusual beauty that helped her escape a life of drudgery, for she was discovered after competing in a beauty contest. She made her film debut in French director Maurice Cloche's Marchants de Filles (1957). More film roles followed, but Rocca did not find fame until Divorzio. She subsequently appeared in ten more films through 1967, but then her looks faded and by age 35, Rocca was a has-been. Deeply depressed, and labelled a nutcase by the tabloids after a suicide attempt, Rocca would spend the rest of the decade in and out of mental institutions. She eventually recovered and occasionally acted on stage and in television. Rocca also turned to writing and penned three novels, a poetry book and a non-fiction look at psychoanalysis.