Obituary: bestselling author Marina Ripa di Meana

Marina Ripa di Meana. Photo by Il Fogliettone

ROME - The famed Italian writer, director, and TV personality Marina Ripa di Meana passed away Friday after a long battle with cancer. Ripa di Meana left peacefully after taking a deep palliative sedation aged 76.

 Ripa di Meana has caught the public eye since the 1980s, producing a plethora of books, and directing a feature film, Cattive Ragazze (Bad Girls,) in 1992. She is best known as the author of bestselling autobiographical books and as a staunch opponent of wearing of animal fur for fashion.

 Her works I Miei Primi Quarant’anni (my first 40 years) and La Più Bella del Reame (the most beautiful in the realm) were her first two novels based on her own experiences and enjoyed great success standing alone and in their movie adaptations. The works both starred Carol Alt, an American model and actress.

 Decrying the cruelty of butchering animals for their coats, Ripa di Meana posed nude in an anti-fur campaign. She decided to show pubic hair for the photograph alongside the caption “the only fur I’m not ashamed to wear.”

 She had spoken positively of her private struggle with renal cell carcinoma for years, and, as recently as Dec. 18, appeared on TV to motivate others to enjoy life despite hardships. According to the writer, her disease had made her a better person “because when we are well we take life for granted. Instead, when your ability [sic] decreases slowly, you can enjoy the privileges of the day [sic] of the beautiful things that happen to you.”

 Ripa di Meana was married twice to prominent aristocrats. After marrying Count Alessandro Lante della Rovere in 1964, Ripa di Meana bore a daughter, Lucrezia, who has appeared in both theatrical productions and television dramas. Ripa di Meana has left behind her second husband, Count Carlo Ripa di Meana, and her daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren.

 Speaking of her mother’s incredible attitude, Lucrezia Lante della Rovere has said that “she fought the disease like a warrior and will be a great example for me, for my daughters and for all of us.”

BORN - Oct. 21, 1941

DIED - Jan. 5, 2018

Marina Ripa di Meana. Photo edited by Konrad van Halewyn