Stunning photos of young Monica Bellucci in the 1980s

Born on September 30, 1968, Bellucci grew up in the small Italian village of Citta di Castello, where her father owned a trucking company. At 18, she enrolled at the University of Perugia with plans to study law.

To pay her tuition, Bellucci started modeling. Two years later, she dropped out of school to relocate to Milan, where she signed with Elite Model Management. Besides strutting the cat walk in fashion shows, Bellucci appeared in international advertising campaigns for designers such as Dolce & Gabbana.

With her modeling career in full swing, she began to take acting classes and made her screen debut in the television film Vita Coi Figli (Life With the Sons) in 1990.

Critics describe her as the perfect mix of naturally cute and sexy. Pouty lips, soft facial features, and big piercing eyes. She’s on the taller side but not supermodel tall, which makes her stand out but not too much.

Her body is voluptuous but her style is elegant. She could have easily played with sex appeal more but she is always seen as classy and elegant. Her image is also more natural and she never tried to appear perfect.

Her body is soft and sensual, like Sophia Loren’s pasta and wine body, and not super skinny and like the carefully crafted and edited Instagram body.

After acting in several Italian features, Bellucci graced American screens for the first time as one of Dracula’s (Gary Oldman) brides in Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), which also starred Keanu Reaves and Winona Ryder.

She subsequently returned to Italy to appear in the heist film I Mitici (The Heroes) (1994) and the children’s movie Palla di Neve (Snowball) (1995).

As time passed, Bellucci grew increasingly frustrated with the failure of Italy’s film industry to promote its projects abroad. She starred opposite Ben Kingsley and Dominique Sanda in the American television movie Joseph (1995), before looking for work in French films.

Bellucci made her French-language debut in 1996’s award-winning romance L’Appartement (The Apartment). She earned a César nomination for her performance in the role, as well as began dating her co-star, French actor Vincent Cassel.

The couple (who married a few years later) re-teamed onscreen immediately, portraying comically troubled lovers in the gender-bending romance Come Mi Vuoi (As You Want Me) (1996) and murderous bank robbers in Jan Kounen’s infamous thriller Dobermann (1997).

At 50, she became the oldest Bond girl ever in the James Bond film franchise, playing Lucia Sciarra in Spectre (2015). Three years later, she appeared in the Australian film Nekrotronic.

Bellucci married Italian photographer Claudio Carlos Basso in 1990; they divorced after 18 months. She met French actor Vincent Cassel on the set of their 1996 film The Apartment.

They married in 1999 and have two daughters, Deva (born 2004) and Léonie (born 2010). The couple announced their separation on 26 August 2013 and later divorced.

In the documentary movie The Big Question, about the film The Passion of the Christ, Bellucci stated: “I am an agnostic, even though I respect and am interested in all religions. If there’s something I believe in, it’s a mysterious energy; the one that fills the oceans during tides, the one that unites nature and beings.”

In 2009, Bellucci signed a petition in support of film director Roman Polanski, calling for his release from custody after he was detained in relation to his 1977 charge for drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl. Bellucci is fluent in Italian, French, and English.