Photos with Mimi Aguglia
BiographyCatania, Sicily, Italy
Mimi Aguglia was born in Palermo, Sicily, on a theater stage in 1884, when her mother, Giuseppina Aguglia, a famous Sicilian actress, was playing Desdimona in William Shakespeare's "Othello". The newborn was named Giroloma in honor of her grandfather, but everyone called her by her nick name: Mimi. Before she was four years old, Mimi was singing and dancing as a warm-up act before her mother's dramatic performances. By age 16 she was given supporting roles and soon became a major leading lady. Read more... eloped. Together with her theatrical colleagues, Angelo Musco and Giovanni Grasso, the first Sicilian Theatrical Company was born, with Vincenzo as the producer. The company began touring Italy, performing plays in the Sicilian dialect and became so successful that they expanded their tour throughout Europe and played command performances before heads of state, including the Kings of Spain and England as well as the King of Croatia. Mimi became one of the leading theatrical divas of her time and enjoyed the company of such personages as international opera star Enrico Caruso and the inventor of the wireless telegraph (known more commonly as radio), Guglielmo Marconi. She then began to do plays in Spanish and English. Her international tours soon included the US, Canada and Central and South America. In Mexico her company's performance even created a cease-fire between revolutionary leader Pancho Villa's forces and federal troops during the Mexican revolution, so all could enjoy her performance. While in New York, writer Henry Miller saw her perform and included a multi-page glowing critique of her work in one of his major novels, "Plexus, the Rosy Cruisfixion". In 1945 Mimi became a naturalized American citizen and expanded her work to include motion pictures in the US, Italy and Mexico. She had three children, one of whom, Argentina Brunetti, became a leading American motion picture character actress and journalist. Mimi continued to work as a character actress into her 80s. In 1970 she died of a stroke at the Motion Picture Country Home in Woodland Hills, California.