Born in Santa Fiora, Grosseto (Italy). She studied dance and at a very early age began a career in the theatre with Carmelo Bene who cast her as Ophelia in his own personal adaptation of Hamlet before she was twenty. She made her debut in films in 1980 with Oggetti smarritti, by Giuseppe Bertolucci and a year later played Ricky Tognazzi’s ambiguous girlfriend in his brother Bernardo Bertolucci’s La tragedia di un uomo ridícolo. In the same year she had a daughter and met Nanni Moretti, who cast her as the object of his affections in Sogni d’oro and worked with her again three years later in Bianca. Elegant, sensitive, rigorous and passionate, Laura Morante established herself as one of the most interesting young Italian actresses, and was not only in demand with the most enterprising Italian directors, but was also sought after by various foreign filmmakers. In the mid eighties she moved to Paris where she was based while working in films in Italy, Spain and France: Alain Tanner in La vallée fantôme (1987), Gianni Amelio in I ragazzi di via Panisperna (1988), Gabriele Salvatores in Turné (1990) or Vicente Aranda in La mirada del otro (1998). As a highly versatile actress she didn’t hesitate to work with directors who were little-known or newcomers such as Paolo Virzì (Ferie d’agosto, 1996), Roberto Faenza (Marianna Ucrìa, 1997) or Cristina Comencini (Liberate i pesci!, 2000), which was made for television. Throughout this period she continued to work in the theatre where she performed Le relazione pericolose in a production by Mario Monicelli or Moi, by Benno Besson. In 2001 she worked again with Nanni Moretti in the award-winning film La stanza del figlio (Son’s Room), in the heart-rending role of a mother whose son dies. Her past as a dancer meant she was able to give a highly credible performance as Yolanda, the politically committed dance teacher, in The Dancer Upstairs, John Malkovich’s directorial debut. Michele Placido, Gabriele Muccino, Carlo Verdone, Chris Nahon y Angelo Longoni are the directors of her last few films.