ROME (AP) - Italian actress Mariangela Melato, known for her critically acclaimed performance as a spoiled socialite stranded with a sailor she had tormented in the 1974 film comedy "Swept Away," has died in a Rome hospital at age 71.
The Antea hospital said she died Friday. The LaPresse news agency said she was suffering from pancreatic cancer.
The blond actress had most success in a series of films in the 1970s directed by Italian Lina Wertmuller, including "The Seduction of Mimi" and "Love and Anarchy."
One of the most acclaimed was the role of a socialite who finds herself stranded with Giancarlo Giannini. Her role was played by Madonna in a 2002 remake.
Melato had less success in Hollywood roles, which included a supporting part in "Flash Gordon" in 1980.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)