Yugoslavian actress Sylva Koscina was born in Zagreb on August 22, 1933. World War II proved to be catastrophic in her home country, first with the invasion by Germany and later with the Russian invasion, culminating in about a million deaths. Koscina and her family fled to Italy following the end of the war. After winning some beauty contests as a teenager, she attended the University of Naples and worked as a fashion model before becoming an actress. Her first film was the Italian comedy Are We Men or Corporals? (1955; with Toto). Koscina had acted in a string of comedies when she was cast in the peplum adventure Hercules (1958; with Steve Reeves).

Sylva KoscinaSylva KoscinaSylva KoscinaSylva Koscina

Sylva Koscina often posed for cheesecake shots in the 1950s and 1960s

With the international success of Hercules, Koscina became a star. After returning for the sequel Hercules Unchained (1959; with Steve Reeves), she acted in such films as Jessica (1962; with Angie Dickinson and Maurice Chevalier), Agent 8 3/4 (1964; with Dirk Bogarde), Three Bites of the Apple (1967; with David McCallum and Tammy Grimes), and Hornets' Nest (1970; with Rock Hudson). Often appearing unclad in her later films, Koscina appeared nude in He and She (1969; with Laurence Harvey)and The House of Exorcism (1973; with Telly Savalas and Elke Sommer), among others.

the films of sylva koscina

Hercules (1958)

Sylva Koscina and Steve Reeves

With Steve Reeves on the set of Hercules

Love, the Italian Way (1960)

Sylva Koscina and Walter Chiari

From the romantic comedy Love, the Italian Way with Walter Chiari

Agent 8 3/4 (1964)

Sylva KoscinaDirk Bogarde and Sylva KoscinaDirk Bogarde and Sylva KoscinaDirk Bogarde and Sylva Koscina

From the spy comedy Agent 8 3/4. LEFT: Koscina as Vlasta Simoneva. CENTER and RIGHT: With Dirk Bogarde

Deadlier Than the Male (1966)

Sylva Koscina, Elke Sommer, and Nigel GreenSylva Koscina

From Universal's campy thriller Deadlier Than the Male. LEFT: Koscina and Elke Sommer are two of Nigel Green's beautiful but deadly hired hands. RIGHT: Koscina finds another male victim

Three Bites of the Apple (1967)

David McCallum and Sylva Koscina

With David McCallum in the bittersweet comedy Three Bites of the Apple, released by MGM

A Lovely Way to Die (1968)

Kirk Douglas and Sylva KoscinaKirk Douglas and Sylva Koscina

From the Universal crime picture A Lovely Way to Die with Kirk Douglas

Hornets' Nest (1970)

Sylva KoscinaSylva Koscina and Rock Hudson

From the Italian-made war drama Hornets' Nest. LEFT: As Bianca. RIGHT: With Rock Hudson

The Italian Connection (1972)

Sylva Koscina

From the crime flick The Italian Connection

Sunday Lovers (1980)

Sylva Koscina and Ugo Tognazzi

With Ugo Tognazzi in the comedy Sunday Lovers

later years

Sylva Koscina's film career slowed in the mid 1970s, and thereafter she appeared in films only on a sporadic basis. Koscina posed nude for Italian Playboy in 1975 at the age of 42, but the pictorial did not help her flagging film career. Spending lavishly during the earlier part of her career, she ran into cash flow problems in the mid 1970s, which necessitated selling her $2 million Italian villa that cost her $60,000 per year in upkeep alone. A Mexican marriage to producer Raimondo Castelli ended in 1971. Her last film role came in the 1994 release Kim Novak Is on the Phone. Koscina passed away in Rome on December 26, 1994, from heart problems (some sources cite breast cancer as the cause of death) at the age of 61. She left no immediate survivors.

sylva koscina dvds available from


Kim Novak Is on the Phone (1994)
Ricky and Barrabas (1992)
Una grande storia d'amore (1987) with John Phillip Law and Claudine Auger
Rimini Rimini (1987) with Laura Antonelli
Cinderella '80 (1983) with Adolfo Celi
Mani di fata (1983)
This and That (1983) with Nino Manfredi
Asso (1981)
Sunday Lovers (1980) with Roger Moore, Ugo Tognazzi, Gene Wilder, Lynn Redgrave, Priscilla Barnes, and Rossana Podesta
Some Like It Cool (1977) with Tony Curtis, Marisa Berenson, Marisa Mell, and Britt Ekland
Young Dracula (1975) with Rossano Brazzi, Moira Orfei, and Ciccio Ingrassia
Delitto d'autore (1974)
Las Correrias del Vizconde Arnau (1974) with Helga Line and Silvia Solar
The Student Connection (1973) with Ray Milland
Lisa and the Devil (1973) with Telly Savalas and Elke Sommer
My Pleasure Is Your Pleasure (1973) with Barbara Bouchet and Lionel Stander
African Story (1972) with Stephen Boyd
I predatori si muovono all'alba (1972) with Barbara Bach and Giacomo Rossi-Stuart
The Crimes of the Black Cat (1972) with Giacomo Rossi-Stuart
The Italian Connection (1972) with Henry Silva, Woody Strode, Adolfo Celi, Luciana Paluzzi, and Cyril Cusack
Beati i ricchi (1972)
So Sweet, So Dead (1972) with Farley Granger
Boccaccio (1972)
The Great Swindle (1972) with Stephen Boyd, Marisa Mell, Fernando Rey, and Massimo Serato
Skyriders Attack (1971) with Horst Buchholz
Homo Eroticus (1971) with Rossana Podesta
Trittico (1971) with Rossano Brazzi
The Modification (1970)
Hornets' Nest (1970) with Rock Hudson, Giacomo Rossi-Stuart, and Jacques Sernas
She and He (1969) with Laurence Harvey and Isa Miranda
The Battle of the River Neretva (1969) with Yul Brynner, Anthony Dawson, Curd Jurgens, Hardy Kruger, Franco Nero, and Orson Welles
Marquis De Sade's Justine (1969) with Klaus Kinski, Jack Palance, Akim Tamiroff, and Mercedes McCambridge
Vedo nudo (1969) with Nino Manfredi
The Protagonists (1968) with Pamela Tiffin
The Last Roman (1968) with Laurence Harvey, Orson Welles, Honor Blackman, and Lang Jeffries
A Lovely Way to Die (1968) with Kirk Douglas, Eli Wallach, Ralph Waite, Dana Elcar, and Dolph Sweet
The Secret War of Harry Frigg (1968) with Paul Newman, Andrew Duggan, Tom Bosley, Charles Gray, Vito Scotti, James Gregory, Norman Fell, and Buck Henry
Johnny Banco (1967) with Horst Buchholz
Three Bites of the Apple (1967) with David McCallum, Tammy Grimes, and Harvey Korman
Deadlier Than the Male (1966) with Richard Johnson, Elke Sommer, Nigel Green, Suzanna Leigh, and Virginia North
The Double Bed (1966) with Margaret Lee
An Ace and Four Queens (1966)
Monkey Money (1966)
Agent X-77 Orders to Kill (1966)
Made in Italy (1965) with Anna Magnani, Virna Lisi, Nino Manfredi, and Catherine Spaak
Me, Me, Me... and the Others (1965) with Gina Lollobrigida, Silvana Mangano, Vittorio De Sica, Nino Manfredi, and Marcello Mastroianni
The Dreamer (1965) with Anouk Aimee and Margaret Lee
I Soldi (1965) with Barbara Steele
Thrilling (1965)
Juliet of the Spirits (1965) written and directed by Federico Fellini
That Man in Istanbul (1965) with Horst Buchholz and Klaus Kinski
Guns for the Dictator (1965)
Corpse for the Lady (1964) with with Franco Franchi, Ciccio Ingrassia, and Rosalba Neri
Una storia di notte (1964) with Enzo Cerusico and Isa Miranda
The Circular Triangle (1964) with Lilli Palmer
Love and Marriage (1964)
Let's Talk About Women (1964)
Agent 8 3/4 (1964) with Dirk Bogarde, Robert Morley, and Noel Harrison
Love in Four Dimensions (1963)
Girl's Apartment (1963)
Cyrano et d'Artagnan (1963) with Jose Ferrer and Daliah Lavi
The Little Nuns (1963)
Judex (1963)
The Scapegoat (1963)
The Shortest Day (1962)
The Iron Mask (1962) with Claudine Auger
Three Fables of Love (1962) with Rossano Brazzi, Leslie Caron, and Hardy Kruger
Swordsman of Siena (1962) with Stewart Granger
Copacabana Palace (1962) with Mylene Demongeot
The Masseuses (1962)
Jessica (1962) with Angie Dickinson, Maurice Chevalier, and Agnes Moorehead
Siege of Syracuse (1962) with Rossano Brazzi and Tina Louise
Mariti in pericolo (1961)
Destination Fury (1961) with Eddie Constantine
...And Suddenly It's Murder! (1961)
Love, the Italian Way (1960) with Ugo Tognazzi, Elke Sommer, and Walter Chiari
I piaceri dello scapolo (1960)
Hercules' Pills (1960)
Blood Feud (1960)
Ravishing (1960)
The Traffic Policeman (1960)
Trapped by Fear (1960) with Jean-Paul Belmondo
La Cambiale (1959) with Vittorio Gassman, Ugo Tognazzi, and Giorgia Moll
Poor Millionaires (1959)
Uncle was a Vampire (1959) with Christopher Lee
Hercules Unchained (1959) with Steve Reeves and Sylvia Lopez
Herod the Great (1959) with Edmund Purdom and Sylvia Lopez
Ladro lui, ladra lei (1958)
La Nipote Sabella (1958)
Non sono piu Guaglione (1958)
Love on the Riviera (1958)
Toto in Paris (1958)
Toto in the Moon (1958)
Mogli pericolose (1958)
Le naif aux quarante enfants (1958)
Hercules (1958) with Steve Reeves and Luciana Paluzzi
I fidanzati della morte (1957)
The Mighty Crusaders (1957)
Young Husbands (1957)
The Railroad Man (1956)
Guendalina (1956)
Michael Strogoff (1956)
Are We Men or Corporals? (1955)

sylva koscina film now showing

Watch Sylva Koscina's 1959 film Hercules Unchained

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