Raffaella Carrà, icon of Italian TV and music, dies at 78

A beloved singer and actress, she is widely regarded as a gay icon who revolutionised entertainment

Photo: RAI
Photo: RAI

Italian TV and music icon Raffaella Carrà has died at the age of 78, her partner announced on Monday. 

"Raffaella has left us. She has gone to a better world, where her humanity, her unmistakable laugh and her extraordinary talent will shine forever," her partner Sergio Iapino said.

Carrà was born in Rimini on June 18, 1943. Her career started at the tender age of nine, eventually rising to fame in Italy and beyond. 

Between 1960 and 1970, Carrà starred in dozens of films, even acting alongside Frank Sinatra in the 1965 film Von Ryan's Express.

In 1970, she appeared on the Italian musical variety show Canzonissima, having performed the theme song Chissà se Va.

This propelled her further into the public limelight.

Her 1980s show Pronto, Raffaella? saw impressive ratings, and went on to become the presenter of Domenica In on Rai.

Having found considerable popularity in Spain, Carrà hosted ¡Hola Raffaella! for Spanish television.

Carrà's career continued well into the late 1990s and throughout the 2000s, having presented Carramba! Che Fortuna and Segreti e... bugie.

Her latest television endeavour was on the Rai Tre show A Raccontare Comincia Tu. She remained as host of the programme until last year.