January 30, 2014 / 11:50 AM / 5 years ago

Turkish stripper who inspired La Dolce Vita dies

Italian director frederico Fellini poses with his honorary Oscar presented for his life's work at the 65th Annual Academy Awards.

ROME (Reuters) - Aiche Nana, the Turkish belly dancer and stripper whose story inspired the late Italian director Federico Fellini to make his classic film La Dolce Vita, has died at the age of 78, her lawyer said.

Nana, whose real name was Kiash Nanah and who died on Wednesday night at a hospital in Rome, shot to fame when she performed a strip-tease at a restaurant in Rome in 1958.

The sequence was shot by Tazio Secchiaroli, the legendary street photographer who was the model for the character Paparazzo in the 1960 film that starred Anita Ekberg and Marcello Mastroianni.

Police raided the Rugantino restaurant while the party was still in progress and closed it for offending public morality, but Secchiaroli managed to get out with the roll of pictures of Nana stripping only to her underwear.

The photos created a scandal when they were published several days later, but Fellini seized on the episode as inspiration for a film he had been wanting to make about the idle, wealthy cafe society in Rome.

The Oscar-winning director re-created the strip scene in the film, with actress Nadia Gray playing Nana.

Nana went on to play small parts in several films by Italian directors, including a role in Story of Piera by Marco Ferreri in 1983.

Nana was one of the last major protagonists of Rome’s Dolce Vita years. Fellini, Mastroianni and Secchiaroli are all dead. Anita Ekberg is still alive, aged 82.

Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by Mark Trevelyan

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