Johara (Valerie Racz)
Actress (London, 1967)
Born in London in 1967 of Indian father and Cameroonian mother, of Bamum people. Information available are taken by an article of La Stampa. She got a high school diploma in foreign languages, currently speaking, in addition to her mother language, also French, Italian, Spanish and Russian. She attended Accademia delle Belle Arti in Florence and for three years Bottega del Teatro supervised by Vittorio Gassman. Her first acting experiences were in theatrical productions like Ballo del manichino (Festival di Spoleto, 1983) and I misteri di Pietroburgo (taken by Dostoevskij, staged by Vittorio Gassman in Florence and Rome, 1987).
Notoriety came for Johara in 1987, when she was launched as a showgirl and singer by popular TV show Drive In (1987), and was back again with Lascia o raddoppia? (1989). In 1987 she recorded a 45 RPM (Black is Black), followed by another one year later (T’en va, t’en va pas), and in 1989 by Calypso e nuvole, theme song from the TV show Lascia o raddoppia?. In March 1988 gossip magazines covered widely her marriage. She appeared also in Italian Playboy (1987, 1988) and in Playmen (1991).
Her first role in a film production was for Claude D’Anna’s Salomè (1986), a co-production Italy/France. In 1987, in an interview on La Stampa, she announced the project of a biopic on Josephine Baker, with herself as Baker, Robert De Niro as Giuseppe “Pepito” Abatino and the direction of Alan Parker, but it was never to see the light. Later, she acted also in other film and TV series, notably the independent feature L’amico arabo (1992), filmed in Tunisia, where she played a double role. Her latest appearance was in Honoluly baby (2001).
After her success in TV Johara had some more experiences in theatrical productions, notably Il diavolo non può salvare il mondo (Piccolo Teatro, Milan, January 1992, theatrical adaptation of two short stories by Alberto Moravia, written by Dacia Maraini and staged by Gino Zampieri). In July 2005 Marco Mattolini staged Le sette chiavi delle Mille e una notte at Castello della Zisa, Catania, with texts by Johara Farley for Kals’Art Festival; in the same festival, she played in a production called Un mondo di fiabe, written by Marco Amato and staged by Marcello Chiarenza.
In her TV, film and theatrical productions she was credited with a thousand alias: Johara, of course, but also Johara Racz, Johara Valerie Racz, Johana Farley Jones, Valerie Racz, Valerie Johara, Johara Racz Farley.
Salomè di Oscar Wilde (Claude D’Anna, 1986, ff, act), La vita leggendaria di Ernest Hemingway (José María Sánchez, 1989, tvm, act), Pugni di rabbia (Claudio Risi, 1991, ff, act), L’amico arabo (Carmine Fornari, 1992, ff, act), Un commissario a Roma (s1e4. Samba) (Ignazio Agosta, 1993, tvs, act), Tre passi nel delitto: Cherchez la femme (Fabrizio Laurenti, tvm, 1993, act), L’avvocato Guerrieri: Testimone inconsapevole (Alberto Sironi, tvm, 2007, act), Miracolo italiano (Enrico Oldoini, 1994, ff, act), Honolulu Baby (Maurizio Nichetti, 2001, ff, act)
Frame taken from:
L’amico arabo. Dir. Carmine Fornari. Aleph Film, Casanova, 1992.
Contributors: Leonardo De Franceschi, with Isabella Fabrizi e Renata Ornella Orlando
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