Porn Legend Turned Politician Cicciolina

Hungarian-born porn legend Cicciolina hit headlines around the world when she became an elected politican in her adopted Italian homeplace. She had already become one of the best-known faces in the Euro porn scene during the 1980s, but her move into political discourse and knakc for grabbing headlines with outlandish policy pledges made her a household name.

She was born Anna Elena Ilona Staller (better known as Ilona) in Budapest, Hungary, on 26 November 1951. Italians took her to their hearts as the most successful import to its eighties and nineties porn heyday. Cicciolina continued to make porn films even after becoming an elected Italian member of parliament for the Radical Party. Her popular trademark became the delivery of political speeches with one breast exposed. She also hit the headlines by offering to have sex with Saddam Hussein in return for peace in Iraq.

Cicciolina also managed to carve herself a surprise career as a singer. Nearly all of her songs had explicit lyrics sung to popular children's melodies. Her biggest hit was the song "Muscolo Rosso", which was a tribute to "il cazzo", the Italian word for cock. It was filled with swear words and was banned in Italy. But it became a sleeper hit thanks to other countries, particularly France, where people rarely understood what she was actually singing about. The song later became a hit on the internet, where lots of Italian speakers heard it for the first time. Many of her other songs were used in soundtracks for her porn movies.

As Ilona Staller, Cicciolina also tried her hand at mainstream acting. She appeared in the 1994 film Replikator and, two years later, she nabbed a part in the Brazilian telenovela Xica da Silva. Her international fame was still healthy enough to see her become a contestant on the Argentine version of Strictly Come Dancing. Unfortunately, she had to retire after breaking a rib during rehearsals. She was still active in politics as late as 2014.

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