Born Jan. 29, 1822, in Cividale del Friuli; died Oct. 8, 1906, in Turin. Italian actress.
Ristori was born into a family of actors and acted on the stage from her earliest years. Her professional career began in 1837. She appeared mainly in comedies, and her best roles were Mirandolina in Goldoni’s La locandiera and the title role in his Pamela. Ristori’s performance in the title role of Schiller’s Maria Stuart initiated the full development of her talent. She was outstanding in the roles of strong, rebellious women who went down to defeat but whose spirit remained unbroken, including the title roles in Pellico’s Francesca da Rimini, Giacometti’s Judith, and Legouvé’s Medea and Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
Ristori affirmed the traditions of the heroic manner of acting on the Italian stage and was the first performer to win world recognition for the Italian theater. Between 1856 and 1885 she toured the United States and Europe, visiting Russia in 1860 and 1861. Ristori wrote Memoirs and Artistic Studies (1888; Russian translation, 1904).