Lara Wendel
Daniela Barnes

(1965-03-29) 29 March 1965 (age 59)
Years active1972–1993

Lara Wendel (born Daniela Barnes; 29 March 1965) is a German former actress who was active in Italian cinema and television.

Life and career

Wendel is the daughter of German actress Britta Wendel and of the American football player and film actor Walt Barnes.[1] She made her debut at just four years old as a model for ads, and at the age of seven, she made her film debut in Tonino Valerii's giallo film My Dear Killer (1972).[2] She also appeared as Mario Adorf's daughter Rita in Manhunt (1972), directed by Fernando Di Leo, and as the young Silvia in The Perfume of the Lady in Black (1974), directed by Francesco Barilli.

Wendel had her first main role at 12 years old in the controversial erotic drama Maladolescenza (1977), which involved both nudity and simulated sex among preadolescents.[1][3] Later she appeared in other controversial films, characterized by plots involving incest and improper relations between adults and adolescents, such as La petite fille en velours bleu (Little Girl in Blue Velvet, 1978), Mimi (1979), and Desideria: la vita interiore [it] (1980).[1]

In the 1980s Wendel was mainly active in horror films, working with Dario Argento (Tenebrae, 1982), Lamberto Bava (Midnight Killer, 1986), Joe D'Amato (Killing Birds, 1988), and Umberto Lenzi (Ghosthouse, 1988) among others.[1] She was also in a number of art films, including Michelangelo Antonioni's Identification of a Woman (1982) and Federico Fellini's Intervista (1987).[1][4] She also appeared on television, notably playing a starring role in the second season of the TV-series La piovra.[1] Her last film was Mauro Bolognini's erotic drama Husband and Lovers (1991), and she retired at just 26 years old.[1]


Year Title Role Notes
1972 My Dear Killer Stefania Moroni
1972 The Italian Connection (Manhunt) Rita Canali Uncredited
1972 The Assassin of Rome Bambina tedesca Uncredited
1973 Redneck German Girl
1974 The Perfume of the Lady in Black Young Silvia
1977 Maladolescenza Laura
1978 La petite fille en velours bleu (Little Girl in Blue Velvet) Laura / Francesca's daughter
1979 Ernesto Ilio / Rachele (US: Emilio / Rachel)
1979 Mimi Mimmina
1979 Ring of Darkness [it] (Satan's Wife) Daria Rhodes
1980 Desideria: la vita interiore [it] Desideria II
1981 The Hawk and the Dove [it] Viva Montero
1982 Identification of a Woman Girl in swimming pool
1982 Tenebrae Maria Alboretto
1983 Vai alla grande [it] Karen
1985 Fatto su misura Lisa
1985 A me mi piace [it] Michela
1986 Midnight Killer Carol Terzi
1987 Intervista Bride
1985 Un'australiana a Roma [it] Susan
1988 Killing Birds Anne
1988 Ghosthouse Martha
1989 The Red Monks Ramona Icardi
1991 La villa del venerdì (Husband and Lovers) Louisa


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Lancia, Enrico; Melelli, Fabio (2005). Le straniere del nostro cinema (in Italian). Rome: Gremese. ISBN 978-88-8440-350-6.
  2. ^ Chiti, Roberto; Poppi, Roberto; Lancia, Enrico (1991). Dizionario del cinema italiano: I film (in Italian). Rome: Gremese. ISBN 978-88-7605-969-8.
  3. ^ Giusti, Marco (1999). Dizionario dei film italiani stracult (in Italian). Milan: Sperling & Kupfer. ISBN 978-88-200-2919-7.
  4. ^ Chiti, Roberto; Poppi, Roberto; Lancia, Enrico (2000). Dizionario del cinema italiano: I film (in Italian). Rome: Gremese. ISBN 978-88-7742-423-5.