With her dark, sultry looks, Laura Morante certainly fit the mold of an Italian screen siren, but in an industry where equality can be hard to come by, Morante strove to be a strong role model for female actors and directors in Italy, and her efforts paid off over a long career in the cinema. Born on August 21, 1956 in Santa Fiora, Italy, Morante came from a large family of nine siblings. Her father was a magistrate, and her aunt was acclaimed novelist Elsa Morante. Morante first started off as a dancer, then moved on to theater, where she began acting. Morante debuted on television in "Amleto di Carmelo Bene (da Shakespeare a Loforgure)" (1978) where she played Ofelia. She then made her feature debut in "Lost and Found" (1980), which was directed by Giuseppe Bertolucci, the brother of renowned Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci. This led to Morante working with Bernardo on "Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man" (1981). Morante continued to work regularly in her native land and in France, where she was also very well known. In addition to her big screen work, Morante starred in a TV version of "Richard III," "Riccardo III (da Shakespeare) secondo Carmelo Bene" (1981), as well as the small-screen artist biopic "Goya" (1985). Moving into the new millennium, Morante put in acclaimed performances in "The Son's Room" (2001), which won the prestigious Palme d'Or, and "The Dancer Upstairs" (2002), which was directed by John Malkovich. For the Italian dub of "The Incredibles" (2004), Morante provided the voice of Helen Parr, aka Elastigirl. Morante made her writing / directing debut with "Cherry on the Cake"(2012), which she also starred in. "Cake" was a romantic comedy where Morante turned to Freudian psychology, as well as the <i>Peanuts</i> comic strips, for inspiration. Morante drew on the character of Lucy Van Pelt for her role in the film.