Argentina Brunetti, the last adult surviving cast member of Frank Capra's Christmas classic It's a Wonderful Life, passed away Tuesday in Rome at the age of 98. Brunetti played Mrs. Martini in the film. During Brunetti's five-decade career she starred with many bygone stars including Dean Martin, Joan Fontaine and Desi Arnaz.
Brunetti (or someone representing her) left this comment recently at Cinematical, on Bob Sassone's 12 Days of Cinematicalmas post, "Best Christmas Movies":
Approaching my 99th year, I am the last surviving adult cast member of "It's a Wonderful Life," . When we filmed it in 1946, none of us had any idea that the film would would become a Christmas Classic, in fact, in it's original release, it actually lost money. I have many fond memories of making the movie and the several cast reunions held in the 1990s that I recount among many other hollywood stories in my bio novel, "In Sicilian Company" which can be ordered on amazon.com and at book stores across America. The book, like the movie, is all about love and the triumph over adversity. Its proceeds will go to childrens charities, so they too can have a wonderful life. Merry Christmas, Argentina Brunetti
Cinematical was trying to schedule an interview with Brunetti; unfortunately, she passed away before we could accomplish this. Ironically, Brunetti passed away December 20--the date It's a Wonderful Life was released in 1946.