Francesca Braggiotti

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Francesca Braggiotti

Birthplace: Italy
Death: Died in Andalusia, Spain
Place of Burial: Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Isidore Braggiotti and Lily Schlesinger Braggiotti
Wife of John Davis Lodge, Governor of Connecticut
Mother of Lily Lodge and <private> de Oyarzabal (Lodge)
Sister of Gloria Etting and D. Chadwick Braggiotti

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Immediate Family

About Francesca Braggiotti

Francesca Braggiotti (17 October 1902 – 25 February 1998) was an Italian dancer, actress and dubber.


Francesca Braggiotti was born in Florence, her father was an Italian tenor, born in Smyrna; her mother was an American mezzo-soprano from Boston. Both her parents were converted to Buddhism; she was the second of eight brothers and sisters, all destined for success in the arts.

She began her career as a dancer, forming the Braggiotti Sisters, a duo with her sister Berthe. The duo was an overwhelming success in Boston after World War I. Writer Alden Hatch wrote: "Two polyglot strikingly attractive and talented sisters, call Berthe and Francesca Braggiotti, were the biggest event of the Bostonian Society since Jack Gardner smoked a cigarette in public and built Fenway Court ".

Francesca and her sister Berthe opened a dance studio above the barracks of the Brookline Fire Department. For a public performance sponsored by the exclusive Vincent Club, the Mayor was asked about the limits of public decency, as he had authorized their costumes for some artistic purposes, although too small to be admitted to a public beach.

The poet Amy Lowell was so enchanted that she composed an ode in honor of Francesca. Isabella Stewart Gardner asked them to a private performance at Fenway Court. The dance school of Braggiotti Sisters, as well as being the most expensive and requested, first introduced dance Expressionist movement in Boston and a new vision of health and beauty.

After the untimely death of her elder sister (1928) Francesca went to work in cinema and began dubbing in Italy. She starred in Rasputin and the Empress (1932), Little Women (1932), Scipio Africanus: The Defeat of Hannibal (1937), Stanotte alle undici (1937).

She was the first Italian voice of Greta Garbo and talk the first bar dubbed in Italian film history: "Give me a cigarette!" in the movie Mata Hari by George Fitzmaurice. She also dubbed the Swedish actress in: Inspiration (Yvonne), Susan Lenox (Her Fall and Rise), Grand Hotel (Grusinskaya), As You Desire Me (Zadar / Countess Maria Varelli).

Francesca married John Davis Lodge in 1929, and worked with him on the set of Stanotte alle undici. After her husband’s entry into politics, she withdrew from artistic life; he was a Republican politician, governor of Connecticut from 1951 to 1955 and diplomatic ambassador to Spain, Argentina and Switzerland.


Actress. She was an Italian lead actress who was hired by MGM Studios to dub Greta Garbo's voice into Italian when Garbo's films were released to the Italian market. She and her husband, American actor John Lodge, appeared together in the 1937 production of "Tonight at Eleven". They retired from acting when he entered politics and was elected to Congress from Connecticut in 1946. He was elected as a Republican Governor of Connecticut in 1950 and she would serve as First Lady of Connecticut for the next four years. Always a patron of the arts, she was a founding member of the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Connecticut. Following his term as governor, she accompanied him on his diplomatic missions as United States Ambassador to Spain, Argentina, Switzerland. Upon retirement, they resided in Connectict and Spain. (bio by: Garver Graver)

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Francesca Braggiotti's Timeline

October 17, 1902
April 12, 1932
Age 29
February 25, 1998
Age 95
Andalusia, Spain
Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, United States