Maria Venuti AM is a showbiz legend who, for a staggering half century, has wowed audiences in Australia and around the world - she is one of Australias most beloved entertainers.
Its hard to miss Maria Venuti when shes dressed to thrill for a show, a day at the races or a charity event. Always larger than life, she has occasionally outraged, sometimes shocked and frequently delighted those whose lives she has touched and inspired by her boundless energy. But Maria is not just a curvaceous bella donna with a mischievous sense of the saucy. With Maria, what you see is what you get a doting mother, a loving daughter, a compelling actress and a soulful singer and all of this with a tireless commitment to charity that has seen her honoured as a Member of the Order of Australia. Her enthralling story begins in the Mediterranean and moves to the back streets of the inner city of Sydney, through the Bohemian dives of Kings Cross in the fifties, the Asian entertainment circuit in the sixties, into TV, clubs, theatre and films. She continues to surprise us right up to the present day. Along the way Maria has encountered many intriguing people from gangsters to tycoons and high-profile faces. She has been smooched in Rome, courted in Cairo and seduced in New York, by a slew of lovers who have been both shaken and stirred by her. This is Marias story, told with her natural vibrancy and honesty. While it might be the story of an Australian showbiz icon, it is also a fascinating glimpse into a vibrant time in Australias past.