In 1969 Di Folco had to deliver a letter to the Cinecitta film studios, where he was spotted by director Frederico Fellini and given a part in Fellini Satyricon. From then till 1980 Di Folca appeared in several more Fellini films, and even more films by other directors. He was credited as Marcello Di Falco (actually the originally spelling of the family name).
|Cross-acting as the Prince in Amarcord, 1973|
In 1980 Di Folco did what she had wanted for many years and had transgender surgery with Dr Burou in Casablanca. On return Marcella worked as an intercontinental operator for Italcable.
In 1994 MIT opened in Bologna the world's first gender identity clinic managed by transsexuals. In 2000 she persuaded the Equal Opportunities Minister to set up a Gender Identity Commission.
In 2001 she was a Girasole (Sunflower, ie Green) list candidate. In 2004 she was Communist candidate for the European Parliament and for the Provincial Council of Bologna. In 2006 she was a Green Candidate for the Senate.
Marcella died aged 67 of a tumour.
A Bologna street has been named in her honour.
- "È morta Marcella Di Folco. Il principe di «Amarcord», icona dei trans: Scoperta da Fellini, che la rese indimenticabile nella scena della Gradisca. Attivista politica, fu la prima consigliere comunale transessuale". Corriere di Bologna, 07 settembre 2010. http://corrieredibologna.corriere.it/bologna/notizie/cronaca/2010/7-settembre-2010/morta-marcella-folco-principe-amarcord-icona-trans--1703715074389.shtml
- "R.I.P. Marcella Di Folco". The Wild Eye, September 9, 2010. www.thewildeye.co.uk/blog/latest-news/r-i-p-marcella-di-folco.
- "In ricordo di Marcella di Folco: Auguri Marcella!". LaMetamorfosi. www.lametamorfosiftm.com/2011/03/in-ricordo-di-marcella-di-folco-auguri.html.
- "Sel e Pd: 'A Bologna una via dedicata a Marcella di Folco'". gay.it, 7 Settembre 2011. www.gay.it/channel/attualita/32376/Sel-e-Pd-A-Bologna-una-via-dedicata-a-Marcella-di-Folco.html.
The Italian sites claim that Marcella was the first open trans person elected to a city council. Not to diminish her achievement, but Rachel Webb was elected to Lambeth Council in 1986, and Mark Rees to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council in 1994.
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