Tina Scala

Last updated
Tina Scala
Agatina Carmen Maria Scoglio

(1935-07-16) July 16, 1935 (age 86)
Died(2022-01-10)January 10, 2022
OccupationModel, poet, singer, actress
Years active1955—2021
Relatives Gia Scala (sister)

Tina Scala (born July 16, 1935) is an Italian-Irish actress, model, singer and poet.


Early life

The daughter of an Italian father and an Irish mother, Scala's early life was one of privilege. As Agatina Carmen Maria Scoglio, she was born in Mili San Marco, Sicily, but became known as Tina.

At 17, she settled in Toronto, Ontario. In 1962, Scala began modeling fur coats in Toronto. When she heard that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was holding auditions, she applied, was accepted and began working in daytime television.


Scala studied acting at the Actors Studio, dancing at Luigi School of Dance with Eugene Louis Faccuito and voice with Gian Carlo Menotti. She made appearances on some radio shows and television shows. In 1961, she made her film debut in The Children's Hour .

On December 27, 1966, Scala was dressed in a mini-skirt when a photographer from the New York Daily News by chance snapped her picture as she was stepping over a snow bank when making her way through the snows in Central Park. That photo was published in The Saratogian and seen by many U.S. soldiers stationed in Vietnam. The newspaper received requests as to the identity of the mini-skirted young lady. When Scala discovered that the boys overseas liked her photograph, she posed in a two-piece bikini and became a pin-up. [1]

While Scala was working as a model and actress in New York City, her sister and her mother were living in Los Angeles, California. When her mother — a life-time smoker — became ill from lung cancer, Scala moved to Los Angeles to be near her family. She often accompanied her sister — actress Gia Scala — onto movie sets, where she had the opportunity to meet many famous movie stars. In an interview, she was asked, "Who was the first star you met?" She answered, "Audie Murphy ... his dressing room was next to Gia's and we could hear him talking to some girls and the girls were laughing loudly. When I met him he was very polite and personable." [2] Scala continued to work in film. A most remembered role is that of a woman in the laundromat in Midnight Cowboy (1969).

In 1972, Tina's sister Gia was found dead in her Hollywood Hills home. [3] Her death was ruled accidental. [4] [5] Gia Scala was interred next to their mother in the Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City. [6]

In 1976, Frank Cavestani interviewed Scala for his documentary Making It In Hollywood. [7] She was dressed as Cinderella from the wedding scene, and he asked her, "Which is easier, working in film or theater?" She replied, "Film. Because in theater there are no second takes. You have to get it right the first time."

Scala continues working in film and theater.


1966 Seconds Young Girl Dancing in the Wine VatUncredited
1969 Midnight Cowboy Laundromat Lady (New York)
1971How's Your Love Life?
1975 Capone Mrs. Torrio(final film role)

Related Research Articles

Debbie Reynolds American actress, singer and dancer (1932–2016)

Mary Frances "Debbie" Reynolds was an American actress, singer, and businesswoman. Her career spanned almost 70 years. She was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer for her portrayal of Helen Kane in the 1950 film Three Little Words. Her breakout role was her first leading role, as Kathy Selden in Singin' in the Rain (1952). Her other successes include The Affairs of Dobie Gillis (1953), Susan Slept Here (1954), Bundle of Joy, The Catered Affair, and Tammy and the Bachelor (1957), in which her performance of the song "Tammy" reached number one on the Billboard music charts. In 1959, she released her first pop music album, titled Debbie.

Julie Dash

Julie Ethel Dash is an American film director, writer and producer. Dash received her MFA in 1985 at the UCLA Film School and is one of the graduates and filmmakers known as the L.A. Rebellion. The L.A. Rebellion refers to the first African and African-American students who studied film at UCLA. After she had written and directed several shorts, her 1991 feature Daughters of the Dust became the first full-length film directed by an African-American woman to obtain general theatrical release in the United States.

<i>Gia</i> 1998 American biographical drama television film

Gia is a 1998 American biographical drama television film about the life and times of one of the first supermodels, Gia Carangi. The film stars Angelina Jolie as Gia and Faye Dunaway as Wilhelmina Cooper, with Mercedes Ruehl and Elizabeth Mitchell. It was directed by Michael Cristofer and written by Cristofer and Jay McInerney. The original music score was composed by Terence Blanchard.

Olympia Dukakis American actress (1931–2021)

Olympia Dukakis was an American actress. She performed in more than 130 stage productions, more than 60 films and in 50 television series. Best known as a screen actress, she started her career in theater. Not long after her arrival in New York City, she won an Obie Award for Best Actress in 1963 for her off-Broadway performance in Bertolt Brecht's Man Equals Man.

Maila Nurmi Finnish-American actress and television personality

Maila Elizabeth Niemi, known professionally as Maila Nurmi, was an American actress who created the campy 1950s’ character Vampira.

Juanita Moore American actress

Juanita Moore was an American film, television, and stage actress.

Joan Leslie American actress (1925–2015)

Joan Leslie was an American actress and vaudevillian, who during the Hollywood Golden Age, appeared in such films as High Sierra, Sergeant York, and Yankee Doodle Dandy.

Guy Madison American actor (1922–1996)

Guy Madison was an American film, television, and radio actor. He is best known for playing Wild Bill Hickok in the Western television series The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok from 1951 to 1958.

Gia Scala Actress and model

Gia Scala was an English born Italian-American actress and model.

June Vincent Actress

June Vincent was an American actress.

Madge Evans American actress

Madge Evans was an American stage and film actress. She began her career as a child performer and model.

Marge Champion American dancer, choreographer, and actress

Marjorie Celeste Champion was an American dancer and actress. At 14, she was hired as a dance model for Walt Disney Studios animated films. Later, she performed as an actress and dancer in film musicals, and in 1957 had a television show based on song and dance. She also did creative choreography for liturgy, and served as a dialogue and movement coach for the 1978 TV miniseries, The Awakening Land, set in the late 18th century in the Ohio Valley.

Joan Staley American model and actress (1940-2019)

Joan Staley was an American actress and model.

Rosemarie Bowe American actress

Rosemarie Bowe Stack was an American model, best known for her appearances in several films in the 1950s.

Britt Robertson American actress

Brittany Leanna Robertson is an American actress. She is known for her lead role in The First Time (2012), and has appeared in the films Tomorrowland (2015), The Space Between Us (2017), A Dog's Purpose (2017), and I Still Believe (2020).

Stephanie Courtney is an American actress and comedian, best known for playing the advertising character Flo in television and radio commercials for Progressive Corporation beginning in 2008.

Melinda Shankar Canadian actress

Melinda Leanna Shankar is a Canadian actress. She is best known for starring as Alli Bhandari in the television series Degrassi: The Next Generation (2008-2015) and as Indira "Indie" Mehta in the YTV series How To Be Indie (2009-2011), for which she won several awards, including a Canadian Screen Award in 2013.

Margaret Qualley American actress

Sarah Margaret Qualley is an American actress. The daughter of actress Andie MacDowell and Paul Qualley, she trained as a ballerina in her youth and briefly pursued a career in modeling. She made her acting debut with a minor role in the 2013 drama film Palo Alto, and gained recognition for playing a troubled teenager in the HBO television series The Leftovers (2014–2017).

JoAnn Dean Killingsworth, often credited professionally as JoAnn Dean, was an American actress, dancer and professional figure skater. Dean became the first person to portray Snow White at Disneyland upon the theme park's opening on July 17, 1955. Since Dean's debut in 1955, more than 100 actresses have played Snow White at Disneyland.

Diana Bellamy American actress (1943–2001)

Diana Alice Bellamy was an American character actress of stage, film, and television, during the 1980s and mid-2000s, who was often cast in both comedic and dramatic roles to great acclaim. Bellamy is known for her starring role as Head Nurse Maggie Poole in the NBC comedy 13 East, as Principal Cecilia Hall in Popular, and as Mrs. Pananides in Outbreak and Air Force One.


  1. "Miniskirt, Snow—Pinup" (PDF). fultonhistory.com. February 7, 1967. Retrieved 2019-09-26.
  2. Interview with writer Sterling Saint James January 2014
  3. "Gia Scala Is Dead; Film Actress, 38". The New York Times. 1972-05-02. p. 46.
  4. "The Private Life and Times of Gia Scala". glamourgirlsofthesilverscreen.com. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
  5. "Gia Scala" . Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  6. Crivello, Kirk (1990-01-01). Fallen Angels: The Lives and Untimely Deaths of 14 Hollywood Beauties. Berkley. p. 188. ISBN   0-425-11968-8.
  7. Says, Mary. "Media Burn Archive – [Making It In Hollywood raw #19]".