The one-time sex symbol was found dead at her home in the outskirts of Rome, Italy on Monday morning (22Jun15), and officials later determined she passed away after suffering a heart attack.

Born Laura Antonaz, she began her career as a model, appearing in Italian advertisements for Coca Cola. Her breakthrough acting performance came in 1966 with the cult comedy Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs, alongside Vincent Price and Fabian.

In the following years, she became known for her starring roles in Italian erotic films such as Il Merlo Maschio and The Senator Likes Women, The Divine Nymph, The Innocent, Passion of Love, and most famously Salvatore Sampieri's Malice, a role that earned her a Nastro d'Argento award in 1974.

Antonelli appeared in over 40 films and worked with Italian film greats such as Marcello Mastroianni, Luchino Visconti and Luigi Comencini.

In 1991, Atonelli was sentenced to prison after police raided her home and found cocaine. She was initially charged with drug possession and dealing and sentenced to three and a half years behind bars, but she was eventually acquitted in 2000.

After years of appealing the ruling, a judge at the Italian court of appeals ruled in favour of Antonelli in 2006 and she was handed $122,478 (£76,548) in damages.

She subsequently quit showbusiness and faced even more legal troubles when a botched cosmetic surgery left her face disfigured - she became embroiled in a lengthy court trial for damages. In recent years she sued her son and housekeeper for allegedly misappropriating her funds.