From PEOPLE Magazine Click to enlarge
"Beauty is not something you can prepare for like being a doctor," she says. "You have to be chosen for it, and there is a lot of luck." Chosen would seem to be the word for the daughter of Ingrid Bergman and Italian director Roberto Rossellini. But at 13, the former "chubby child" was suddenly stricken with scoliosis, a curvature of the spine that in her severe case required several rounds of surgery (her divorced parents attended her night and day). Excruciating therapy followed, and she spent nearly a year flat on her back in a body cast. "You realize that health is what beauty really is," says Rossellini, who emerged from the experience as from a chrysalis. "When I got over that, I was told I was very pretty, and boys all of a sudden started courting me. Naturally I was flattered, but I was worried about my intelligence more than my looks." This was a parental legacy. "I think they were so concerned that we were going to be hooked into it—especially me and my brother, Roberto, he was so handsome—that especially my father kept always telling us how this didn't count." Today Rossellini (whose five-year relationship with director David Lynch ended last year) is analytical about her appearance. "I do think I look like my mother," says Lancôme's $4 million woman. "My mouth is very similar, and I have a round face. I don't have my father's nose, but there is an Italian trait to it. It's not a short, WASPy nose. My eyes are deeper in color. They aren't blue but hazel. I do think I have a very strong Latin quality. The Swedish models are sort of shy and reserved, and I have an aggressive face. I have my father in me."