Maria Venuti has carved out a unique and fascinating career as one of this country’s leading performers. Having as played in every major cabaret venue around Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Japan as well as entertaining our ‘boys’ in the Sinai Desert. How does one begin to describe this dynamic, remarkable and passionate singer and dedicated Charity Worker?
This Aussie showbiz icon was recently decorated as a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for her ‘services to the community as a fundraiser for Charitable Organizations, particularly those involved with medical research and as an entertainer”
Maria is “over the moon” at being the subject of Channel 9’s ‘This is Your Life ‘ paying tribute to her outstanding and interesting career and her years of charitable works. From starting in Television on Brian Henderson’s “Bandstand”, Graham Kennedy’s “IMT” then to the Don Lane Show, the Mike Walsh Show and Variety Italian Style.
Many well known stars paid homage to her incredible personality and talents; Rolf Harris declared Venuti a true character and talent of Australia, Barry Creyton and Noeline Brown called her a ‘National Treasure’, Bert Newton filmed a five minute tribute, Mike Walsh and many others on SBS’s top rating Logie (Australian Television Awards) nominated comedy series “PIZZA” is into it’s fifth series.
Maria’s popular character is also featured in the box office success, the movie “Fat Pizza” She starred as Bobo’s Mama and the Pizza shop owner, which required her to be fierce, feisty, volatile, bossy, explosive and physically violent i.e. a very mean Mama.
Of course Maria is a very loving Mama to her very successful daughter Bianca, who is working in Rome at Price Waterhouse Coopers. Maria’s catch cry being “where did I go right”!?
Venuti‘s acting ability has caught the eye of Producers both on Television, stage and feature films. Her critically acclaimed one woman Jazz Cabaret ‘Venuti’s Dates’ with her ability to encourage and pass on her knowledge to talented young performers in the Talent Development Project, her busy festive seasons performing her unique “Mama Claus Christmas Cabaret”.
Maria thrives on “Variety being the spice of life”, some of her proudest moments have been:
- Accepting the “Heart of Variety Award’, for her outstanding work with Variety the Children’s Charity
- Being asked to be an Australia Day Ambassador, and now in her 17th year!
- Honoured with numerous Entertainment Industry Awards.
Venuti being a vibrant and colourful character, she ‘has been painted more often than the Sydney Harbour Bridge’! Twice a subject for the prestigious Archibald Prize, by renowned artists Wynne Armstrong and Nafisa Naomi and most recently opened an exhibition of works by internationally acclaimed painter Eva Hannah, featuring to Maria’s surprise a vivacious, rubenesque depiction of the Entertainer herself, titled ‘Maria and The Girls’.
After a lifetime in show business Maria finds herself as busy as ever, her passion and vitality has never waned, singing being her first love … and her dynamic personality she says: Live for today and let life surprise me tomorrow.