Totò’s best-known song is ‘Malafemmena’, written in 1951, during a break between takes in the film ‘Totò terzo uomo’.
The song was an immediate success and was interpreted by several international artists. “Malafemmena” earned the sum of eight million that Totò paid to Diana Rogliani, his ex-wife, explaining to her that she was the main character in the song and therefore, in some way, the money he earned belonged to her more than it did to him. The reason that prompted Totò to write such a song was the promise broken by his wife. Although officially separated, they had promised to live in the same house until their daughter Liliana came of age. Rogliani, tired of her husband’s continuous escapades and, above all, tired of hearing from the magazines that Totò had fallen madly in love with another woman, a colleague of his, decided to abandon him, thus breaking the pact. The abandonment of his ex-wife, the estrangement of his daughter Liliana and the rejection of the woman he had fallen in love with plunged Totò into deep sorrow and from this complex situation he drew the inspiration for the lyrics of “Malafemmena”.