OGGI Cover - 1968
Presumably, in the early part of 1968, Catherine was busy working with Johnny Dorelli on a production of Le vedova allegra (The Merry Widow), which was aired in mid-March by RAI TV in Italy as part of a series of operas. It was a ratings success.
- The March 20, 1968 Variety reported: "After postponement of 'Operetta '68' at the time of the Sicilian earthquake, RAI-TV finally launched it last week with "The Merry Widow," starring Catherine Spaak and Johnny Dorelli."
- The June 26, 1968 Variety reported: "'The Merry Widow,' an updated lyric version starring Catherine Spaak in the title role, was highlight of the operetta series, averaging 16,800,000 viewers and 73% audience approval for the two-part show."
Catherine changed record labels in 1968, going from Dischi Ricordi to DET. Two new singles were released in Italy by DET in 1968: Vilja/Tace il labbro (from La vedova allegra) and Igor e Natacha/Un giorno. I do not yet have information on exactly when those records were released or how they did on the charts.
According to the March 6, 1968 Variety, on March 5, Catherine was one of the celebrity attendees at a carnival dinner gala of the Film Press Consortium, which was held at the Cavalieri Hilton in Rome.
In the spring, there were reports that Catherine was going to appear in a film produced from a script by her father, Charles Spaak, but something must have happened to derail the project.
- The April 24, 1968 Variety reported: "Screenwriter Charles Spaak completed a script "Every Day is a Gift" and daughter Catherine Spaak will appear in it later this year under the direction of Pasquele Festa Campanile."
Catherine began work on La matriarca in May of 1968.
- The May 8, 1968 Variety included a full-page ad from Euro International Films announcing the start of production on "The Matriarch."
- The July 10, 1968 Variety reported: "Giorgio Agliani of Five Films is producing Damiano Damiani's 'A Rather Complicated Girl' (once 'Rear Drive') for Filmena and Fono Roma."
- The July 17, 1968 Variety reported: "Maria Cuadra came in from Madrid to join Catherine Spaak and Jean Sorel in 'A Rather Complicated Girl'."
- The July 17, 1968 Variety reported: "'IF ITS TUESDAY, THIS MUST BE BELGIUM' (Wolper Pictures Ltd.) Prods.-David L. Wolper, Stan Margulies Dir.-Mel Stuart Suzanne Pleshette, Ian McShane, Marty Ingets, Mildred Natwick, Michael Constantine, (Started July 1 in Europe).
- The September 18, 1968 Variety reported: "'If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium,' shooting in Europe. Suzanne Pleshette and Ian McShane topline."
- The October 23, 1968 Variety reported: "Stuart recently wound 'If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium'."
By November of 1968, Catherine was appearing on stage in Milan with Johnny Dorelli in a successful play called Aspettando Jo (aka Waiting for Joe).
- The November 27, 1968 Variety reported: "Also on the comedy click list are 'Life With Father,' staged by Sandro Bolchi, and the Catherine Spaak-Johnny Dorelli play, 'Waiting for Joe,' the latter the B.O. champ in Milan."
Here are a poster, a program, and various photos associated with Waiting for Joe; several of the photos show stage rehearsals and Catherine modeling various costumes for the production:
Here are some pictures of Catherine in makeup, probably in 1968 for Waiting for Joe, but I have not been able to confirm that:
La matriarca was released on Italy on December 23, 1968.
Here are some modeling photos that appear to be from about 1968:
Some more modeling pictures, apparently from 1968 (modeling costumes from Waiting for Joe):
This picture was included as a centerfold poster in the July 4, 1968 edition of CineRevue:
Here are magazines from 1968: