The contest that year became a springboard for a pool of potential actresses, including the winner , Mangano and several other future stars of Italian cinema such as , and.
The following year, she became a contestant in the Miss Italia 1948.
Thereatfer, she signed a contract with Lux Film, and later married Dino De Laurentiis, who was on the verge of becoming a known producer.
She trained as a dancer for seven years under Zhia Ruskaya and was also supporting herself as a model.
Owing to her romantic relationship with actor Marcello Mastroianni, Mangano had her earliest connection with filmmaking.
She is the sister of one-time actresses Natascia Mangano and Patrizia Mangano.