Sophia Loren – bright star
Sophia Loren is an Italian actress and singer. Her acting career has covered over 50 years and more than 100 films. She is a winner of all major film festivals – Cannes (1961), Venice (1958, 1998, 2002), Moscow (1965, 1997), Berlin (1994). The actress is a winner of five Golden Globe awards and the first winner of Oscar for best actress in a foreign language movie (1962).
Sofia Villani Scicolone (her real name) was born on September 20, 1934 in Rome. She was the illegitimate child of Romilda Villani and Riccardo Scicolone. Shortly after her birth the family moved to a small fishing town of Pozzuoli, near Naples, where the girl spent her childhood and youth. Her mother, Sofia, and eventually her sister Maria, lived with her maternal grandparents, aunts and uncles in a two room apartment. At the age of 14 she won the local beauty contest after which the family moved to Rome. In 1950, Sophia participated in Miss Italy contest and received Miss Elegance prize. Soon Sophia met producer and her future husband Carlo Ponti, who was twenty-two years older than her. Ponti was married and it was very difficult to get a divorce for a Catholic. So, Carlo and Sophia secretly married in Mexico. Over time, when he finally got the long-awaited divorce, he remarried Sophia on April 9, 1966. Initially, the actress starred under the name Sofia Lazarro, but in 1953 she became Loren. In the early 1960s, Carlo Ponti bought all erotic movies with young Loren, in order to avoid an international scandal.
By the mid-1950s, Sophia became a star and sex symbol of Italy. Her first movie released outside Italy was Attila (1954) with Anthony Quinn.
Almost all of the most important roles Sophia played in the films by film director Vittorio De Sica – La Ciociara with Jean-Paul Belmondo (1961, prize at the Cannes Film Festival and Oscar for Best Actress), Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1963), Marriage Italian Style (1964, Moscow Festival award), Sunflower (1970). In the last three films her partner was Marcello Mastroianni with whom she made one of the most famous duos in the history of cinema.
One of her first Hollywood movies was The Pride and the Passion with Frank Sinatra and Cary Grant (1957).
For the western Heller in Pink Tights (1960) the actress dyed blonde. Loren was one of the first in the world who received fee of one million dollars for the failed saga The Fall of the Roman Empire. In 1967, she played a Russian prostitute in A Countess from Hong Kong the last film of the great Charlie Chaplin.
For fifteen years (1957-1972), Loren worked with almost all the most popular actors and sex symbol of Hollywood: Anthony Perkins (Desire Under the Elms, 1958), Anthony Quinn (Black Orchid, 1958), Clark Gable (It started in Naples, 1960), Peter Sellers (Millionaires, 1961), Charlton Heston (El Cid, 1961), Alec Guinness (The Fall of the Roman Empire, 1964), Paul Newman (Lady L, 1965), Gregory Peck (Arabesque, 1966), Marlon Brando (A Countess from Hong Kong, 1967), Peter O’Toole (Man of La Mancha, 1972), Richard Burton (The Voyage, 1974) and Jean Gabin (The Verdict, 1974).
In 1994, she appeared for the last time with Mastroianni in Robert Altman’s High Fashion, and in 1996 played with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau in the American comedy Grumpier Old Men.
Entertainment Weekly selected her as one of The 100 Greatest Movie Stars of All Time in 1996. Sophia is the owner of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In 2002, she starred in the film Between Strangers by her son Edoardo Ponti.
One of her last major film roles was in the musical Nine released in 2009. In this film shine modern stars – from Marion Cotillard to Nicole Kidman, as well as Judi Dench. And in the biographical TV movie of 2011, My House Is Full of Mirrors Sophia played her mother.
In 2014, Damiani (Jewelry Company) released a collection Sophia Loren.
While Loren enjoyed a successful career, she also attempted to become pregnant. She suffered two miscarriages after which she underwent a series of tests.
On December 28, 1968 Loren gave birth to her first son Carlo Ponti Jr. and five years later on January 1, 1973 her second son Edoardo Ponti was born.
In 1979-1980 Sophia published an autobiographical book and produced a TV movie based on it.
In subsequent years, she wrote another book of memoirs and founded a series of perfume.
In 2007, 72-year-old actress starred for the famous calendar Pirelli.