Italian actress film star Gina Lollobrigida who rose to fame in 1950’s dies at the age of 95.
Gina Lollobrigida, an Italian actress who rose to prominence in European cinema in the 1950s and 1960s, has passed away at the age of 95.
Her films include Crossed Swords, Beat the Devil, and the Hunchback of Notre Dame, and she was frequently referred to as “the most beautiful woman in the world.”
She shared roles with actors like Humphrey Bogart, Rock Hudson, Errol Flynn, and Frank Sinatra.
In the 1960s, she switched careers to politics and photography.
She was known as “La Lollo,” and Bogart said that she “made Marilyn Monroe look like Shirley Temple.” She was one of the last icons of the golden age of film.
She received numerous marriage proposals from movie mogul Howard Hughes. She enjoyed a rivalry with fellow Italian actress Sophia Loren off-camera.
A statement stated that Loren was “very shocked and saddened” by her former rival’s death.
On Twitter, Gennaro Sangiuliano, minister of culture, wrote: Say goodbye to a silver screen goddess and protagonist of Italian cinema’s history for more than 50 years. Her enchantment will never fade.”
According to Giulia Citani, her former attorney, Lollobrigida passed away in a Rome clinic.
Life story with a lot of color Luigina Lollobrigida was born on July 4, 1927. Gina, the daughter of a furniture manufacturer, studied sculpture at Rome’s Academy of Fine Arts after avoiding bombing raids during the war.
She was offered an audition by a talent scout at Cinecitta, which was at the time Europe’s largest film studio and Italy’s thriving “Hollywood on the Tiber.”
Lollobrigida didn’t like it. “When they offered me my first role, I turned it down,” she recalled. As a result, they promised to pay me a thousand lire. I thought telling them my price was one million lire would end the whole thing. However, they agreed!”
She finished third in the Miss Italia beauty pageant in 1947, which launched numerous notable careers. She got married to a doctor from Slovenia named Milko Skofic two years later.
Skofic took some publicity pictures of his new wife, who is still relatively unknown, wearing a bikini. The richest man in the world stood up in Hollywood, six thousand miles away.
Hughes had just taken control of a major studio and was in love with it. He was more than 20 years older than Lollobrigida and was famous for having affairs with Marlene Dietrich, Rita Hayworth, and Ava Gardner, three of the most beautiful women of the time.
He provided a screen test and located Lollobrigida. She agreed, hoping that her husband would accompany her to the United States. Only one of the tickets Hughes had promised showed up on departure day.
At the airport, Hughes had divorce lawyers waiting for him. She was placed in a posh hotel, provided with a secretary and chauffeur, and presented with numerous proposals.
Everything was prepared by him. Even the screen test ended up being a scene about a marriage ending.
The journey spanned close to three months. She saw him every day and had to stop pass after pass. They frequently ate in the back of his car or at a cheap restaurant in order to avoid the media.
Lollobrigida said she liked the attention, even though the behavior was clearly abusive. She later recalled, “He was very tall and very interesting.” significantly more fascinating than my husband.”
Hughes offered her a seven-year contract before she left for Rome. Any other US studio would have had a very difficult time hiring her as a result. She continued, “I signed it because I wanted to go home.”
Hughes persevered. His attorneys pursued her all the way to the Algerian desert, where she was filming. Her ten-year obsession was understood by her husband. He even played tennis with lawyers.
Stardom Gina worked in France and Italy to make films like The Wayward Wife and Bread, Love, and Dreams instead of going to Hollywood.
Her first film in English, starring alongside Bogart in John Huston’s Beat the Devil, was shot on the Amalfi Coast. It marked the beginning of a string of leading roles with the most affluent men in the world.
Flynn was the one in Crossed Swords; Antony Quinn, from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. When 60,000 people came to greet her in Argentina, she realized that she was famous all over the world. They included Juan Peron, the dashing president of the nation.
She received awards for her role as an orphan in Beautiful But Dangerous, which starred Vittorio Gassman, one of Italy’s finest actors. She co-starred with Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis in the film Trapeze as a manipulative circus performer.
Never So Few, a wartime romance shot in Myanmar and Thailand, starred Sinatra, whom she disliked. He wore a shirt when she complained because he was late to the set. She stated, “zero sense of humor.”
Additionally, her subsequent endeavor was marred by misfortune. When her co-star Tyrone Power suffered a heart attack while filming a sword fight in Madrid, two-thirds of Solomon and Sheba had already been shot.
According to one version, Power passed away while riding in Lollobrigida’s car on the way to the hospital. Another suggests that he died in his dressing room and was “walked” out of the studio, his jaw held in place by a scarf.
Regardless of the truth, Yul Brynner was used to reshoot Power’s scenes. The film shocked Hollywood in the late 1950s with a gory scene, even though everyone was dressed up.
Rock Hudson and Sophia Loren She moved to Canada in 1960 for lower taxes and the assurance of her Yugoslav husband’s legal status. It was hailed as “the most fetching argument ever advanced for liberal immigration policies” by one publication.
Despite the slowdown in her film career, she still had time to work with her favorite actor: Hudson Rock.
In the romantic comedies Come September and Strange Bedfellows, they appeared together.
Hudson’s failure to make a pass came as a surprise after a lifetime of fighting Hughes and the majority of Hollywood’s elite.
She told a reporter, “I knew right away that Rock Hudson was gay, when he did not fall in love with me.”
The feud she was having with Loren was going well. Loren had claimed that she was “bustier” than Lollobrigida, a claim that was supported by her husband, the film producer Carlo Ponti.
Gina responded by stating that Sophia could only play peasants. She said, “We are as distinct as a fine racehorse and a goat.”
The end of Lollobrigida’s marriage was sealed by her brief affair with heart transplant pioneer Christian Barnard. She took advantage of the fact that divorce in Italy had recently become legal.
She stated, “A woman at 20 is like ice.” She is welcoming at 30. She is hot at 40. We are ascending as men are descending. She had a lot of admirers, no doubt.
In spite of the fact that he was married to Grace Kelly, Prince Rainier of Monaco was one. She asserted, “He would make passes at me in front of her, in their home.” I clearly said no!”
In 1972, she appeared in her final major film alongside David Niven in King, Queen, Knave. On set, there were temper tantrums, and the production was halted three times due to unidentified “eye problems.”
Lollobrigida appeared in a few American television series, including Love Boat and Falcon’s Crest, but she then reinvented herself as an artist.
Castro and court cases This was not a vanity project for an elderly film star. Lollobrigida was excellent.
She went undercover to take photographs of her home country of Italy that won awards and saw her enormous marble and bronze sculptures entered at an international expo in Seville.
With a rare photoshoot and interview with Fidel Castro, the leader of Cuba, she stunned the world.
She stated, “We were together for twelve days.” I was drawn to him as a man rather than as a political leader. I was readily accepted because he realized I wasn’t there to harm him.
There was work for the United Nations and Unicef, as well as an unsuccessful bid for the European Parliament. She continued to be involved in politics; the year before, she ran unsuccessfully for the Italian Senate.
Younger men The “most beautiful woman in the world” never found her true love.
She stated, “My experience has been that, when I have found the right person, he has fled from me.” They don’t want to be in your shadow; important men want to be the star.”
She met Javier Rigau y Rafols, a charming Spaniard 34 years younger, tragically. In 2006, they made their engagement public, but they soon called it off due to the frantic attention from the media.
However, Rigau allegedly used an imposter to portray Lollobrigida and carried out the wedding. Her account says that she only found out about her marriage by accident when she found documents online.
She filed a lawsuit; Rigau provided evidence. He insisted that Lollobrigida had granted a power of attorney and had agreed to marry him through a proxy.
She lost the subsequent court case, but with the blessing of the Pope, the marriage was annulled in 2019.
Milko, Lollobrigida’s son, had asked for control of his mother’s business dealings, so the two of them went to court again. It was believed that the act was prompted by her new relationship with a handsome 20-year-old man. She is now in her 80s.
She turned into a recluse in later life. However, she would occasionally hold court at her enormous villa on Rome’s ancient Appian Way, complete with a flock of white storks. To meet with visiting journalists and her young lover, she would gracefully descend her magnificent staircase, which was adorned with emeralds. It was a live version of Sunset Boulevard.
She used to say, “I am only a film star,” sounding like Norma Desmond, “because the public wanted me to be one.”
Gina Lollobrigida lived to a point in her life when it is difficult to recall her glory days as a member of Hollywood royalty in the 1950s and 1960s. Today, only a few of her films are considered classics.
She was, nonetheless, one of the greats of her time. Her life story was just as exotic as her roles.
She also stated that the maxim by which she lived was straightforward: We are all created equal. The intensity with which we choose to live makes the difference.