Gina Lollobrigida dies at 95

One of the last icons of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida, has died at the age of 95.

Bringing much-needed glamor and zest to the post-war era, she moved hearts, whether she was an on-screen gypsy, a queen, or a single mother.


Humphrey Bogart, with whom she starred in her breakthrough film Defeat the Devil in 1953, said that Lollobrigida made “Marilyn Monroe look like Shirley Temple”.

Best known for Luigi Comencini’s 1953 classic Bread, Love and Dreams and Jean Delanois’s 1956 The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Lollobrigida starred with many of the leading men of the day, including Errol Flynn and Burt Lancaster.

While she “had a crazy good time” with the playful Bogart, not all of the shoots were as fun.


Her Never So Few wartime co-star Frank Sinatra had “zero sense of humor,” she told Variety in 2018 when she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


Luigia “Gina” Lollobrigida was born on July 4, 1927 in Subiaco, a mountain village 50 kilometers east of Rome.

She began studying sculpture after her family moved to the capital, earning a living by singing and modeling before gaining the attention of Italian film producers.


She said that her entry into acting was an accident.

“I turned it down when I was offered my first role. They insisted again… So I told them that my price was one million lire, thinking that this would put an end to all this. But they said yes! she told Vanity Fair.

The Italians then called her their answer to Elizabeth Taylor after her famous film La Donna Piu Bella del Mondo (The Most Beautiful Woman in the World) in 1955.

She had an infamous longtime rivalry with fellow Italian diva Sophia Loren. When Lauren claimed she was a “bustier,” Lollobrigida hit back, declaring that Lauren could play a peasant woman, but never a lady, according to The Hollywood Reporter.


Fans affectionately nicknamed her “La Lollo”. In 1959, she played the queen in Solomon and Sheba and the single mother in Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination.

A movie sex symbol, she was pursued for many years by American mogul Howard Hughes, who brought her to Hollywood, and Prince Rainier of Monaco, who was still married to Princess Grace at the time.


“I have had many lovers and still have affairs,” she was quoted by several British newspapers in 2000. “I am very spoiled.” In her 20s, she married a Slovenian doctor, Milko Skofic, with whom she had a son before their divorce in 1971.

In 2006, at the age of 79, she announced plans to marry longtime Spanish partner Javier Rigau Rafols, who is 34 years her junior, but they separated a year later.

In 2013, Lollobrigida accused him of tricking her into signing documents allowing him to marry her by proxy with a deputy in a civil ceremony in Spain.

“My experience is that when I find the right person, they run away from me,” she told Vanity Fair magazine in 2015. “I’m too strong, too popular.” The marriage was annulled by a Vatican court in 2019.

Lollobrigida has won seven David di Donatello awards in her career, the equivalent of an Italian Oscar. But by the 1970s, she had moved from acting to sculpture and photojournalism, including interviews and photo shoots with Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

She has traveled the world photographing celebrities from Henry Kissinger to Indira Gandhi, Maria Callas, Liza Minnelli, Salvador Dali, Audrey Hepburn and Ella Fitzgerald.

She also had political ambitions: in 1999 she ran unsuccessfully for the European Parliament.

She is back in the spotlight in 2021 amid a bitter legal battle with her son over her condition.

Italy’s Supreme Court has ruled that she needs a legal guardian to stop people profiting from her wealth due to a “weakening” of her perception of reality.

Despite this, in 2022 she once again tried to enter politics, but failed in the fight for a seat in the Italian Parliament.

In an interview with news agency AGI in 2019, Lollobrigida said she wants to be remembered for more than just her work in film.

“For my sculptures and, above all, for my photography.”

#Gina #Lollobrigida #dies

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