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Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida dies aged 95

Gina Lollobrigida, an Italian actress, has passed away at the age of 95.

She was one the most prominent European actresses in the 1950s and 1960s. She starred alongside Hollywood stars like Humphrey Bogart and Rock Hudson.

Image: Lollobrigida and Tony Curtis, Trapeze in 1956. Pic: Snap/Shutterstock

She began her career with humble beginnings and became one of the most well-known faces in Italian postwar cinema.

Lollobrigida is an international symbol of sex thanks to her beautiful Mediterranean looks. She was only second to Sophia Loren, a fellow Italian actress. Lollobrigida is one of Hollywood’s last stars from the Golden Age.


According to her agent, she was pronounced dead in Rome on Monday.

Known simply as “La Lollo” in Italy, she starred in movies such as The Hunchback Of Notre Dame and Solomon and Sheba. She also starred in Beautiful But Dangerous and The World’s Most Beautiful Woman over a five-decade acting career.

Lollobrigida was a successful photographer and sculptor later in life, and also tried her hand at politics.

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She was unable to win a seat as a parliament member for Sovereign and Popular Italy, a left-wing party that failed to reach the threshold of 3%, in September’s elections.

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Gina Lollobrigida says “Movie is magic”

Rumours circulated about an affair between Fidel Castro and Fidel Castro in 1975 after Fidel Castro was granted exclusive access for a documentary she made.

Lollobrigida was also a big news story in 2006 when she, aged 79, announced that she was marrying 34-years younger than her.

She said that she had always wanted to find a true love when she was 80. I have never been loved by anyone. I am a cumbersome lady.”

Image: Lollobrigida and Yul Brynner, Solomon And Sheba in 1959. Pic: Moviestore/Shutterstock

Lollobrigida was third in Miss Italia 1947 contest. This gave her her first break in film. She was an actress in The Wayward Wife, 1953. This was one of her first roles.

Two Italian comedies, Bread, Love and Dreams and Bread, Love and Jealousy, featured leading roles.

Her exposure was further enhanced by her role as Humphrey Bogart opposite in John Huston’s Beat the Devil.

However, it was her 1955 film The World’s Most Beautiful Woman which made her famous and made her one of her most iconic roles.

Although she made it big in Hollywood, she prefers to stay close to home. She worked with Mario Bolognini and other Italian directors throughout the 1960s on films.

Her most well-known film, Buona Sera Mrs Campbell, was her last. It starred American actor Telly Savalas. She received several nominations for awards.

Image: Lollobrigida and Anthony Quinn, Hunchback of Notre Dame 1957. Pic: Snap/Shutterstock

Luigia Lollobrigida was born in Subiaco in July 1927 to a working class family. She studied at Subiaco’s Academy of Fine Arts and then worked as a model under Diana Loris.

Her on-screen success was marked by her temper and impulse, and she received intense attention from Italian gossip writers and paparazzi.

In an attempt to protect her private life, she fled to an isolated villa in Rome’s Appian Way.

She married Milko Skofic in Yugoslavia in 1950. He later became her manager. They had one son.

After 17 years of marriage, they separated. Lollobrigida stated at the time that she was not planning on remarrying.

In 2006, she announced that she was marrying Javier Rigau, a Spanish friend 34 years older than her. She called off her wedding and blamed the media for ruining it.

Image: Lollobrigida in the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles, 1959. Pic: AP

In an interview, she said that Rigau was suffering because of her guilt after Spanish media called him an opportunist. She said that she was more used to falsehoods being written about her.

Later, on a trip to the USA, she requested that Congress pass more strict laws to protect the privacy of individuals from media intrusion.

After her outstanding acting career, Lollobrigida began a second successful career as a photojournalist/sculptor.

She also served as a goodwill ambassador to the United Nations Children’s Fund and its Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

She also published six books with her own photos, including one on Italy and one on children.

Image: Pic: Lollobrigida as it was in the 1980s. Baril Pascal/ABACA/Shutterstock

She made Portrait of Fidel Castro in 1975. Rumours circulated for many years that she had an affair with the Cuban leader.

Interviews with her also revealed that she was a “great friend”, Indira Gandhi, India’s first female prime minster.

She spent her last years sculpting and lived in Pietrasanta, a Tuscan artist’s colony.

In 2008, she had a one-woman performance there and dedicated it in her honor to Maria Callas, the late opera singer.

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Her bronze and marble statues were displayed in Paris, Moscow, and America.

When she was 85, a Sotheby’s auction of her jewellery in Geneva raised $4.9m (PS4.1m). It set a new record for a pair diamond-and pearl earrings that sold for $2.37m. Proceeds went to stem cell research.

She stated that jewelry are supposed to bring pleasure, and she had great pleasure for many years wearing hers.

“Selling my jewels in order to raise awareness about stem cell therapy which can cure so many diseases seems like a great use for them.”


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