Gina Lollobrigida, generally known as the face of Italian movie, dies

Gina Lollobrigida, the high-spirited actor who had twin careers in Hollywood and Europe however could also be extra fondly remembered in her native Italy for jump-starting an period of celebration and indulgence after years of warfare and oppression, has died. She was 95.

Perpetually beloved in her homeland, Lollobrigida died in Rome, the Italian information company Lapresse mentioned, quoting Tuscany Gov. Eugenio Giani. Lollobrigida was an honorary citizen of a Tuscan city.

Her agent, Paola Comin, additionally confirmed her dying however didn’t give particulars, the Related Press reported.

Lollobrigida had surgical procedure in September for a damaged thigh bone after a fall. She returned house and mentioned she had rapidly resumed strolling.

Lollobrigida’s rise to stardom was speedy. She made films in Europe and the U.S., signed a long-term Hollywood contract with Howard Hughes, starred alongside Yul Brynner, Frank Sinatra and Rock Hudson, saved firm with Salvador Dali, Fidel Castro and pioneering coronary heart surgeon Christiaan Barnard, and had a working drama-fest with countrywoman Sophia Loren, a rivalry so fierce one puzzled whether or not there was sufficient oxygen in Italy for the 2 of them.

“I am fire. I’m a volcano. All the things I do, I do with passion, fire and strength,” she mentioned in a 1994 interview with The Instances. “That’s me.”

Billy Wilder poses with Gina Lollobrigida backstage on the 1960 Academy Awards.


Born in Subiaco, Italy, in 1927 (although the actress generally claimed it was 1928), Lollobrigida was the second of 4 daughters of Giovanni and Giuseppina Lollobrigida. When Allied air assaults destroyed their house within the early days of World Struggle II, the household fled to the city core of Rome.

She was learning sculpture on the Academy of Fantastic Arts in Rome when a expertise agent noticed her and provided her a modeling and performing contract. When she was summoned to the Cinecitta studios, the hub of Italian cinema, she was provided 1,000 lire to signal.

“I told them my asking price was 1 million lire, thinking that would put a stop to the whole thing,” Lollobrigida instructed Vainness Truthful in 2015. “But they said yes!”

Lollobrigida was forged in a number of films filmed in Italy, together with a number of for which she acquired no credit score, earlier than filming “Alina,” a melodrama during which Lollobrigida makes use of her magnificence as her chief weapon in a harmful smuggling operation. Amongst others, it caught the eye of Hughes, the eccentric businessman, aviator and maverick movie tycoon.

He introduced her to Hollywood and signed her to a seven-year deal, a pact that prohibited her from working with any American movie studio. She by no means made a movie with Hughes and, bored with his advances and erratic conduct, returned to Italy, the place her profession bloomed.

Gina Lollobrigida stands in the back of a car, signing autographs for a smiling crowd.

Gina Lollobrigida signing autographs through the Cannes Movie Competition in 1961.

(Nameless / AP)

As Italy was pulling itself from the rubble of World Struggle II and the grinding oppression of fascism, Lollobrigida emerged because the face of la dolce vita, a siren beckoning Romans to as soon as once more indulge, rejoice and embrace.

“She represented something iconic, far more important than the actual talent she often displayed in her work as an actress,” wrote the late writer Peter Bondanella in his e book “Italian Cinema.”

Lollobrigida appeared in almost a dozen films earlier than her position in “Bread, Love and Dreams” earned her a BAFTA award for finest international actress. It’s regarded by some critics as her finest, most pure position.

In 1953, she returned to Hollywood and was paired with Humphrey Bogart in “Beat the Devil,” an journey/comedy directed by John Huston and written by Truman Capote on a day-by-day foundation throughout filming in Italy. It marked Lollobrigida’s first English-speaking movie and — as would turn out to be her destiny — referred to as for her to play the position of a seductress. Although the movie helped introduce Lollobrigida to America, it was a field workplace failure.

She fared higher three years later when she was forged because the manipulative, scheming Lola in “Trapeze,” the story of a crippled acrobat who tries to coax greatness from his brash, simply distracted protégé, roles crammed by Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis. The movie, shot in Paris, was a monetary success.

Lollobrigida went on to crew up with Yul Brynner in “Solomon and Sheba,” a sexed-up Bible story, and with Rock Hudson in “Come September,” a 1961 romantic comedy a few married man and his mistress who uncover that the villa the place they meet up yearly has been was a youth hostel. Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin are among the many younger vacationers staying on the hostel. Regardless of a pancake-thin plot, the movie did properly.

Because the Hollywood film presents slowed, Lollobrigida returned to Italian cinema, although she did choose up a job in 1984 on the prime time cleaning soap opera “Falcon Crest” and made an compulsory look on “The Love Boat.”

She dabbled in sculpture and pursued a second profession as a photographer, producing 5 books of pictures. In 1973, she flew to Cuba — armed, she mentioned, with eight cameras, 200 rolls of movie and 10 pairs of blue denims — and landed an interview with Fidel Castro, which was revealed within the Italian journal Gente and billed as an unique.

“I was sunbathing nude in the garden of the residence when a man appeared and announced the presence of Fidel. He smiled at me, pretending not to notice my scanty clothing,” she wrote. “He shook hands with me, welcoming me to Cuba.”

Although she was usually within the firm of wealthy and well-known males, she was married solely as soon as. Or so she claimed.

In 2010, a person greater than three many years her junior claimed the 2 had wed in Barcelona, Spain. She disputed the declare, filed go well with in Italy and Spain and vowed to launch “an international investigation.” The reality, wherever it is perhaps discovered, was rapidly swallowed up in authorized disputes.

Lollobrigida is survived by a son, Milko Skofic Jr.