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Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida, once “the most beautiful woman in the world”, died at the age of 95.

During the 1950s and 60s, Lolobridgeda was one of the world’s most sought-after performers and appeared in a number of European and American films alongside Hollywood’s leading men of the time.

Born in 1927 in Subiaco, in the mountains east of Rome, she was the daughter of a furniture maker. During her teenage years, she modeled and participated in beauty contests, and in 1947, she finished third in the Miss Italy pageant. On her application for that competition, she wrote that she had acting talent, but that she wanted to do something serious with her skills.

After a number of roles in European films, including the BAFTA-winning Bread, Love and Dreams, it was Lollobrigida’s performance in 1953’s Beat the Devil opposite Humphrey Bogart that brought her international fame and millions of fans. :

Gina Lollobrigida with Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis in Trapeze (1956). Photo: Allstar/Cinetext/United Artists

“La Lollo” also caught the eye of eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes, who noticed her publicity photos and invited her to Hollywood for a screen test, where he repeatedly tried to seduce her, despite the fact that she was married to Slovenian Milko Skofic. doctor, a year ago.

“Time and time again he tried to catch me.” Lollobrigida recalled in an interview with Vanity Fair. “But he didn’t work out… there was just too much of a difference between us. I told him. “If you lose all your money, maybe I’ll marry you.” Perhaps he was surprised that there is a person who is not interested in money.”

His commercial peak came in the mid-1950s, when he starred in Solomon and Sheba, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Beautiful But Dangerous, originally titled: The most beautiful woman in the world – presented her as “the most beautiful woman in the world”.

Italian Deputy Prime Minister Antonio Tajani on Monday described Lolobrigida as a great actress who made the history of international cinema. “He was an Italian icon in the world,” he added. “And it will remain in the Olympus of culture and art. May he rest in peace.”

The mayor of Rome, Roberto Gualtieri, said that “a true star of Italian and international cinema has left us… With his films and commentaries, he has rightly entered the country’s history and its collective imagination.” Rome, the city he loved, will remember him as he deserves.”

Marinella Soldi, president of state broadcaster Rai, and its chief executive Carlo Fuortes, said Italy had lost a “diva of planetary glory” with Lolobrigida’s death.

Her fame was also such that in the 1960s she had a new variety of curly leaf lettuce, lolo rosso, named in her honor, although reports differ as to whether it was due to her tight, curly hair or her wrinkles. often seen clothed.

Gina Lollobrigida in Anne of Brooklyn (1958)
Gina Lollobrigida in Anne of Brooklyn (1958). Photo: Allstar/Cinetext/Columbia

Lollobrigida and Škofić divorced in 1971, and she largely gave up acting and concentrated on photography, publishing several collections. Among his notable subjects were Henry Kissinger, Yuri Gagarin, Grace Kelly and many others. He also secured an exclusive interview with Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

In 1999, Lollobrigida ran unsuccessfully for the European Parliament, representing former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi’s Democrats, but was not particularly enthusiastic.

“I’ve never been involved in politics,” he said at the time, “but when I got an offer, I immediately said yes… Only then did I think about why it was a good thing.” I don’t know how many votes I need. I don’t know anything.’

Gina Lollobrigida
Gina Lollobrigida at the 1999 world premiere of the musical version of Walt Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Photo: Nestor Bachman/EPA

Lolobrigida is survived by her son Milko and grandson Dimitri.


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