Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida passes away at age 95

Gina Lollobrigida, an Italian actress who was one of the biggest stars in European cinema throughout the 1950s and 1960s, passed away at the age of 95.

Her roles in Beat the Devil, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Crossed Swords earned her the moniker “the most beautiful lady in the world.”

She appeared in films with actors such as Errol Flynn, Frank Sinatra, Rock Hudson, and Humphrey Bogart.

After her career began to wane in the 1960s, she transitioned towards politics and photography.

She was one of the few remaining film legends known as Lo Lollo, and Bogart once stated that she “made Marilyn Monroe look like Shirley Temple.”

Howard Hughes, the producer of the movie, flooded her with marriage proposals. She maintained a rivalry with fellow Italian actress Sophia Loren off-camera.

On Twitter, the minister of culture, Gennaro Sangiuliano, wrote: “A diva of the silver screen who starred in more than 50 years of Italian film history is said to be leaving us. Her allure will endure forever.”

Her former attorney Giulia Citani told the Reuters news agency that she passed away in a Rome clinic.

vibrant life narrative
On July 4, 1927, Luigina Lollobrigida was born. Gina, the daughter of a furniture manufacturer, spent her teenage years dodging air attacks during World War II before enrolling in Rome’s Academy of Fine Arts to study sculpting.

She was given the opportunity to audition at Cinecitta, which at the time was Italy’s bustling “Hollywood on the Tiber” and the biggest movie studio in all of Europe.

Lollobrigida was not interested. When they offered me my first position, she recalls, “I declined.” “They therefore promised to pay me 1000 lire. I thought that by offering them one million lire as my fee, the whole situation would be resolved. nonetheless, they agreed!”

She competed in the Miss Italia beauty contest in 1947, which began many noteworthy careers, and finished third. She wed Milko Skofic, a Slovenian physician, two years later.

Skofic photographed his newlywed bride in a swimsuit for some promotional purposes. The richest guy in the world sat up in Hollywood, 6,000 miles away.

Hughes had recently taken over a significant studio. He was famous for having several affairs with the most famous ladies of the day, including Marlene Dietrich, Rita Hayworth, and Ava Gardner. He was more than 20 years older than Lollobrigida.

He located Lollobrigida and invited her to take a screen test. She agreed, planning to travel to America with her spouse. Only one of the tickets Hughes had pledged to provide materialized on the day of departure.

Hughes had divorce attorneys waiting for him there. She was put up in a five-star hotel, given a secretary and a driver, and inundated with business pitches.

He had everything ready. Even the mock scene from the screen test ended up being about a failed marriage.

The journey took over three months. She frequently observed him deflecting passes. They frequently ate in the back of his car or at budget restaurants to avoid the media.

Despite the obvious abuse, Lollobrigida claimed she liked the attention. She later remembered, “He was very tall, very interesting.” Much more fascinating than my husband, in fact.

Hughes gave her a seven-year contract before she left for Rome. It made hiring her for any other US studio extremely expensive. She claimed, “I signed it because I wanted to get home.”

Hughes persevered. His attorneys tracked her all the way to the Algerian desert, where she was filming. Her husband accepted the ten-year obsession with grace. He would even play tennis against attorneys.

Gina avoided Hollywood and instead worked on movies like The Wayward Wife and Bread, Love, and Dreams in France and Italy.

She starred alongside Bogart in John Huston’s Beat the Devil, her debut English-language film, which was filmed on the Amalfi coast. This was the start of a string of leading parts opposite some of the most handsome men in the world.

Flynn did it in Crossed Swords; Antony Quinn did it in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. When 60,000 people gathered to welcome her in Argentina, she realized her fame was international. Juan Peron, the country’s first president, was among them.

She garnered honors for her performance in Beautiful But Dangerous as an orphan alongside Vittorio Gassman, one of Italy’s top performers. In the movie Trapeze, she costarred with Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis as a cunning circus artist.

She loathed Sinatra, with whom she co-starred in the World War II romance film Never So Few, which was filmed in Thailand and Myanmar. When she complained about his tardiness, he became agitated. She said, “Zero sense of humor.”

And her subsequent project ended in failure. Tyrone Power, who played Sheba’s co-star, had a heart attack while filming a sword fight in Madrid, two-thirds of Solomon and Sheba had already been completed.

According to one account, Power passed away while being transported to the hospital in Lollobrigida’s vehicle. Another theory has him being “walked” out of the studio after passing away in his dressing room, with a scarf tied around his jaw to keep it from drooping.

Whatever the truth, Yul Brynner was used to reshoot Power’s scenes. Even though everyone was fully dressed, the movie’s orgy scene startled late-1950s Hollywood.

Sophia Loren and Rock Hudson
She relocated to Canada in 1960 in search of lower taxes and the possibility of granting her Yugoslav husband legal status. According to one magazine, it was “the most attractive justification ever advanced for liberal immigration policies.”

Although her film career was waning, she still had time to collaborate with Rock Hudson, one of her favorite actors.

Together they appeared in romantic comedies. Strange Bedfellows and September are coming. After spending a lifetime avoiding Hughes and the majority of Hollywood’s elite, Hudson’s failure to make a move surprised everyone.

She told a reporter, “I knew right away that Rock Hudson was gay, when he did not fall in love with me.

She and Loren were starting to fight. The film producer Carlo Ponti encouraged Loren to assert that she was “bustier” than Lollobrigida.

Sophia could play peasants, but never ladies, Gina retorted. She remarked, “We are as different as a fine racehorse and a goat.

The end of Lollobrigida’s marriage resulted from her brief liaison with heart transplant pioneer Christian Barnard. She seized the chance while it was still early after divorce became legal in Italy.

She said, “A woman at 20 is like ice.” “At 30 she is warm. At 40 she is hot. We are rising as men are falling.” There were many of people who admired her.

Despite his marriage to Grace Kelly, Prince Rainier of Monaco was one of them. She stated that “he would make passes at me in front of her, in their home.” “Of course I answered no!”

In 1972, she co-starred in King, Queen, Knave with David Niven, which was her last significant picture. On the set, there were temper tantrums, and three strange “eye ailments” forced the production to stop.

Lollobrigida played a few roles in American TV shows including Love Boat and Falcon’s Crest before redefining herself as an artist.

Castro and legal matters
This wasn’t a vanity endeavor for an old movie star. Lollobrigida was excellent.

She put on a disguise to capture her native Italy in award-winning photography, and her enormous marble and bronze sculptures were displayed at an international expo in Seville.

She shocked the globe by conducting an exclusive picture shoot and interview with Fidel Castro.

“We were together for 12 days,” she remarked. “I was more interested in him as a man than as a political figure. He understood that I wasn’t there to attack him, therefore he welcomed me with open arms.”

Unicef, the United Nations, and an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the European Parliament all required work. She continued to be involved in politics; she ran unsuccessfully for the Italian Senate as recently as last year.

youthful men
The “most beautiful woman in the world” attracted plenty of suitors, but she never quite met the right one.

“My experience has been that, when I have discovered the proper guy, he has fled from me, the woman remarked. Important men don’t want to be in your shadow; they want to be the star.”

Unluckily, she ran into the charming Spaniard Javier Rigau y Rafols, who was 34 years her junior. In 2006, they made their engagement public, but they quickly broke it off due to the intense media coverage.

However, Rigau allegedly used an imposter to play Lollobrigida and still went through with the wedding. She claims that she was unaware of her marriage until she accidentally found documents online.

She filed a lawsuit, and Rigau provided evidence. He argued that using a power of attorney that she had previously issued, Lollobrigida had consented to marry him by proxy.

Although she lost the subsequent legal battle, the Pope approved the annulment of the marriage in 2019.

Lollobrigida waged another court battle with Milko, her son who had demanded management of his mother’s economic affairs. She was reported to have been inspired to take the move by her new relationship with an attractive man in his 20s, who was now in his 80s.

She eventually turned into a recluse. But occasionally, she would have parties in her enormous estate on Rome’s ancient Appian Way, complete with a flock of white storks. She would greet visiting journalists with her young lover as she gracefully descended her grand staircase, which was encrusted in emeralds. Sunset Boulevard came to life in that moment.

She had a habit of claiming, in full Norma Desmond purr, “I am only a film star because the people wanted me to be one.”

Gina Lollobrigida lived to an advanced age at which she can no longer clearly recall her heyday as a member of movie aristocracy in the 1950s and 1960s. Her movies aren’t all considered classics today.

She was, nonetheless, a great in her time. As unusual as any of the roles she performed, so was her personal history.

She also claimed that her guiding principle was straightforward: “All humans are destined to die. The degree to which we choose to live makes a difference.”

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