Life, career the best movies, maybe the most beautiful actresses of all time..Sophia Loren

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15.Quo Vadis

Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren

Released: 1951

Directed by: Mervyn LeRoy

Quo Vadis is a 1951 American epic film made by MGM in Technicolor. It was directed by Mervyn LeRoy and produced by Sam Zimbalist, from a screenplay by John Lee Mahin, S. N. Behrman..

14.Five Miles to Midnight

Sophia Loren, Anthony Perkins

Released: 1962

Directed by: Anatole Litvak

Five Miles to Midnight is a 1962 French-Italian-American drama film directed by Anatole Litvak. It was produced through Filmsonor S.A., Dear Film Produzione and Mercury, and distributed by..

13. Operation Crossbow

Sophia Loren, George Peppard

Released: 1965

Directed by: Michael Anderson

Operation Crossbow, later re-released as The Great Spy Mission, is a 1965 British spy thriller and WWII film, directed by Michael Anderson and written by Emeric Pressburger, under the..

12.Man of La Mancha

Sophia Loren, Peter O’Toole

Released: 1972

Directed by: Arthur Hiller

Man of La Mancha is a 1972 film adaptation of the Broadway musical Man of La Mancha by Dale Wasserman, with music by Mitch Leigh and lyrics by Joe Darion. The musical was..

11.Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni

Released: 1963

Directed by: Vittorio De Sica

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow is a 1963 comedy anthology film by Italian director Vittorio de Sica. It stars Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. The film consists of three short stories..

10.The Black Orchid

Sophia Loren, Anthony Quinn

Released: 1958

Directed by: Martin Ritt

The Black Orchid is a 1958 film starring Sophia Loren and Anthony Quinn..

9.The Key

Sophia Loren, Michael Caine

Released: 1958

Directed by: Carol Reed

The Key is a 1958 war film set in 1940 during the World War II Battle of the Atlantic. It was based on the novel Stella by Jan de Hartog, was directed by Carol Reed and starred William..

8.The Cassandra Crossing

Sophia Loren, O. J. Simpson

Released: 1976

Directed by: George P. Cosmatos

The Cassandra Crossing is a 1976 British disaster/thriller film directed by George Pan Cosmatos and starring Richard Harris, Sophia Loren, Martin Sheen, Burt Lancaster, Lee..

7.Grumpier Old Men

Sophia Loren, Ann-Margret

Released: 1995

Directed by: Howard Deutch

Grumpier Old Men is a 1995 romantic comedy film, and a sequel to the 1993 film Grumpy Old Men. The film stars Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Ann-Margret, and Sophia Loren, with..

6.Two Women

Sophia Loren, Jean-Paul Belmondo

Released: 1960

Directed by: Vittorio De Sica

Two Women is a 1960 Italian film directed by Vittorio De Sica. It tells the story of a woman trying to protect her young daughter from the horrors of war. The film stars Sophia Loren, Jean-

5.Arabesque

Sophia Loren, Gregory Peck

Released: 1966

Directed by: Stanley Donen

Arabesque is a 1966 Technicolor thriller starring Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren filmed in Panavision. The film is based on Gordon Cotler’s novel The Cypher and directed by Stanley..

4.The Millionairess

Sophia Loren, Peter Sellers

Released: 1960

Directed by: Anthony Asquith

The Millionairess is a 1960 British romantic comedy film set in London, directed by Anthony Asquith and starring Sophia Loren and Peter Sellers. It is a loose adaptation of George Bernard..

3.El Cid

Sophia Loren, Charlton Heston

Released: 1961

Directed by: Anthony Mann

El Cid is a 1961 historical epic film, a romanticized story of the life of the Christian Castilian knight Don Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, called “El Cid”, who, in the 11th century, fought the North..

2.Marriage Italian Style

Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni

Released: 1964

Directed by: Vittorio De Sica

Marriage Italian Style is a 1964 film by Vittorio De Sica..

1.Houseboat

Sophia Loren, Cary Grant

Released: 1958

Directed by: Melville Shavelson

Houseboat is a 1958 romantic comedy film starring Cary Grant, Sophia Loren, Martha Hyer, Paul Petersen, Charles Herbert and Mimi Gibson. The movie was directed by Melville Shavelson, who..

Life, career

The acting career of Sophia Loren (born 1934) has covered over 50 years and more than 100 films. Her work has earned virtually every major acting award the international film community has to offer.

Born as Sofia Scicolone on September 20, 1934 in Rome, Italy, she was the illegitimate child of Romilda Villani and Riccardo Scicolone. Sofia grew up in Pozzuoli, near Naples, Italy. Her mother, Sofia, and eventually her sister Maria, lived with her maternal grandparents, aunts and uncles in a two room apartment.

Sofia said “the two big advantages I had at birth were to have been born wise and to have been born in poverty.” Her mother’s unmarried status lead to a life of poverty. Sofia was so undernourished as a child she was called Sofia Stuzzicadente or “Sofia the toothpick.” By all accounts she was a thin, shy, fearful and unattractive girl.

Sofia recalls the war as a time of cold, starvation and sickness. Her grandfather and uncles worked in a munitions factory which supported the family briefly. The plant, however, was a frequent target of bombings. During bombing raids Sofia remembers hiding in train tunnels but leaving them before the morning trains started.

Italy was devastated following the end of the war. Food, jobs and money were scarce, particularly for unmarried mothers. One way women could make money was by participating in beauty pageants. Sofia, who had blossomed from ‘the toothpick’ into a lovely teenager entered such a pageant as a teenager and was a finalist. After this contest, Sofia’s mother learned extras were needed for the film Quo Vadis. Hoping for employment, her mother packed their belongings and headed for Rome.

Sofia and her mother were hired as extras for Quo Vadis. When the film was over they were unemployed. Her mother headed back home but Sofia remained in Rome. During the early 1950s she secured work modelling for fumetti magazines. Comic-like, these magazines used actual photographs. The dialogue bubbles were called fumetti-hence the popular name.

Fumettis were quite popular throughout Italy and Sofia was in demand. She used this recognition to get bit parts in movies. Under her real name she made eight films. One director suggested she change her name to Sofia Lazzaro, which she did for three films.

In 1953, producers were filming Aida with Gina Lollobrigida. The concept was to have a beautiful actress lip-synch the opera’s arias which would be performed by one of Italy most famous opera singers, Renata Tebaldi. Lollobrigida backed out when she learned about the lip synching. Ponti suggested Loren as a replacement. Appearing completely painted black, Loren made the film.

Her success in Aida lead Loren to parts in nine films that year. One was Anatomy of Love which co-starred Marcello Mastroianni and Vittorio De Sica, two men she would successfully continue to work with over time. By the mid-1950s Loren had established herself as an Italian sex symbol. Loren once commented, “Sex-appeal is 50 percent what you’ve got and 50 percent what people think you’ve got.”

In 1954 Loren again teamed up with De Sica for The Gold of Naples. This time de Sica was directing the film. Sam Shaw, in Sophia Loren: In the Camera Eye, noted “De Sica taught her [Loren] the craft of acting. Secrets of interpretation, restraint. It took a director like him to get the talent out of her.” Loren agreed, claiming “the second man of my life is Vittorio De Sica.”

De Sica once stated to an interviewer, “She was created differently, behaved differently, affected me differently from any woman I have known. I looked at that face, those unbelievable eyes, and I saw it all as a miracle.” He considered her “the essential Italian woman.” Loren had a box-office success when she teamed up with Mastroianni, in Too Bad She’s Bad, with De Sica directing. In The Films of Sophia Loren, Tom Crawley noted Too Bad She’s Bad was the “genesis of the most successful partnership in Italian movies.” Loren explained this success, “The three of us were united in a kind of complicity that the Neapolitans always have among themselves. The same sense of humor, the same rhythms, the same philosophies of life, the same natural cynicism. All three of us did our roles instinctively.”

n 1957 Loren appeared in her first English-speaking film, The Pride and the Passion, with Cary Grant. Despite the fact that Grant was married, romance was rumored between the stars. This concerned Ponti, who was Loren’s agent and manager. Ponti, despite a wife and two children, was also in love with Loren. From all accounts it seemed Loren was also in love with Ponti. “What nobody could understand then and still can’t is the extraordinary power of the man, ” Loren once claimed in an interview.

This relationship was troublesome in Italy which did not recognize divorce. Loren found herself embroiled in a scandal, when Ponti obtained a Mexican divorce from his wife. Loren and Ponti were married by proxy in Mexico on September 17, 1957. The Vatican refused to recognize the divorce and subsequent marriage and labeled the couple public sinners. After a hearing, warrants were issued for Carlo (as a bigamist) and Loren (as a concubine).

Loren’s first Hollywood film was the 1958 Desire Under the Elms. During this year she worked with Peter Sellers in another film from which they recorded an album. One single from the album “Goodness Gracious Me” topped the charts in England.

Over the next years Loren worked on ten films. Two of the most important were El Cid and Two Women. El Cid with Charlton Heston is probably the largest grossing film of Loren’s career. Two Women achieved greater importance in Loren’s life. Loren received numerous Best Actress awards, including an Academy Award for her depiction of a mother struggling during war. This was the first Academy Award ever given to a foreign actress in a foreign language film.

In 1963 the Pontis were charged with public bigamy and their marriage was annulled. Hoping to resolve this problem, the Pontis moved to France where they became citizens. In 1965 the French court granted a divorce to Giuliana, Ponti’s wife. On April 9, 1967 Loren remarried Ponti in a small French civil wedding.

While Loren enjoyed a successful career, she also attempted to become pregnant. She suffered two miscarriages after which she underwent a series of tests. When Loren again became pregnant her doctor ordered complete bed rest. On December 28, 1968, Hubert Leoni Carlo Ponti, Jr. (known as Cipi), was born. Loren had spent almost the entire pregnancy in bed.

Five years later on January 1, 1973, Eduardo Ponti arrived. Again several months of bed rest were ordered by her physician. Despite the lengthy confinements, Loren was overjoyed. In a Good Housekeeping interview with Heather Kirby, Loren claimed childbirth “is something women are born for, the continuation of life.” During this period an Italian appellate court also dismissed all bigamy charges against Ponti.

The early to mid-1970s proved to be a very productive time for Loren. She made ten films and wrote a cookbook, In the Kitchen with Love, published in 1972. Unfortunately these good times were not destined to last.

Since the mid-1980s Loren has continued making films, shifting towards television movies. She used her celebrity status on behalf of charity projects such as the Statue of Liberty, protecting Greco-Roman ruins and drought-relief work for Somalian refugees.

In 1991, she received a Special Academy Award, for as the Academy noted, being “one of the genuine treasures of world cinema who, in a career rich with memorable performances, has added permanent luster to our art form.” Sadly though, Loren also experienced a great loss with the death of her mother that year. In an interview, Loren said “I think when a mother dies the whole world collapses because she’s the anchor that you don’t have anymore.”

After turning 60 in 1994, Loren received a Hollywood Walk of Fame star and numerous lifetime achievement awards. Entertainment Weekly selected her as one of The 100 Greatest Movie Stars of All Time in 1996. She appeared in Pret-a-Porter (Ready to Wear), which marked her fifteenth and final pairing with Mastroianni, who died shortly after.

Fans seemed to agree with Sam Shaw when he stated, “Whatever she does on screen is right. She can do ordinary pictures; and still she remains an international superstar, still she grows as a human being.” With accolades like this Sophia Loren will be a presence for sometime to come.

Donw.Your D.

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