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Loren, Sophia (1934–)

Loren, Sophia (1934–)

Italian actress. Born Sofia Scicolone in Rome, Italy, Sept 20, 1934; dau. of Romilda Villani and Riccardo Scicolone; sister of Maria Scicolone; m. Carlo Ponti (film producer), 1966; children: Carlo Jr. (b. Dec 29, 1968) and Eduardo (b. Jan 1973).

Internationally renowned film actress who won an Oscar for Two Women, was raised near Naples by her unmarried mother amid great poverty during WWII; appeared as an extra in 1st film Quo Vadis? (1949); met producer Carlo Ponti; film career began in earnest with small featured part in his La Tratta della bianche (The White Slave Trade, 1953); played Aïda in a film version of Verdi's opera (1953); shot the 1st of her many pictures directed by Vittorio De Sica (1954's L'Oro di Napoli [The Gold of Naples], 1954); appeared onscreen in 1st of 15 films with Marcello Mastroianni in De Sica's Peccato che sia una canaglia (Too Bad She's Bad, 1955); rivaled only by Gina Lollobrigida as Italy's best-known actress on both sides of Atlantic (1950s); appeared in Boy on a Dolphin, the 1st of many Hollywood-made films (1958), but her finest work is still considered to be her portrayal of a mother in warravaged Italy in De Sica's La Ciociara (Two Women, 1960); married Carlo Ponti as a French citizen (1966), after a protracted legal battle with Italian authorities who refused to recognize Ponti's annulment of an earlier marriage. Other films include The Pride and the Passion (1957), Desire under the Elms (1958), The Key (1958), It Started in Naples (1960), The Millionairess (1960), El Cid (1961), Madame Sans-Gêne (1961), Boccacio '70 (1962), Ieri Oggi e Domani (Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, 1963), The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964), Matrimonio all'Italiana (Marriage Italian Style, 1964), Arabesque (1966), A Countess from Hong Kong (1967), Man of La Mancha (1972), The Cassandra Crossing (1977), Grumpier Old Men (1995), Messages (1996), Soleil (1997) and Between Strangers (2002).

See also A.E. Hotchner, Sophia: Living and Loving (Morrow, 1979); Warren G. Harris, Sophia Loren (Simon & Schuster, 1998); and Women in World History.

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