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|Also Known As:||Sofia Villani Scicolone,Sofia Lazzaro||Died:|
|Born:||September 20, 1934||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Naples, , IT||Profession:||Cast ... actress model|
k, co-starring opposite Peter Sellers in the hit British comedy "The Millionairess" (1960), where she built on comic singing talents she had begun to display as a cabaret singer in "It Started in Naples." But she experienced the biggest success of her career when she reunited with director De Sica for "Two Women" (1960), which saw Loren reliving her war-torn youth to play a widow desperately trying to protect her daughter from danger, only to end up in a destructive love triangle with a young radical (Jean Paul Belmondo). She earned a Best Actress Academy Award, the first actress ever to do so for a foreign language performance.
In one of the better offerings from the "historic epic" trend of the era, Loren co-starred opposite Charlton Heston in "El Cid" (1961), a grand-scale adaptation of the life of the 11th century Castilian military general. She continued to work steadily in Italian, French and American productions, earning steady accolades for her work with De Sica and Mastroianni in the Best Foreign Film Academy Award winner "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" (1963) and "Marriage, Italian Style" (1964), which earned Loren an Academy nomination again for Best Actress. Among her bigger English language successes of the 1960s was Stanley Donen's stylish comic thriller "Arabesque" (1966) which co-starred Gregory Peck. The British production "A Countess from Hong Kong" (1967), co-starring Loren and Marlon Brando, was a flop but notable for being the final film directed by comic-turned-director, Charles Chaplin. The same year, Loren returned to her film roots with her role as a Spanish peasant opposite Omar Sharif as a marriage-minded prince in the lighthearted fairy tale "More than a Miracle" (1967). Off-screen, her own fairy tale romance finally had a happy ending when she and Ponti, now French citizens, were officially married.
After several miscarriages and a highly-publicized struggle to become pregnant, Loren gave birth to son Hubert Leoni Carlo Ponti in 1968. She returned to the screen to star opposite Mastroianni in De Sica's war drama "I Girasoli" (1972) and the following year, gave birth to her second son, Eduardo. Italian authorities dismissed Ponti's outstanding bigamy charges and the family was free to move back to their homeland, where Loren spent the majority of the decade in Italian productions. 1974's "Il Viaggio" marked the final directorial effort of De Sica, but Loren continued to enjoy onscreen success opposite Mastroianni in the mob comedy "La Pupa del Gangster" (1975) and in Ettore Scola's considerably more sophisticated drama, "A Special Day" (1977), which found favor with American audiences and earned a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film. Seeking to capitalize on Loren's latest U.S. success, Hollywood tapped Loren for a pair of thrillers - the WW II-set "The Brass Target" (1978) and "Firepower" (1979) which offered her a central role as a widow seeking answers in the murder of her chemist husband.
During the 1980s, Loren made only a few feature films while she raised her teenaged sons, but her status as a "legend" and a "survivor" was unshakably secure. She released the autobiography Sophia Loren: Living and Loving in 1979, and the following year starred in a made-for-TV adaptation entitled "Sophia Loren: Her Own Story" (1980), where she played both herself and her mother. In 1981, she became the first female celebrity to launch her own perfume, Sophia, and a brand of eyewear followed soon thereafter. Still an international symbol of beauty well into her 40s, she published another book, Women and Beauty (1984). More American TV movies followed, including "The Fortunate Pilgrim" (1988), Mario Puzo's miniseries about the Italian American experience. In 1990, Loren was awarded a second, honorary Oscar for her lifetime achievement in film, and in 1994, she returned to U.S. theaters in Robert Altman's much ballyho d (but disappointing) take on the French fashion scene, "Ready to Wear," which paired her one last time with Mastroianni. She followed up with her biggest U.S. hit in decades, the aging buddy comedy "Grumpier Old Men" (1995) starring Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau and Ann-Margret as clashing citizens of a sleepy Minnesota town.
In 2007, Loren proved that she still had sizzle when she posed in a calendar for Italian racing tire giant Pirelli, appearing tousled and partially clothed in an unkempt bed. Sadly, that same year she lost her husband of 50 years, Carlo Ponti, who was said to have continually wo d his wife during all those decades by giving her a single rose every day of their marriage. The secret to their marital success was simple. Despite their position as showbiz royalty in their native land, the pair had relished their discrete, low profile lifestyle, with Loren claiming through the years that "show business is what we do, not what we are."pite the fact that Grant was married and 30 years her senior), but Loren did not fall as hard as Grant did, despite the fact that she had grown up with a schoolgirl crush on the movie star. At the same time, Ponti - also married and 30 years her senior - stepped forward to declare that he, too, was in love with Loren. The pair had grown close during their years working together, with Ponti serving as a career mentor and also a kind, guiding father figure for the fatherless young adult. Later in the year, when Loren arrived in Hollywood preceded by a huge press campaign, Ponti's lawyers obtained a Mexican divorce for him and he and Loren were married. The actress jetted back to Cinecitta studios in Rome to shoot the silly aquatic romance "The Boy on the Dolphin" (1957), which sought to capitalize more on Loren's figure in a bathing suit than her insightful acting or wit. Grant was understandably devastated by Loren's decision of choosing Ponti over him and it took him a long time to recover.
The young ingÃ©nue was paired with dusty screen cowboy John Wayne in "Legend of the Lost" (1957), a lackluster African adventure, but was given more of a chance to use her talents in the adaptation of Eugene O'Neil's "Desire Under the Elms" (1958), where she was the center of a love triangle between a New England father (Burl Ives) and son (Anthony Perkins). It was the first product of a newly-inked deal between Loren and Paramount. What followed next was the hit romantic comedy "Houseboat" (1958) co-starring spurned lover Cary Grant as a single dad and Loren as their nanny. Not unexpectedly, the shoot was difficult for both, with Grant still harboring love for his ex. Loren was embraced by American audiences, though many of her supporters were disappointed to see her "dolled up" and playing a European aristocrat, which was about as far from her native appeal as possible. Paramount was intent on maintaining this image of Loren and again she appeared as a sophisticated urban woman in Sidney Lumet's clichÃ©d melodrama "That Kind of Woman" (1959). Martin Ritt finally gave Loren a meaty character to inhabit in "The Black Orchid" (1958), where she played opposite Anthony Quinn as a hard-working mob widow. Her performance was recognized with a Best Actress honor at the Venice Film Festival, but the film did not draw American filmg rs.
When box office numbers for George Cukor's offbeat Western "Heller in Pink Tights" (1960) failed to excite Paramount execs, they cut Loren loose from her contract. Her final Paramount release - the romantic comedy "It Started in Naples" (1960) co-starring yet another older male co-star, Clark Gable - was a summer success, but by the time it was released, Loren and Ponti had returned to Europe. The pair received a chilly reception in Italy, which did not recognize divorce and considered Ponti a bigamist. The Catholic Church annulled Loren and Ponti's marriage, so the pair and Ponti's first wife moved to France, where divorce was legal, and began to establish citizenship with an eye towards clearing up the whole mess. Loren got right back to wor
AJAgostinell ( 2008-06-05 )
Source: not available
2007: has signed onto the cast of "Nine," in pre-production, directed by Rob Marshall
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