Sat. Feb 4th, 2023

The actor Gina Lollobrigida, who has died aged 95, was one of many nice movie stars of the Nineteen Fifties and 60s, and an icon of Italian cinema who grew to become referred to as “essentially the most lovely girl on the planet”.

The film that launched her as a intercourse image was Altri Tempi (Infidelity, 1952), an anthology movie directed by Alessandro Blasetti, through which Vittorio De Sica was the lawyer who defends the honour of a lady (Lollobrigida) accused of being too attractive. She was signed up the next yr to play reverse Errol Flynn in Crossed Swords and in what was to grow to be a cult film, John Huston’s tongue-in-cheek journey yarn Beat the Satan, through which she co-starred with Humphrey Bogart and Jennifer Jones.

The movie that immortalised her sultry qualities greater than some other was Luigi Comencini’s Pane, Amore e Fantasia (Bread, Love and Desires, 1953). Her character La Bersagliera’s honest love for the shy however sincere younger cop in place of the extrovert sergeant main performed with panache by De Sica made her in style with audiences all over the place, and a pin-up all over the world, though the movie was panned by most critics.

In October 1954, it was the hit of Italian movie week in London, the place Lollobrigida was introduced to the Queen. The Guardian critic described the movie as “an enthralling piece”. Lollobrigida was upstaged a bit on the premiere by a brand new rival, Sophia Loren, who wore a daringly lowcut neckline within the royal presence. Comencini directed Lollobrigida once more as La Bersagliera in Bread, Love and Jealousy, a sequel that was as profitable as the primary movie, however each she and Comencini declined to make a 3rd movie, and Loren eagerly took her place. The “rivalry” between the 2 stars was to final for many years.

Gina Lollobrigida in Pane, Amore e Fantasia, directed by Luigi Comencini. {Photograph}: Titanus/Kobal/Rex/Shutterstock

Certainly one of 4 daughters of Giovanni, a furnishings maker, and his spouse, Giuseppina (nee Mercuri), Lollobrigida was born in a mountain village, Subiaco, about 40 miles from Rome, well-known for its Benedictine abbey. The household moved to Rome after the second world warfare and lived six in a room. Gina obtained a job as an artist’s mannequin and, as she wanted cash to pay for singing classes, accepted work as a movie further. Later, when she performed the singer Lina Cavalieri, a well-known great thing about the early years of the century, in La Donna Più Bella del Mondo (The Most Lovely Lady within the World), she proved the singing classes had not been wasted, and herself sang an aria from Tosca.

Her first Italian movie position was in 1946 in Aquila Nera (Black Eagle) made by among the finest industrial administrators and star-scouts of these years, Riccardo Freda. In 1947 she got here third within the Miss Italy magnificence contest. An opera movie, Pagliacci (1948), through which she performed reverse Tito Gobbi, was seen by Hollywood expertise scouts and the movie magnate Howard Hughes invited her to the US. In 1949 she married Milko Skofic, a Yugoslav medical pupil who later grew to become her supervisor, however he couldn’t get an American visa, so Lollobrigida needed to go to the US alone.

Hughes didn’t need to see her European movies. “Her profession begins now she’s in Hollywood,” he declared. She was given a chauffeured Cadillac and villa with a pool, in addition to lecturers of English and elocution. And Hughes started his courtship.

In King Vidor’s Solomon and Sheba (1959). {Photograph}: United Artists/Allstar

When he heard that Hughes had taken her to Las Vegas and proposed that she break up earlier than signing a contract, Milko despatched her a cable: “Both signal or come dwelling.” She went dwelling, and Milko discovered her a component in a movie in regards to the Resistance, Achtung! Banditi! (1951), by one in all his communist pals, Carlo Lizzani.

The “new” ltalian cinema gave the impression to be on the point of discovering her eventually, however the French obtained in first. Christian-Jacque forged her because the gypsy lady in Fanfan la Tulipe (1951) and René Clair selected her as one of many stars of Les Belles de Nuit (1952), in each of which the main man was the brand new French idol Gérard Philipe.

Lollobrigida received the most effective actress award on the newly established Italian Golden Goblet awards for her 1953 efficiency in La Provinciale (The Provincial Lady), primarily based on an Alberto Moravia story. Though she was dissatisfied that her efficiency within the title position of La Romana (The Lady of Rome), the movie of Moravia’s well-known novel a few Roman intercourse employee who falls in love with an antifascist militant, didn’t get her the most effective actress award on the Venice pageant in 1954, she was, nevertheless, mobbed by the crowds and the media.

Lollobrigida was to star reverse nice main males together with Burt Lancaster (in Trapeze, 1956), Anthony Quinn (in Jean Delannoy’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, 1956), Yul Brynner (in Solomon and Sheba, 1959) and Sean Connery (in Lady of Straw, 1964), however she continued to seem in European movies, such because the elegant historic epic Venere Imperiale (Imperial Venus, 1963), through which she performed Napoleon’s sister Paolina. In Buona Sera, Mrs Campbell (1968), she performed on her early peasant picture, as an Italian girl who convinces every of three former American GIs (Phil Silvers, Peter Lawford and Telly Savalas) that he’s the daddy of her daughter, and received finest actress on the David di Donatello awards for her efficiency.

With Burt Lancaster, left, and Tony Curtis in Trapeze (1956), directed by Carol Reed. {Photograph}: United Artists/Allstar

In 1972 she was a lot appreciated in a uncommon TV look because the Blue Fairy in an adaptation of Pinocchio for Italian tv by Comencini. In 1981 she appeared in an episode of Falcon Crest and in 1988 agreed to seem in a remake for TV of The Lady of Rome, this time enjoying the intercourse employee’s mom. However as her appearing roles grew to become fewer, she devoted most of her time to images, artwork and sculpture.

In 1997 she appeared within the French comedy XXL. In 2011 she was a visitor artist in a movie directed by an Italian TV comic, Ezio Greggio, referred to as Field Workplace 3D, in regards to the excesses of American cinema. She additionally appeared for the primary time in a movie with Loren, a documentary in regards to the trend stylist of the Dolce Vita years Emilio Schuberth, of whom each had been clients.

Her first marriage led to divorce in 1971. In 2006 she introduced that she was to marry Javier Rigau y Rafols, however there was doubt in regards to the legality of the ceremony. Lollobrigida is survived by her son, Milko Jr, and a grandson, Dimitri.

Gina (Luigina) Lollobrigida, actor, born 4 July 1927; died 16 January 2023

John Francis Lane died in 2018

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