Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Loren At 75: "Bella!"
Sophia Loren is celebrating her 75th birthday and she is still ravishingly beautiful.
Just look at the recent photos of Loren [above] for the Pirelli calendar. Loren was included with much younger stars including Penelope Cruz.
The voluptuous Loren, who still sports plunging necklines, said at the time [she posed for Pirelli] she was thrilled by the experience. "I didn't think they would ask me such a thing," she said, "then thought, what the hell, I am going to do it anyway.". . . Loren . . . 75 on Sunday, was an illegitimate child raised by a single mother in abject poverty in the war-torn slums outside Naples.
After trying out for beauty contests, she scored a few small roles on screen and at only 16, in 1951, played a young slave girl. That same year she unveiled her breasts, posing nude for the first but very last time. "When Sophia Loren is naked," she once said, "that is a lot of nakedness." Commenting once on another Italian bombshell, Gina Lollobrigida, Loren said: "I don't think she's positively mad about me.
Because I'm bigger than she? It's possible. Who knows?" It was in 1953 that Loren's career really took off when she met husband-to-be Carlo Ponti, an already married producer 22 years her senior who later became the father of her two sons and with whom she lived until his death at 94 two years ago.
When they first married, Ponti was charged with bigamy after Italy would not recognise a Mexican divorce from his first wife. He and Loren annulled their marriage but continued living together -- a huge scandal at the time.
Loren worked with great Italian directors including Dino Risi, Vittorio De Sica and Ettore Scola but unlike Bardot, who starred with French legends such as Jean-Luc Godard or Louis Malle, went on to work in Hollywood. Playing alongside stars such as Clark Gable, Peter Sellers, John Wayne and Frank Sinatra, she scooped an Oscar for "Two Women" in 1962 and a second in 1991 honoring her entire career.
Amid her 90-odd films -- she plans a biopic on her own life in which she will play her mother -- she co-starred in 13 with fellow Italian Marcello Mastroiani, probably her best-known partner. It is Mastroiani who in "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow", a 1964 movie, sits on the bed staring and sweating and roaring with joy as the sex icon peels off her clothes, swinging suspender-belt and stockings. Their last film together was the 1994 movie by Robert Altman "Pret-a-porter".
BTW: Sophia Loren returns to the screen in November in the big new movie musical "Nine" starring Penelope Cruz and Daniel Day Lewis. Watch the Nine trailer by clicking here.