Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren

born in 1934 in Roma, Lazio, Italy

Sophia Loren

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren in June 2009
Born Sofia Villani Scicolone
September 20 1934
Rome, Italy
Residence Geneva, Switzerland
Nationality Italian
Other names Sofia Lazzaro
Sofia Scicolone
Ethnicity Italian
Occupation Actress
Years active 1950present
Religious beliefs Roman Catholic
Spouse(s) Carlo Ponti
(m. 1957-1962, annulled; 1966-2007, his death)
Children Carlo Ponti, Jr., Edoardo Ponti
Relatives Alessandra Mussolini (niece)

Sophia Loren, OMRI (born Sofia Villani Scicolone; 20 September 1934) is an Italian actress.[1]

In 1962, Loren won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Two Women, along with 21 awards, becoming the first actress to win an Academy Award for a non-English-speaking performance. Loren has won 50 international awards, including an Oscar, seven Golden Globe Awards, a Grammy Award, a BAFTA Award and a Laurel Award. Her other films include: Houseboat (1958), El Cid (1961), Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1963), Marriage Italian Style (1964), A Special Day (1977). She has received critical and commercial success in movies for home box-office such as Courage (1986) and in American blockbusters such as Grumpier Old Men (1995), and Nine (2009). In 1994 she starred in Robert Altman's Ready to Wear, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination in 1995. The same year she received the Cecil B. de Mille award for lifetime achievements.

In 1999, Loren was listed by the American Film Institute on AFI's 100 Years... 100 Stars as #21 of 25 American female screen legends of all time. In 2002, she was honored by the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) at its annual Anniversary Gala and was inducted into its Italian American Hall of Fame. In 2009, the Guinness Book of World Records recognized her as "Italy's Most Awarded Actress".[2]

In 1991, the Republic of France awarded her a Distinction of la Légion d'honneur (the Legion of Honor) with the grade of Chevalier (Knight). In 1994, she was awarded with the Honorary Golden Bear at the 44th Berlin International Film Festival.[3] In 1997, Loren was invested Cavaliere di Gran Croce Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana (Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic). In 2010, she was awarded the Praemium Imperiale by the Imperial Family of Japan on behalf of the Japan Art Association.[2]

Early life

Loren was born in the Clinica Regina Margherita in Rome,[4][5] daughter of an Arbereshe-Italian couple Romilda Villani (1914-1991) and Riccardo Scicolone, a construction engineer.[6] Scicolone refused to marry Villani, leaving her, a piano teacher and aspiring actress, without support.[7] Loren's parents had another child together, her sister Anna Maria Villani Scicolone, in 1938. Loren has two younger paternal half-brothers, Giuliano and Giuseppe.[8] Romilda, Loren, and Maria lived with Loren's grandmother in Pozzuoli, near Naples, to survive.[9]

During World War II, the harbour and munitions plant in Pozzuoli was a frequent bombing target of the Allies. During one raid, as Loren ran to the shelter, she was struck by shrapnel and wounded in the chin. After that, the family moved to Naples, where they were taken in by distant relatives.

After the war, Loren and her family returned to Pozzuoli. Grandmother Luisa opened a pub in their living room, selling homemade cherry liquor. Villani played the piano, Maria sang and Loren waited on tables and washed dishes. The place was very popular with the American GIs stationed nearby.

When she was 14 years old, Loren entered a beauty contest in Naples and, while not winning, was selected as one of the finalists. Later she enrolled in acting class and was selected as an extra in Mervyn LeRoy's 1951 film Quo Vadis, launching her career as a motion picture actress. She eventually changed her name to Sophia Loren.



After being credited professionally as Sofia Lazzaro, she began using her current stage name in 1952's La Favorita. Her first starring role was in Aida (1953), for which she received critical acclaim.[10] After playing the lead role in Two Nights with Cleopatra (1953), her breakthrough role was in The Gold of Naples (1954), directed by Vittorio De Sica.[10] Too Bad She's Bad, also released in 1954, became the first of many films in which Loren co-starred with Marcello Mastroianni. Over the next three years she acted in many films such as Scandal in Sorrento (1955) and Lucky to Be a Woman (1956). In 1957, Loren's star had begun to rise in Hollywood, with the films Boy on a Dolphin (her U.S. film debut), Legend of the Lost with John Wayne, and The Pride and the Passion in which she starred opposite Cary Grant and Frank Sinatra.

International fame

Loren became an international film star with a five-picture contract with Paramount Pictures in 1958. Among her films at this time were Desire Under the Elms with Anthony Perkins, based upon the Eugene O'Neill play; Houseboat, a romantic comedy co-starring Cary Grant; and George Cukor's Heller in Pink Tights, in which she appeared as a blonde for the first time.

In 1961, she starred in Vittorio De Sica's Two Women, a stark, gritty story of a mother who is raped while trying to protect her daughter in war-torn Italy. Originally cast as the daughter, Loren fought against type and was re-cast as the mother (actress Eleonora Brown would portray the daughter). Loren's performance earned her many awards, including the Cannes Film Festival's best performance prize, and an Academy Award for Best Actress, the first major Academy Award for a non-English-language performance and to an Italian actress. She won 22 international awards for Two Women. The film proved to be extremely well accepted by the critics and it was a huge commercial success.

Loren is known for her sharp wit and insight. One of her most frequently-quoted sayings is her quip about her famously-voluptuous figure: "Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti." However, on the December 20, 2009, episode of CBS News Sunday Morning, Loren denied ever saying the line.

During the 1960s, Loren was one of the most popular actresses in the world, and she continued to make films in both the U.S. and Europe, acting with leading male stars. In 1964, her career reached its zenith when she received $1 million to act in The Fall of the Roman Empire. In 1965, she received a second Academy Award nomination for her performance in Marriage Italian-Style.

Among Loren's best-known films of this period are Samuel Bronston's epic production of El Cid (1961) with Charlton Heston, The Millionairess (1960) with Peter Sellers, It Started in Naples (1960) with Clark Gable, Vittorio De Sica's triptych Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (1963) with Marcello Mastroianni, Peter Ustinov's Lady L (1965) with Paul Newman, the 1966 classic Arabesque with Gregory Peck, and Charlie Chaplin's final film, A Countess from Hong Kong (1967) with Marlon Brando.

Loren received four Golden Globe Awards between 1964 and 1977 as "World Film Favorite - Female."[11]

Mid-career and musical recordings

Once she became a mother, Loren worked less. Most of her acting during the next two decades was in Italian features. During the 1970s, she was paired with Richard Burton in the last De Sica-directed movie, The Voyage (1974), and a remake of the film Brief Encounter (1974). In 1976 she starred in The Cassandra Crossing, a disaster film featuring such veteran stars as Richard Harris, Martin Sheen, and Ava Gardner. She also co-starred with Marcello Mastroianni in Ettore Scola's A Special Day (1977), an Italian film for which she was nominated for several awards. Loren then starred in the Hollywood thrillers Brass Target (1978), set during World War II, and Firepower (1979), that had a moderate success. In 1980, Loren portrayed herself, as well as her mother, in a made-for-television biopic adaptation of her autobiography titled Sophia Loren: Her Own Story. Actresses Ritza Brown and Chiara Ferrari played Loren at younger ages. In 1981, she became the first female celebrity to launch her own perfume, Sophia, and a brand of eyewear followed soon thereafter.[10] She made headlines in 1982 when she served an 18-day prison sentence in Italy on tax evasion charges, a fact that didn't damage her career or popularity. In fact, Bill Moore, then employed at Pickle Packers International advertising department, sent her a pink pickle-shaped trophy for being "the prettiest lady in the prettiest pickle". She acted infrequently during the 1980s and turned down the role of Alexis Carrington in 1981 on the TV series Dynasty and although she was set to star in thirteen episodes of CBS' Falcon Crest in 1984 as Angela Channing's half-sister Francesca Gioberti, negotiations fell through at the last moment and the role instead went to Gina Lollobrigida. Sophia, preferring to devote more time to raising her sons.[12][13] In 1988 she starred in the miniseries The Fortunate Pilgrim.

Loren has also recorded well over two dozen songs throughout her career, including a best-selling album of comedic songs with Peter Sellers; reportedly, she had to fend off his romantic advances. It was partly owing to Sellers' infatuation with Loren that he split with his first wife, Anne Howe. Loren has made it clear to numerous biographers that Sellers' affections were reciprocated only platonically. This collaboration was covered in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers where actress Sonia Aquino portrayed Loren. It is said that the song "Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)" by Peter Sarstedt was inspired by Loren.

Later career

In 1991, Loren received the Academy Honorary Award for her contributions to world cinema and was declared "one of the world cinema's treasures." In 1995, she received the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award. She presented Federico Fellini with his Honorary Oscar. In 2009 Loren stated on Larry King Live that Fellini had planned to direct her in a film shortly before his death in 1993.[14]

Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Loren was selective about choosing her films and ventured into various areas of business, including cook books, eyewear, jewellery and perfume.

She received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in Robert Altman's film Ready to Wear (1994), co-starring Julia Roberts.

In the comedy Grumpier Old Men (1995), Loren played a femme fatale opposite Walter Matthau, Jack Lemmon, and Ann-Margret. The film was a box-office success and became Loren's biggest U.S hit in years.[10]

In 2001, Loren received a Special Grand Prix of the Americas Award at the Montreal World Film Festival for her body of work.[15] She filmed two projects in Canada during this time: the independent film Between Strangers (2002), directed by her son Edoardo and co-starring Mira Sorvino, and the television miniseries Lives of the Saints (2004).

In 2009, after five years off the set and fourteen years since she starred in a prominent US theatrical film, Loren starred in Rob Marshall's film version of Nine, based on the Broadway musical that tells the story of a director whose midlife crisis causes him to struggle to complete his latest film; he is forced to balance the influences of numerous formative women in his life, including his deceased mother. Loren was Marshall's first and only choice for the role. The film also stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Penelope Cruz, Kate Hudson, Marion Cotillard, and Nicole Kidman. As a part of the cast she received her first nomination for a Screen Actors Guild Award.

In 2010, Loren played her own mother in a two-part Italian television miniseries about her early life, directed by Vittorio Sindoni, entitled La Mia Casa È Piena di Specchi (translated My House Is Full of Mirrors), based on the memoir written by her sister Maria.[16]

Personal life

Loren's primary residence has been in Geneva, Switzerland since late 2006.[17] She also owns homes in Los Angeles and New York.

In September 1999, Loren filed a lawsuit against 76 adult websites for posting altered nude photos of her on the internet.[18][19]

Loren is a huge fan of the football club S.S.C. Napoli. In May 2007, when the team was third in Serie B, she told the Gazzetta dello Sport that she would do a striptease if the team won.[20]

Loren posed scantily-clad at 72 for the 2007 Pirelli Calendar along with such actresses as Penelope Cruz and Hilary Swank.[21]

Marriage and family

Loren first met Carlo Ponti in 1950 when she was 15 and he was 37. They married on September 17, 1957. However, Ponti was still officially married to his first wife Giuliana under Italian law because Italy did not recognize divorce at that time. The couple had their marriage annulled in 1962 to escape bigamy charges.[22] In 1965, Ponti obtained a divorce from Giuliana in France, allowing him to marry Loren on April 9, 1966.[23] They later became French citizens after their application was approved by then French President Georges Pompidou.[24]

The couple had two sons: Carlo Ponti Jr. (born December 29, 1968) and Edoardo Ponti (born January 6, 1973).

Loren remained married to Carlo Ponti until his death on January 10, 2007 of pulmonary complications.[25]

When asked in a November 2009 interview if she is ever likely to marry again, Loren replied "No, never again. It would be impossible to love anyone else."[26]

Her daughters-in-law are Sasha Alexander and Andrea Meszaros.[8][27] Loren has three grandchildren: Lucia Ponti (born May 12, 2006),[28] Vittorio Ponti (born April 3, 2007).[8] and Leonardo Fortunato (born December 20, 2010).


Year Title Role Notes
1950 I Am the Capataz Secretary of the Dictator
1950 Barbablu's Six Wives Girl kidnapped
1950 Tototarzan A tarzanide
1950 I Devote, Thee A popular to the party of piedigrotta
1950 Hearts at Sea Extra Uncredited
1951 White Leprosy A girl in the boardinghouse
1951 Owner of the Vapor Ballerinetta
1951 Milan Billionaire Extra Uncredited
1951 Magician for Force The bride
1951 Quo Vadis Lygia's slave Uncredited
1951 It's Him!... Yes! Yes! Odalisca
1951 Anna Night club assistant Uncredited
1952 And Arrived the Accordatore Amica di Giulietta
1952 I Dream of Zorro Conchita As Sofia Scicolone
1952 Favorite, TheThe Favorite Leonora
1953 Country of Campanelli, TheThe Country of Campanelli Bonbon
1953 Pilgrim of Love
1953 We Find Ourselves in Arcade Marisa
1953 Two Nights with Cleopatra Cleopatra/Nisca
1953 Girls Marked Danger Elvira
1953 Good Folk's Sunday Ines
1953 Aida Aida
1953 Africa Under the Seas Barbara Lama
1954 Neapolitan Carousel Sisina
1954 giorno in pretura, UnUn giorno in pretura Anna
1954 Anatomy of Love, TheThe Anatomy of Love girl, TheThe girl
1954 Poverty and Nobility Gemma
1954 Gold of Naples, TheThe Gold of Naples Sofia Segment "Pizze a Credito"
1954 Attila Honoria
1954 Too Bad She's Bad Lina Stroppiani
1955 Sign of Venus, TheThe Sign of Venus Agnese Tirabassi
1955 Miller's Beautiful Wife, TheThe Miller's Beautiful Wife Carmela
1955 River Girl, TheThe River Girl Nives Mongolini
1955 Scandal in Sorrento Donna Sofia
1956 Lucky to Be a Woman Antonietta Fallari
1957 Boy on a Dolphin Phaedra
1957 Pride and the Passion, TheThe Pride and the Passion Juana
1957 Legend of the Lost Dita
1958 Desire Under the Elms Anna Cabot
1958 Key, TheThe Key Stella
1958 Black Orchid, TheThe Black Orchid Rose Bianco Volpi Cup
1958 Houseboat Cinzia Zaccardi
1959 That Kind of Woman Kay
1960 Heller in Pink Tights Angela Rossini
1960 It Started in Naples Lucia Curio Nominated Golden Globe Award for Best Actress Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1960 Millionairess, TheThe Millionairess Epifania Parerga
1960 Breath of Scandal, AA Breath of Scandal Princess Olympia
1960 Two Women Cesira
  • Academy Award for Best Actress
  • BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
  • Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Award
  • David di Donatello for Best Actress
  • Nastro d'Argento Best Actress
  • New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
  • Sant Jordi Awards Best Performance in a Foreign Film
1961 Cid, ElEl Cid Jimena
1962 Madame Sans-Gêne Catherine Hubscher, said "Madame Sans-Gêne"
1962 Boccaccio '70 Zoe Segment "La Riffa"
1963 Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow Adelina Sbaratti/Anna Molteni/Mara David di Donatello for Best Actress
1964 Fall of the Roman Empire, TheThe Fall of the Roman Empire Lucilla
1964 Marriage Italian-Style Filumena Marturano
  • David di Donatello for Best Actress
  • Moscow International Film Festival Award for Best Actress
  • Golden Laurel Awards for Best Actress (2nd Place)
  • Nominated Academy Award for Best Actress
  • Nominated Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
  • Nominated Nastro d'Argento Best Actress
1965 Operation Crossbow Nora
1965 Lady L Lady Louise Lendale/Lady L
1966 Judith Judith
1966 Arabesque Yasmin Azir
1967 Countess from Hong Kong, AA Countess from Hong Kong Natascha
1967 More Than a Miracle Isabella Candeloro
1968 Ghosts - Italian Style Maria Lojacono
1970 Sunflower Giovanna
  • David di Donatello for Best Actress
  • Nominated - Fotogramas de Plata Best Foreign Performer
1971 Lady Liberty Maddalena Ciarrapico
1971 Priest's Wife, TheThe Priest's Wife Valeria Billi
1972 Man of La Mancha Aldonza/Dulcinea
1973 Sin, TheThe Sin Hermana Germana
1974 Voyage, TheThe Voyage Adriana de Mauro
  • David di Donatello for Best Actress
  • San Sebastian International Film Festival Prize San Sebastian
1974 Verdict Teresa Leoni
1974 Brief Encounter Anna Jesson
1975 Sex Pot Pupa
1976 Cassandra Crossing, TheThe Cassandra Crossing Jennifer Rispoli Chamberlain
1977 Special Day, AA Special Day Antoinette
  • David di Donatello for Best Actress
  • Globo d'Oro Award for Best Actress
  • Nastro d'Argento Best Actress
1978 Blood Feud Titina Paterno
1978 Brass Target Mara/cameo role
1978 Angela Angela Kincaid
1979 Firepower Adele Tasca/cameo role
1980 Sophia Loren: Her Own Story herself/Romilda Villani (her mother)
1984 Aurora Aurora Television film
1986 Courage Marianna Miraldo Television film
1988 Fortunate Pilgrim, TheThe Fortunate Pilgrim Lucia Television miniseries
1989 Running Away Cesira
1990 Saturday, Sunday and Monday Rosa Priore
1994 Prêt-à-Porter Isabella de la Fontaine
  • National Board of Review Award for Best Cast
  • Nominated Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress Motion Picture
1995 Grumpier Old Men Maria Sophia Coletta Ragetti
1997 Soleil Maman Levy
2001 Francesca e Nunziata Francesca Montorsi
2002 Between Strangers Olivia
2004 Too Much Romance... It's Time for Stuffed Peppers Maria
2005 Lives of the Saints Teresa Innocente
2009 Nine Mamma
  • Satellite Award for Best Cast Motion Picture
  • Nominated Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
  • Nominated Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
  • Nominated Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble Cast
2010 My House Is Full of Mirrors Romilda Villani
2010 Femina Pre-production
2011 Todos contra Juan 2 Herself Argentinian television sitcom


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  2. 2.0 2.1
  3. Berlinale: 1994 Prize Winners. Retrieved on 2011-06-09.
  4. Encyclopædia Britannica. Sophia Loren (Italian actress) - Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved on 15 March 2010.
  5. Sophia Loren - Biography - MSN Movies. (20 September 1934). Retrieved on 15 March 2010.
  6. Friday, Apr. 06, 1962, Movies Abroad: Much Woman, TIME, 6 April 1962. URL accessed on 15 March 2010.
  7. Local Search - Boston Globe Archives,, 22 August 1993. URL accessed on 15 March 2010.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Sophia Loren Archives - Chronicles. Retrieved on 2010-12-10.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Sophia Loren Biography - Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved on 15 March 2010.
  11. [1]
  12. Hall, Jane (1984-10-22). Sophia's Choice - Kids & Family Life, Sophia Loren. Retrieved on 2010-12-10.
  13. Sophia Loren - Actors and Actresses - Films as Actress:, Publications. Retrieved on 2010-12-10.
  14. - Transcripts,, 15 December 2009. URL accessed on 15 March 2010.
  15. Awards 2001. Festival des Films du Monde.
  16. Sophia Loren plays her mother in biopic, The Times Of India.
  17. Sophia Loren - Loren Leaves Italy For Switzerland - Contactmusic News. (2006-10-12). Retrieved on 2010-12-10.
  18. The Fake Detective. Law Suits Involving Fakes And Celebrity Photographs. Retrieved on 2010-12-10.
  20. Staff writers, Napoli fan Sofia Loren to strip if team go up, Thomson Reuters, 15 May 2007. URL accessed on 23 April 2008.
  21. Gorgan, Elena, Sophia Loren Sizzles in the New Pirelli Calendar, Softpedia, 17 November 2006.
  22. Carlo Ponti, Husband to Sophia Loren, Dead at 94, Fox News, 10 January 2007.
  23. Exshaw, John, Carlo Ponti, The Independent, 12 January 2007.
  24. Carlo Ponti, Husband to Sophia Loren, Dead at 94 from Fox News 10 January 2007
  25. Sophia Loren'S Husband Carlo Ponti Passes Away. (2007-01-10). Retrieved on 2010-12-10.
  26. Template error: argument title is required.
  27. Carlo Ponti Jr Weds in St. Stephen's Basilica - Photo. LIFE (2004-09-18). Retrieved on 2010-12-10.
  28. Wren, Jennifer. Passages - Sophia Loren. Retrieved on 2010-12-10.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Sophia Loren Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Sophia Loren

  • Sophia Loren at the Internet Movie Database
  • Sophia Loren at the TCM Movie Database
  • Interview with Bill Boggs
This page was last modified 14.06.2011 23:56:57

This article uses material from the article Sophia Loren from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.