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Sophia Loren: an Italian icon

Sofia Villani Scicolone, known as Sophia Loren, was born on September 20, 1934 in Rome. As a girl she showed a considerable interest in the showbiz world, first as a contestant in beauty pageants and only later in the role of actress. Her story is a troubled one, as she was not only a victim of the turbulent post-war period but also of an eternal fight with her family, caused above all by the somewhat overwhelming jealousy of her father Riccardo, a real estate businessman who dreamed of a career away from the spotlight for Sofia. In contrast to his father, the mother, Romilda, a piano teacher who won a beauty contest in 1932  to go and appear in Hollywood as a double of Greta Garbo, but she had to give up this opportunity due to the strong opposition of her parents.sophia-loren

Sophia Loren’s story

Sofia Loren spent her childhood in Pozzuoli, with her mother. Her father had recognized the paternity of the child but he refused to marry her mother, Romilda. The woman was forced to return from Rome to Pozzuoli, to receive the help of her family. During the bombings of the Second World War the family home was hit several times, until a splinter hit Sophia’s chin (leaving the famous scar, still visible) and the family was forced to move to Naples. Fleeing from these precarious conditions, the grandmother of the actress managed to open a bar that allowed her to give work to Sophia’s mother (pianist) and her sister Diana (singer). From here, under certainly more favorable conditions, Sophia Loren’s real climb to success started, even if she remained forever attached to those lands, in fact she often chose to act in Neapolitan.

Sophia Loren’s career

Sophia Loren’s career began with the participation in the first beauty contests, including Miss Italy (in 1950). Thanks to the money and fame earned, she was able to participate as a protagonist in the creation of various photo novels and to support one of the most famous presenters and entertainers of the time in a radio program. The first real films arrived in the late 50s, thanks to a 7-year contract during which Sofia used various stage names, from Sofia Lazzaro until she decided on the “definitive” Sophia Loren, hoping that her name became more “international”.

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During these years Loren gained experience as an actress, performing alongside increasingly prestigious actors and accepting the first film in English. In the 70s, however, thanks to the main role in “La Ciociara”, she won the Oscar Award, the Palme d’Oro at Cannes and the David di Donatello in Italy, giving way to an endless series of successes.

Sophia Loren today

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Credits: Cinemondium

Today Sophia Loren is a woman who has never stopped living off her beloved cinema, despite having taken a just and deserved time away from the spotlight. Anti-social par excellence, she has become the muse of Dolce & Gabbana, honorary citizen of the city of Naples, to which she has been closely linked since her childhood, and sponsor of MSC Seaview, the most luxurious cruise ship in Italy. In 2015 she published her own biography, printed by Rizzoli, and she still works in the entertainment world, encouraging if possible the activity of her second son Edoardo, who is a director by profession. Sophia Loren’s other sons live in America and the artist admits to thinking of them all the time. In short: the actress now boasts eighty-five years of age, a fervently active career, despite the deliberately “retired” private life that she chooses to spend in her current home in Geneva, Switzerland.

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