Monument of the 7th art, the Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida died at the age of 95. In France, she remains associated with her role in the film “Fanfan la Tulipe” alongside Gérard Philipe in 1952.
Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida, a voluptuous brunette who shared the spotlight with the greatest actors in the 1950s, has died at the age of 95, the Italian Minister of Culture announced on Monday January 16.
Gina Lollobrigida had fractured her femur in a fall at her Roman home in September and required surgery. The former sex symbol was revealed in 1952 in “Fanfan la tulipe” by French director Christian-Jaque.
The former sex symbol had fractured her femur when she fell at her Roman home in September and had to be operated on.
“Farewell to a diva of the big screen, protagonist of more than half a century of Italian cinema history. Her charm is eternal. Ciao Lollo”, tweeted the Minister of Culture Gennaro Sangiuliano.
Addio ad una diva del grande schermo, protagonista di oltre mezzo secolo di storia del cinema italiano. It suo fascino stay in eterno.
Ciao Lollo. pic.twitter.com/LbHf2MMXFy
— Gennaro Sangiuliano (@g_sangiuliano) January 16, 2023
Luigina Lollobrigida was born on July 4, 1927 in the small village of Subiaco, in Abruzzo, in the mountains of central Italy, into a modest family who then moved to Rome.
A student of the École des Beaux-Arts, passionate about drawing and sculpture, she took her first steps in the cinema somewhat by chance.
“I didn’t want to be an actress but an artist. I was an extra just to bring some money home. Then I was offered a real role. It wasn’t what I wanted. I thought: “I go there and I ask them for the moon, a million. They gave it to me and I started making movies,” she told Vanity Fair Italy in 2007.
To the top of the poster
For four years, from 1947 to 1951, she only obtained secondary roles, until “Fanfan la tulipe” by Christian-Jaque and its 6.7 million spectators consecrated her in 1952.
This little brunette with voluptuous shapes and smoldering eyes then went on to “Les Belles de nuit” by René Clair in 1952 and “Bread, love and fantasy” by Luigi Comencini in 1953.
Gina Lollobrigida plays with the greatest actors: Frank Sinatra, Sean Connery, Marcello Mastroianni, Yul Brynner or Humphrey Bogart in “Stronger Than the Devil” in 1954 and Anthony Quinn in “Notre-Dame de Paris” by Jean Delannoy (1956 ), where she plays Esmeralda.
She toured the United States until 1962, then ended up returning to Italy. She then plays only occasionally for the cinema and for television, appearing in a few films of the 1990s such as “XXL” by Ariel Zeitoun with Gérard Depardieu and “Les cent et une nuits de Simon Cinéma” by Agnès Varda.
“I have always preferred sculpture”
In a sign that her aura hasn’t waned, a 2013 auction of her jewelry skyrocketed, with pearl drop earrings fetching $2.39 million, surpassing a previous record set by goldsmiths. similar jewelry from Elizabeth Taylor.
But, in the meantime, “La Lollo” had returned to her first artistic love, photography and then sculpture, to which she devoted herself entirely in the early 1980s.
“I have always preferred sculpture. I gave myself to cinema and I don’t regret it, but when cinema changed, I decided to rediscover my passion”, confided the star on the occasion of the inauguration. in Paris of his first exhibition, which had also been shown in Moscow and Venice.
She mainly sculpts characters, often women who look like her in her greatest roles.
His only regret? To have “never found a soul mate” and to have known only “one-sided” love, she declared to Vanity Fair in 2007.
In 1969, Gina Lollobrigida had divorced Milko Skofic, the doctor whom she had married in 1949 and from whom she had her only son, Milko Jr, who gave her a grandson.
In 2006, at the age of 79, Gina Lollobrigida hit the headlines when she announced her wedding to Spanish entrepreneur Javier Rigau Rafols, 34 years her junior. But the couple split amid turmoil and legal battles a few months later.
Political career ambitions
During a television program in November 2017, she also revealed, with modesty and dignity, to have suffered two sexual assaults in her youth. “It stays in you and it marks your character,” she assured.
She was also involved in two trials. In the first, the Court of Cassation imposed on him a guardian for the management of his assets. In the second, still in progress, his ex-handyman is accused of abuse of weakness towards him.
A goodwill ambassador for Unicef, the actress also ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the European Parliament in 1999 on the list of a left-wing party. She will try in 2022, again in vain, to obtain a seat in the Italian Senate.
In France, she was made an officer of arts and letters in 1986 and a commander in 2004. But she had to wait until February 2018 to have her star in Hollywood.