Golden Age Italian actress and ’60s beauty icon Gina Lollobrigida dies, age 95

Jan 17, 2023
Acclaimed Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida passed away on January 16. Source: Getty

Post-war Italian screen legend Gina Lollobrigida has passed away on Monday, January 16, in a clinic in Rome at the age of 95.

News of her death was confirmed by her former lawyer Giulia Citani, no cause of death has been cited.

Born in 1927 in Subiaco, Italy, “La Lollo”, as she is affectionately known, worked as a model in her youth and joined a series of beauty pageants before making her film debut in 1946 by starring in a small role for Return of the Black Eagle. 

Lollobrigida rose to stardom in the ’50s and ’60s, bringing glitz and glam following the doom and gloom that blanketed the world after the Second World War, leaving audiences awestruck by her beauty.

She appeared on projects alongside other silver screen icons such as Rock Hudson, Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, and Frank Sinatra.

Her breakthrough movie was the 1953 film noir Beat the Devil, where she starred opposite Humphrey Bogart, who remarked that Lollobrigida’s beauty made “Marilyn Monroe look like Shirley Temple”.

Some of her more notable films include Crossed Swords, Trapeze, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Falcon Crest and Beautiful But Dangerous.

In 1955, Italy dubbed her as their version of Elizabeth Taylor following the release of her signature film The Most Beautiful Woman in the World (La Donna Piu Bella del Mondo). 

More than just a pretty face, Lollobrigida was also an acclaimed actress, having won a BAFTA for best actress in a foreign film, a Golden Globe Henrietta Award for world film favourite — female, winning the Berlinale Camera at the Berlin Film Festival in 1986, received a special prize for outstanding contribution to world cinema at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival in 1995, and was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2018.

Outside of acting, Lollobrigida was also recognised for her sculptures and photojournalism, shooting high-profile names such as Cuban leader Fidel Castro, Henry Kissinger, Salvador Dali, Audrey Hepburn and Ella Fitzgerald.

After retiring from acting in 1997, she unsuccessfully ran for a Senate seat in 1999 in Italy’s elections as a candidate for the Democratic Party.

Lollobrigida is survived by her only child, Milko Škofič Jr.

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