Sophia Loren Biography, Life, Interesting Facts
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From beauty pageant finalist to an award-winning actress, Italian-born Sophia Loren has made herself known in movies and television. Her beauty and grace have drawn audiences for decades.
Childhood And Early Life
Sophia Loren was born on September 20, 1934, in Rome, Italy. Her birth name was Sofia Villani Scicolone. Her father was a construction engineer while her mother was a young actress who resembled Greta Garbo. They never married, and he was never involved in his daughter's life. Sophia Loren and her mother lived with family members in the poorest areas on the Bay of Naples. The family struggled more when World War II hit Italy.
While Sophia Loren was considered ugly as a child, Sophia Loren developed quickly as a teen. When Sophia Loren was fourteen, Sophia Loren was a finalist for a beauty pageant in Naples, Italy.
Rise To Stardom
Both Sophia Loren and her mother went to Rome to work as actresses when she turned fifteen. Sophia Loren found work as an extra and as a model. Sophia Loren took on the name Loren when she got a role in the 1952 film La Favorita.
Sophia Loren gained the lead role in Aida in 1953 and The Gold in Naples in 1954. By then Sophia Loren became one of the newest Italian actresses.
Sophia Loren continued making movies in Italy from 1954-1957. Sophia Loren signed with Paramount Pictures in 1958, making her an international star. The Pride and the Passion was her first role in a Hollywood-produced film.
Sophia Loren co-starred with Frank Sinatra and Cary Grant. It was also the turning point in her love life when Sophia Loren had to choose between her co-star Cary Grant and Italian film producer Carlo Ponti. It was her role as an Italian mother in World War II that was the pinnacle of her career. While Sophia Loren was sought after to be the daughter in Two Women, Sophia Loren chose to play the role of the mother. The role resembled her childhood in war-torn Italy. Sophia Loren won numerous awards including the Best Actress Oscar in 1961.
Sophia Loren continued filming as the star of foreign movies throughout the 1960s. The Italian, French, and American films received awards including Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, the 1963 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film.
Sophia Loren was nominated for Best Actress in the 1964 film Marriage, Italian Style. Sophia Loren later co-starred with Marlon Brando in A Countess from Hong Kong.
Sophia Loren focused on Italian films during the 1970s and 1980s during the time that her sons were born. Sophia Loren focused more on motherhood than stardom. Sophia Loren even turned down prime-time televisions roles on Dynasty and Falcon Crest. It was also the time that she focused beyond film and into business. Sophia Loren started the trend of celebrity perfumes and makeup in 1981. Sophia Loren wrote a book, made public appearances, and acted in more films such as Grumpier Old Men and Nine.
Sophia Loren continued working. In 2011, Sophia Loren was the voice of Mama Topolino in the animated Cars 2. However, she is recognized for her beauty and poise well into her later years. Sophia Loren makes sure that she portrays realistic women in her films, not just sex symbols.
Personal Life And Legacy
Sophia Loren married film producer Carlo Ponti in 1957, but their marriage was not official due to legal issues with Ponti's previous marriage. They remarried in 1966. The couple has two sons. They stayed together until his death in 2007.
Philanthropic Works / Humanitarian Work
Sophia Loren was a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency. Through her efforts, she made the struggles of Somali refugees in the 1990s known to the world. She wanted the world to know how they had to live through the war as well as drought and famine.
Awards And Achievements
• David di Donatello Golden Plate Award, The Black Orchid 1959
• BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actress, Two Women 1962
• Academy Award, Best Actress Two Women, 1962
• Loren's Oscar also is noted to be the first win for a non-English-speaking performances
• Golden Globe Henrietta Award for World Film Favorites, 1965, 1969, and 1977
• Academy Honorary Award, 1991
• Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award, 1995
• David di Donatello Career Award, 1999
• Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children, Wolf Tracks and Peter and the Wolf, 2004
• Screen Actors Guild Award nomination, Cast of Nine, 2009
Summary Of Major Works
• Aida (1953)
• The Gold in Naples (1954)
• Black Orchid (1959)
• Two Women (1961)
• Marriage Italian-Style (1964)
• A Countess from Hong Kong (1967)
• Man of La Mancha (1972)
• A Special Day (1977)
• Grumpier Old Men (1995)
• Nine (2009)
• Sophia Loren: Her Own Story (1980)