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Sophia Loren
Sophia Loren Césars 1991.jpg
Sophia Loren, 1991
Sofia Villani Scicolone

(1934-09-20) September 20, 1934 (age 88)
Nationality Italian
Other names Sofia Lazzaro
Sofia Scicolone
Years active 1950-present
Height 5' 8½" (1.74 m)
Spouse(s) Carlo Ponti
(m. 1966-2007, his death)
Children Carlo Ponti Jr.
Edoardo Ponti

Sophia Loren (born 20 September 1934) is an Italian actress, one of the best known and most popular of Italian actresses.

Life and career

Born Sofia Scicolone in Rome, Italy, out of wedlock. She grew up in Puzzuoli, near Naples, raised by her single mother in poverty.

In 1950, she entered a beauty contest and was noticed by film producer Carlo Ponti (1912-2007) who took her under his wing. With his help and guidance, she began appearing in bit parts in film, and got her first major role in director Vittorio De Sica's The Gold of Naples in 1954.

Ponti made her learn English and took her to Hollywood. Her first film there was The Pride and the Passion in 1957, opposite Cary Grant and Frank Sinatra. This was followed by Desire under the Elms (1958) with Anthony Perkins, Houseboat (1958) with Cary Grant, Black Orchid (1958) with Anthony Quinn, It Happened in Naples (1960) with Clark Gable, Heller in Pink Tights (1960) with Anthony Quinn, A Breath of Scandal (1960) with John Gavin.

Back in Italy, she was reunited with Vittorio De Sica in La Ciocara (Two Women) in 1961, which won her the Academy Award and the BAFTA for best actress.

Thereafter, she pursued her career both in Italy and the United States, appearing in films such as El Cid (1962), The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964), Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1964), Marriage Italian Style (1964), Arabesque (1966), The Countess from Hong Kong (1967), The Man from La Mancha (1972), The Cassandra Crossing (1976), etc.

Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti were first married on 17 September 1957, but Ponti being Catholic his divorce from his first wife was not recognized in Italy and the marriage was declared invalid. Ponti took French citizenship and after being legally divorced, he and Loren were remarried on 9 April 1966, and had two sons; Carlo (b. 1968) and Eduardo (b. 1973).

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