According to BillingsGazette.com of Rom, “Italian film legend Gina Lollobrigida, who achieved international stardom during the 1950s and was dubbed “the most beautiful woman in the world” after the title of one her movies, died in Rome on Monday, her agent said. She was 95.
“The agent, Paola Comin, did not provide details. But Lollobrigida had surgery in September to repair a thigh bone broken in a fall. She returned home and said she had quickly resumed walking.
“A drawn portrait of the diva graced a 1954 cover of Time magazine, which likened her to a “goddess” in an article about Italian movie-making. More than a half-century later, Lollobrigida still turned heads with her brown, curly hair and statuesque figure, and preferred to be called an actress instead of the gender-neutral term actor.
“‘Lollo,’ as she was lovingly nicknamed by Italians, began making movies in Italy just after the end of World War II, as the country began to promote on the big screen a stereotypical concept of Mediterranean beauty as buxom and brunette.
“[In addition to] The World’s Most Beautiful Woman in 1955, career highlights included Golden Globe-winner Come September, with Rock Hudson; Trapeze; Beat the Devil, a 1953 John Huston film starring Humphrey Bogart and Jennifer Jones; and Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell, which won Lollobrigida Italy’s top movie award, a David di Donatello, as best actress in 1969.
“Two of her more popular films at home were Comencini’s Pane Amore e Fantasia (Bread, Love, and Dreams) in 1953, and the sequel a year later, Pane Amore e Gelosia (Bread, Love, and Jealousy). Her male foil was Vittorio Gassman, one of Italy’s leading men on the screen.
“Lollobrigida also was an accomplished sculptor, painter, and photographer, and eventually essentially dropped film for the fine arts. With her camera, she roamed the world from what was then the Soviet Union to Australia. In 1974, Fidel Castro hosted her as a guest in Cuba for 12 days as she worked on a photo reportage.
“Lollobrigida was born on July 4, 1927, in Subiaco, a picturesque hill town near Rome, where her father was a furniture maker. Lollobrigida began her career in beauty contests, posing for the covers of magazines and brief appearances in minor…