Gina Lollobrigida

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Gina Lollobrigida
Gina Lollobrigida (1960s).jpg
Gina Lollobrigida in the 1960s
BornLuigina Lollobrigida
(1927-07-04) 4 July 1927 (age 86)
Subiaco, Kingdom of Italy
OccupationActress, photojournalist, sculptor
Years active1946–97
Spouse(s)Milko Skofic (1947–71) (divorced)
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Gina Lollobrigida
Gina Lollobrigida (1960s).jpg
Gina Lollobrigida in the 1960s
BornLuigina Lollobrigida
(1927-07-04) 4 July 1927 (age 86)
Subiaco, Kingdom of Italy
OccupationActress, photojournalist, sculptor
Years active1946–97
Spouse(s)Milko Skofic (1947–71) (divorced)

Luigina "Gina" Lollobrigida (Italian pronunciation: [ˈdʒiːna ˌlɔlloˈbriːdʒida]; born 4 July 1927) is an Italian actress, photojournalist and sculptor. She was one of the most popular European actresses of the 1950s and early 1960s, when she was also considered a sex symbol. She received numerous awards and nominations for her performances in Italian and American films, working with many stars of Hollywood.

As her film career slowed, she established second careers as a photojournalist and sculptor. In the 1970s, she scooped the press by gaining an exclusive interview with Fidel Castro, the revolutionary Communist dictator of Cuba.

She has continued as an active supporter of Italian and Italian American causes, particularly the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF). In 2008, she received the NIAF Lifetime Achievement Award at the Foundation's Anniversary Gala. In 2013, she sold her jewelry collection, and donated the nearly $5 million from the sale to benefit stem cell therapy research.


Born Luigina Lollobrigida in Subiaco, Italy, she was one of four daughters of a furniture manufacturer and his wife. Her sisters are Giuliana (b. 1924), Maria (b. 1929) and Fernanda (1930–2011). She grew up in a picturesque mountain village. In her youth, Gina did some modelling, and from that, she participated successfully in several beauty contests. At around this time, she began appearing in Italian language films.

In 1945, at age 18, she played a part in the comedy Santarellina by Eduardo Scarpetta at the Teatro della Concordia of Monte Castello di Vibio. (It is the smallest theatre all'italiana in the world.)[1]

In 1947, Gina entered the Miss Italia pageant and came in third place. It gave her national exposure. The contest was won by Lucia Bosé and second place by Gianna Maria Canale; they also became actresses but neither could approach Lollobrigida's success.



In 1950, Howard Hughes invited Lollobrigida to make Hollywood films, but she refused, preferring to work in Europe. Her performances in Italian films such as Bread, Love and Dreams (for which she received a BAFTA nomination and won a Nastro d'Argento award) and Woman of Rome; and in French films such as Fanfan la Tulipe and Beauties of the Night, brought her to the attention of Hollywood. She made her first American film, Beat the Devil, in 1953 with Humphrey Bogart and Jennifer Jones, directed by John Huston. After that, she was featured in numerous American films.

In 1955, Lollobrigida appeared in The World's Most Beautiful Woman, for which she received the first David di Donatello for Best Actress award. She appeared in the circus drama Trapeze directed by Carol Reed with Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis in 1956. The same year she starred in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, directed by Jean Delannoy with Anthony Quinn. In 1959, she co-starred with Frank Sinatra in Never So Few and with Yul Brynner in Solomon and Sheba. The latter was notable as the last film directed by King Vidor; and for an orgy scene unusual in Hollywood motion pictures of that era.

Gina Lollobrigida in Solomon and Sheba

In 1961, Lollobrigida was featured in the romantic comedy Come September, with Rock Hudson, Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin, for which she won a Golden Globe Award. The same year, she appeared with Ernest Borgnine and Anthony Franciosa in the drama Go Naked in the World. In 1962, she was directed again by Jean Delannoy in Venere Imperiale and received Nastro d'Argento and David di Donatello awards. In 1964, she co-starred with Sean Connery in the thriller Woman of Straw. She co-starred with Rock Hudson again in Strange Bedfellows (1965) and appeared with Alec Guinness in Hotel Paradiso (1966). In 1968, she starred in Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell with Shelley Winters, Phil Silvers and Telly Savalas. (This plot was later adapted for the stage musical Mamma Mia![citation needed]) For this role, she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and won a third David di Donatello award. Lollobrigida co-starred with Bob Hope in the comedy The Private Navy of Sgt. O'Farrell and also accompanied Hope on his visits to military troops overseas.

Gina Lollobrigida at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival

By the 1970s, her film career had slowed down. She appeared in only a few poorly received productions in the early part of the decade.

In the mid-1980s, she starred in the television series Falcon Crest as Francesca Gioberti, a role originally written for Sophia Loren, who had turned it down. For that role she received a third Golden Globe nomination. She also had a supporting role in the 1985 television miniseries Deceptions, co-starring with Stefanie Powers.

In 1986, she was invited to head the jury at the 36th Berlin International Film Festival, which awarded the Golden Bear to Reinhard Hauff's film Stammheim. She said the decision was made for political reasons.[2]

In 1973, she was a member of the jury at the 8th Moscow International Film Festival.[3] In the 1990s, she made a few minor French film appearances and continued to participate and attend international film festivals.


By the end of the 1970s, Lollobrigida had embarked on what she developed as a successful second career as a photographic journalist. She photographed, among others, Paul Newman, Salvador Dalí, Henry Kissinger, David Cassidy, Audrey Hepburn, Ella Fitzgerald and the German national football team. She scooped the world's press by obtaining an exclusive interview with Fidel Castro, leader of Communist Cuba. In 1973, a collection of her work was published under the title Italia Mia.

Other interests[edit]

She has focused on other interests such as sculpting. She has shown her sculptures in Italy, France, Spain, Russia, the United States, Qatar, and China.

Lollobrigida became a corporate executive for fashion and cosmetics companies.

Political activism[edit]

In 1999, she ran unsuccessfully for one of Italy's 87 seats in the elections for European Parliament with the center-left party The Democrats.

Personal life[edit]

In 1949, she married a Slovenian physician, Milko Skofic. They had one child, Milko Skofic, Jr., born on 28 July 1957.[4] Skofic gave up the practice of medicine to become her manager.[5] They were divorced in 1971.

In 1969, she was engaged for a short time to George Kaufman, a New York real estate heir. During the 1960s, she also had an affair with Christiaan Barnard, a South African doctor and pioneer in heart transplant surgery.[6]

In October 2006, at age 79, she announced to Spain's ¡Hola! magazine her engagement to a 45-year-old Spanish businessman, Javier Rigau y Rafols. They had met at a party in Monte Carlo in 1984 and had since become companions.[7] The engagement was called off on 6 December 2006, reportedly because of the strain of intense media interest.[8]

In January 2013, she started legal action against Javier Rigau y Rafols, claiming that her ex-boyfriend had staged a secret ceremony in which he "married" an imposter pretending to be her at a registry office in Barcelona. She said he intended to lay claim to her estate after her death. Lollobrigida accused Rigau of fraud, saying that he had earlier obtained the legal right to act on her behalf with a power of attorney, and carried out the plot to get extra power. "A while ago he convinced me to give him my power of attorney. He needed it for some legal affairs. But instead I fear that he took advantage of the fact that I don't understand Spanish ... Who knows what he had me sign."[9]

Now retired, Lollobrigida has not made a film since 1997. She told PARADE in April 2000: "I studied painting and sculpting at school and became an actress by mistake ... I've had many lovers and still have romances. I am very spoiled. All my life, I've had too many admirers."

She is of the Roman Catholic faith.

Lollobrigida has lived since 1949 at her home ranch and gardens in Sicily, Italy. The property contains her personal museum. In addition, she regularly stays at her house on Via Appia Antica in Rome and at a villa in Monte Carlo.[9] Since 2009, Lollobrigida has not allowed visitors to her home.[9]

In 2013, Lollobrigida sold her jewelry collection through Sotheby's. She donated the nearly $5 million to benefit stem cell therapy.[10]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Lollobrigida has won 6 David di Donatello, 2 Nastro d'Argento, and 6 Bambi Awards; she was nominated three times for the Golden Globe and won one in 1961 as World Film Favourite – Female; she was nominated once for a Bafta.

In 1985, she was nominated as an officier of Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by Jack Lang because of her achievements in photography and sculpture.

In 1992, she was awarded the Légion d'honneur by François Mitterrand.

On 16 October 1999, Gina Lollobrigida was nominated Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).[11]

Books by Gina Lollobrigida[edit]



Lollobrigida in 1979
Lollobrigida in 1980
1946Lucia di Lammermoor
1946This Wine of Love
1946Return of the Black Eagle
1947When Love Calls
1947Flesh Will Surrender
1947Vendetta nel soleyoung girl
1948Mad About OperaDora
1949Campane a martelloAgostina
1949The Bride Can't Wait
1949The White LineDonata Sebastian
1950A Dog's LifeRita Buton
1950Miss ItalyLisetta Minneci
1950Children of ChanceAgostina
1951A Tale of Five CitiesMaria Severini
1951The Young CarusoStella
1951Four Ways OutDaniela
1951Love I Haven't... But... ButGina
1951Attention! Bandits!Anna
1952Wife For a Night (Moglie per una notte)Ottavia
1952Times Gone ByMariantonia Desiderio
1952Fanfan la TulipeAdeline La Franchise
1952Beauties of the NightLeila, Cashier
1953The Wayward WifeGemma Vagnuzzi
1953Bread, Love and DreamsMaria De RitisNominated – BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actress
Nastro d'Argento for Best Actress
1953Le infedeliLulla Possenti
1953Beat the DevilMaria DannreutherFirst American movie
1954Woman of RomeAdriana
1954Bread, Love and JealousyMaria De Ritis
1954Crossed SwordsFrancesca
1954Le Grand JeuSylvia Sorrego, Helena Ricci
1955The World's Most Beautiful WomanLina CavalieriDavid di Donatello for Best Actress
1956The Hunchback of Notre DameEsmeralda
1958Anna of BrooklynAnna
1959The LawMarietta
1959Never So FewCarla Vesari
1959Solomon and ShebaQueen of Sheba
1961Go Naked in the WorldGiulietta Cameron
1961Come SeptemberLisa Helena FelliniGolden Globe Henrietta Award, World Film Favorite – Female
1962Lykke og krone (documentary)
1962La bellezza di IppolitaIppolita
1963Venere ImperialePaulette BonaparteDavid di Donatello for Best Actress
Nastro d'Argento for Best Actress
1963Mad SeaMargherita
1964Woman of StrawMaria Marcello
1965Me, Me, Me... and the OthersTitta
1965Le Bambole (The Dolls)Beatrice
1965Strange BedfellowsToni Vincente
1966Pleasant NightsDomicilla
1966The SultansLiza Bortoli
1966Hotel ParadisoMarcelle Cotte
1967CervantesGiulia Toffolo
1968StuntmanEvelyne Lake
1968A Curious Way to LoveAnna
1968The Private Navy of Sgt. O'FarrellMaria
1968Buona Sera, Mrs. CampbellCarla CampbellNominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
David di Donatello for Best Actress
1969That Splendid NovemberCettina
1971Bad Man's RiverAlicia
1972King, Queen, KnaveMartha Dreyer
1973No encontre rosas para mi madre
1983Wandering Stars (documentary)
1995Les cent et une nuits de Simon CinémaL'épouse médium du professeur Bébel
2011Box office 3dherself(cameo appearance)


1972Le avventure di PinocchioThe Fairy with Turquoise Hair
1984Falcon CrestFrancesca GiobertiNominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
1986The Love Boat
1988Woman of RomeAdriana's mothertelevision remake
1996Una donna in fuga


  1. ^ Storie, vicende e protagonisti / Stories, events and protagonists. History of the Teatro della Concordia on the theatre's official website, 2011.
  2. ^ "36th Berlin International Film Festival". Retrieved 13 January 2011. 
  3. ^ "8th Moscow International Film Festival (1973)". MIFF. Retrieved 25 December 2012. 
  4. ^ "People, Aug. 12, 1957". Time. 12 August 1957. 
  5. ^ Gina Lollobrigida, "Four ways out", New York University
  6. ^ Logan, Chris (2004). Celebrity Surgeon: Christiaan Barnard – A Life. Jonathan Ball Publishers. ISBN 1-86842-163-5. 
  7. ^ "Lollobrigida to marry younger man", BBC News, 20 October 2006
  8. ^ "La Lollo's wedding called off", News 24, 7 December 2006
  9. ^ a b c Squires, Nick (29 January 2013) 'Most beautiful woman in the world' Gina Lollobrigida in bizarre fake marriage plot. Telegraph. Retrieved on 2013-07-26.
  10. ^ Demarco, Anthony (16 May 2013). "Gina Lollobrigida's jewels sell for nearly 5m; includes auction record for natural pearl ear pendants". Forbes Magazine. Retrieved 16 May 2013. 
  11. ^ "Gina Lollobrigida". Food and Agriculture Organization. Retrieved 16 September 2009. 

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