Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida has died at the age of 95

the Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida, one of the great stars in the history of cinema, died this Monday, aged 95, at his home. “The Bersagliera (character he played in the movie ‘Bread, Love and Fantasy’) leave us. It is with deep sadness that his son Milko Jr. and his grandson Dimitri make the sad announcement. In this moment of great pain, the family asks for maximum respect from the media”, reads a note from the family released by the Italian media.

Lollobrigida, one of the undisputed muses of Italian cinematography, had recently been admitted to a clinic in Pomegranate after suffering a broken femur last September.

The actress at the Venice Film Festival 2012 Photography: Massimo Rossi

A century would be enough, especially for Gina Lollobrigida. The legendary Italian actress, who died on Monday 16 at the age of 95, had a cinematic life, full of jewels and glamour, but which culminated in a sentimental farce that marked her last days.

Lollobrigida is an undisputed muse in the great pantheon of Italian cinematography, crowned as an icon of Mediterranean beauty and yet deeply marked throughout her life by love, heartbreak and, of course, lawsuits.

Luigina Lollobrigida was born in Subiaco, on July 4, 1927, the daughter of a wealthy family that lost its assets in the Second World War. In 1947, at the age of 20, she moved to nearby Rome, where she began studying Fine Arts.

As she explains in her biography, she was the “privileged” in a family of “refugees” who lived in a hard room and ate “what little they could muster”.

Gina Lollobrigida greets fans on May 13th
Gina Lollobrigida greets fans on May 13th Photography: AFP extension

The stepping stone for the show came with his arrival in the city, when he finished on the stage of the competition”Miss Rome”, in which she finished second, and then was invited to the final of “Miss Italy”, in which Lucía Bosé finally triumphed.

Gradually, the young lady managed to enter the studios of Cinecittà in Rome, playing small roles, and three years later he received an offer from the millionaire producer Howard Hughes hop on a plane and fly to busy Hollywood.

However she soon regretted it, realizing she could only work in productions for her patron, and it was then that she decided to return to her native Rome to begin a career that would establish her as one of Europe’s most acclaimed actresses.

Gina Lollobrigida in a scene from the film 'Pane, amore e fantasia', directed by Luigi Comencini, in 1953
Gina Lollobrigida in a scene from the film ‘Pane, amore e fantasia’, directed by Luigi Comencini, in 1953 Photography: Estadao collection

His first successes came under the orders of Louis Zampawith ribbons like The return of the lost (1949). In 1952, she starred alongside the French star Gerard Philip in Fanfan La Tulipeby the French director Christian Jaqueaward-winning film Cannes And Berlinwhich gave him great visibility on the continent.

It was the beginning of a career in which, with his deep gaze and exuberant bust, he starred in more than 60 films, as well as many other comedies or roles in television series.

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All the directors of the fifties loved her, but she was Luigi Comencini which propelled it to its maximum splendor in Bread, Love and Fantasy (1953), with which he won his first prize, the Silver Ribbon, thanks to a role remembered with Victor de Sica.

Gina Lollobrigida leaves the cinema after the screening of the film, directed by Jean Delannoy, in Paris April 3, 1963
Gina Lollobrigida leaves the cinema after the screening of the film, directed by Jean Delannoy, in Paris April 3, 1963 Photography: AFP extension

At that time, he worked in major international productions, such as The devil laughs last (1953), with Humphrey Bogart; trapeze (1956), with Tony Curtisor The hunchback of Notre Dame (1956), along with The Hunchback Anthony Quinn.

Perhaps one of his most emblematic works is the ominously titled production The most beautiful woman in the world (1956), together with Victor Gasmanin which he also sang snippets of rawin Giacomo Puccini.

Consecrated as one of the great icons of Italy, Lollobrigida has gradually moved away from the world of cinema, in which she has won numerous awards, with the exception of oscar.

Gina Lollobrigida poses on her star on the Walk of Fame in Los Angeles in February 2018
Gina Lollobrigida poses on her star on the Walk of Fame in Los Angeles in February 2018 Photography: Mario Anzuoni

At the same time, her private life is always in the spotlight: in 1949 she marries the Yugoslav doctor Milko Skofic, with whom she had one son, Milko Jr., and from whom she divorced in 1971. In 2006, Gina announced her plan to marry Spanish businessman Javier Rigau, 34 years her junior. But the ceremony was canceled less than two years later, reportedly due to press attention.

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The actress ended up suing him for fraud and forging documents for the marriage “by proxy” contracted in 2010, despite the fact that her husband was finally acquitted in March 2017 and also annulled the marriage at the hands of Pope Francis himself.

That year she presented herself at the Court of Rome in apparent good condition, with her deep red cloak, high-heeled boots, her inseparable dark glasses and accompanied by two assistants.

Gina lived in a villa in Ancient Appian Wayin Rome, and had the help of her assistant Andrea Piazzolla, who Rigau and the star’s family recently denounced, accusing him of manipulating her and squandering her fortune.

The truth is that in recent years the star, who was affected by the signs of senile dementia, was forced to auction off her impressive jewelry box.

A pair of emeralds produced by Bulgari in 1964 were part of the actress's fortune.
A pair of emeralds produced by Bulgari in 1964 were part of the actress’s fortune. Photography: Reuters

A vital part of his possessions, such as the furniture in his villa, ended up in a guarded warehouse by order of the judge, after the family began its offensive against the spendthrift Piazzolla.

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Incidentally, the young man does not hide his high standard of living and is often seen arriving at the best clubs in the capital with luxury cars and ostentation of all kinds.

Thus, in the last years of her life, Lollobrigida’s name appeared more frequently in journalistic articles covering the courts of Rome, not the glamor scene, as legal battles raged over her mental ability to manage her finances.

On her website, Lollobrigida recalled how her family lost their home during the bombings of World War II and moved to Rome. She studied sculpture and painting at an arts high school, while her two sisters worked as film escorts to enable her to continue her studies.

One of his latest honors was to receive a star on Hall of Famein Hollywood in February 2018.

Gina Lollobrigida once told the magazine vanity fair that, whatever his public image, he essentially saw himself as a lonely soul in need of something beyond art. “I never made commitments, remaining independent and always alone,” she said in 2015. “My strength is my free spirit and it is my great imagination that gives me strength and vitality.”

In September of last year, the actress underwent surgery to repair a femur that was broken in a fall. She came home and said she was able to walk fast again. The cause of her death is still unknown.

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