Italian screen acting veteran Gina Lollobrigida passed away in Rome on Monday, her former lawyer Giulia Citani confirmed the news with Reuters. She was 95.
Lollobrigida made a name for herself as one of the biggest stars of European cinema in the 1950s and 1960s, starring alongside screen icons such as Humphrey Bogart, Rock Hudson, Burt Lancaster, Anthony Quinn, Tony Curtis, Errol Flynn and Frank Sinatra.
Her works include “Beat the Devil,” “Crossed Swords,” “Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “Beautiful But Dangerous,” “Trapeze,” “Never So Few,” “Solomon and Sheba,” “Come September,” “Strange Bedfellows,” and “King, Queen, Knave” along with TV series like “The Love Boat” and “Falcon’s Crest”.
She led an interesting life – she was aggressively courted by reclusive mogul Howard Hughes, hit on by many men, including Prince Rainier of Monaco, engaged in a colorful feud with fellow Italian star Sophia Loren and had a brief affair with heart transplant pioneer Christian Barnard.
As her career faded in the 1960s, she moved into photojournalism and politics whilst still engaging in acting. In the 1970s, she photographed numerous stars and newsmakers, including Fidel Castro, Paul Newman, Audrey Hepburn, Salvador Dali, Henry Kissinger and Ella Fitzgerald.
In later life, she became more reclusive and had several legal battles with her much younger ex-husband and her son. She still occasionally held court at her villa on Rome’s Appian Way. Though her films aren’t considered classics, she certainly lived large. Our sincerest condolences go out to her family, friends and fans.