4 July 2016

Gina Lollobrigida – actress

Movie star who became photo journalist

Gina Lollobrigida at the peak of her fame in the 1960s
Gina Lollobrigida at the peak of her
fame in the 1960s
Film star Gina Lollobrigida was born Luigina Lollobrigida on this day in 1927 in Subiaco in Lazio.

At the height of her popularity as an actress in the 1950s and early 1960s she was regarded as a sex symbol all over the world.

In later life she worked as a photo journalist and has supported Italian and American good causes. In 2013 she sold her jewellery collection and donated the money she raised, in the region of five million dollars, to fund stem cell therapy research.

As a young girl, Lollobrigida did some modelling, entered beauty contests and had minor roles in Italian films.

When she was 20 she entered the Miss Italia competition and came third. The publicity she received helped her get parts in European films but she turned down the chance to work in America at the beginning.

She received a BAFTA nomination and won a Nastro d’Argento award for her performance in Bread, Love and Dreams (Pane, amore e fantasia) in 1953. She later starred in the English language film Beat the Devil, which was shot in Italy, and she also worked in the French film industry.

Her appearance in The World’s Most Beautiful Woman led to her receiving the David di Donatello for Best Actress award. She played the part of Italian soprano Lina Cavalieri and sang arias from Tosca with her own voice.

She appeared with Sean Connery, Rock Hudson and Alec Guinness in films in the 1960s.

In the mid 1980s her role in the American television series Falcon Crest earned her a Golden Globe nomination.

At the end of the 1970s Lollobrigida started working as a photojournalist as well as continuing with acting. She obtained an exclusive interview with Cuban leader Fidel Castro and also photographed many famous film stars.

She now divides her time between her country house in Sicily, her home in Via Appia in Rome and her villa in Monte Carlo.

The abbey of Santa Scolastica near Subiaco, Lazio, home town of actress Gina Lollobrigida
The Abbey of Santa Scolastica near Subiaco, Lazio,
home town of actress Gina Lollobrigida
Travel tip:

Subiaco, where Gina Lollobrigida was born, is a town in Lazio, about 40 kilometres to the east of Tivoli. It is famous for its two ancient abbeys, St Benedict’s and Santa Scolastica. The first printed books in Italy were produced on a printing press set up in the town in the 15th century.  Subiaco is also the birthplace of 16th century femme fatale Lucrezia Borgia.

Travel tip:

Gina Lollobrigida’s home in Rome is in Via Appia, the Appian Way, which is one of the earliest and most important of the Roman roads. It connects Rome to Brindisi in southern Italy. The road is named after Appius Claudius Caecus, who directed the construction of its first section in 312 BC.

(Photo of Gina Lollobrigida by Ivo Lollobrigida CC BY-SA 3.0)
(Photo of the Abbey of Santa Scolastica by Livioandronico2013 CC BY-SA 4.0)


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