Gina Lollobrigida, one of the biggest stars of European cinema in the 1950s and '60s, has died aged 95

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  • Gina Lollobrigida has died aged 95, her former lawyer said on Monday.

  • According to the Italian outlet Corriere della Sera, she had been "hospitalized for some time."

  • Lollobrigida was of the biggest stars of European cinema in the 1950s and '60s.

Italian actor Luigia "Gina" Lollobrigida has died at the age of 95, according to her former lawyer, Giulia Citani, who shared the news with Reuters.

Lollobrigida — who was affectionately nicknamed "La Lollo" by the press — was one of the last surviving stars of the golden age of Hollywood. She shot to fame in the 1950s as a Mediterranean sex symbol and starred in more than 60 films in her career, which began in the 1950s and spanned five decades.

According to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Lollobrigida had been "hospitalized for some time" at a clinic in Rome.

Lollobrigida was born on July 4, 1927, in Subiaco, a town close to Rome. Born to a furniture manufacturer and his wife, she was the second oldest of four daughters and spent her teenage years in wartime Italy studying sculpture at Rome's Academy of Fine Arts, as well as modeling.

In 1947, at the age of 20, Lollobrigida placed third in the Miss Italia pageant, which first brought her to the attention of the Italian public.

Lollobrigida began her acting career around the same time, appearing in uncredited background roles, before being promoted to more central roles. It was her performance in "Bread, Love and Dreams" (1953) — for which she was nominated for a BAFTA for best foreign actress — which led her to become a bonafide Hollywood star.

Gina Lollobrigida in publicity portrait for the film "Woman Of Rome" (1954).
Gina Lollobrigida in publicity portrait for the film "Woman Of Rome" (1954).Distributors Corporation of America/Getty Images

The same year, she appeared opposite Humphrey Bogart in her first mainstream English-language film, "Beat the Devil" (1953), a role which brought her millions of admirers around the world. Bogart famously said Lollobrigida "made Marilyn Monroe look like Shirley Temple."

Lollobrigida followed this up with "Crossed Swords" (1954), in which she appeared opposite Errol Flynn, "Trapeze" (1956), in which she starred alongside Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis, and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" (1956), in which she played Esmeralda to Anthony Quinn's Quasimodo.

Her appearance as the protagonist in "Beautiful But Dangerous" (1955) led to her being dubbed "the world's most beautiful woman."

Lollobrigida also starred opposite Frank Sinatra in "Never So Few" (1959) and collaborated with Rock Hudson twice. They appeared together in romantic comedies "Come September" (1961) — which won her a Golden Globe award — and "Strange Bedfellows" (1965).

Some of her other notable roles include "Woman Of Rome" (1954), "Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell" (1968), and "Solomon and Sheba" (1959).

Frank Sinatra and Gina Lollobrigida in "Never So Few" (1959).
Frank Sinatra and Gina Lollobrigida in "Never So Few" (1959).Ullstein Bild Dtl./Getty Images

Lollobrigida's acting career slowed down in the 1970s, and during this decade she began focusing on photography. She published several photography collections which featured among them portraits of Paul Newman, Salvador Dalí, Henry Kissinger, Ella Fitzgerald, and Audrey Hepburn. She even secured a photoshoot and interview with the Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

She officially retired from acting in 1997 and two years later she attempted to run for election to the European Parliament as a candidate for the Democrats.

In 2022, she tried her hand at politics again, standing for the Italian Senate, but was unsuccessful. In September 2022, she underwent an operation on her femur after breaking it at home, per Corriere della Sera.

Lollobrigida is survived by her son, Andrea Milko, who she shared with her ex-husband, Slovenian physician, Milko Škofič, and grandson, Dimitri, per The Guardian.

Read the original article on Insider