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January 18, 2024

Sophia Loren, Yvonne de Carlo, and Gina Lollobrigida at the Ball of Stars at the Berlin Film Festival in 1954

Gina Lollobrigida refused to have her photo taken with Sophia Loren, it was only resolved when Yvonne de Carlo agreed to be pictured in the middle of two warning parties.

When the Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida passed away at the age of 95 on January 16, 2023, her fellow actress Sophia Loren has admitted she was devastated when she heard the news and insisted her “light” will go on forever. She said: “Yesterday I was too heartbroken and I couldn’t find the words. Dear Gina, your body is extinguished but the light of your star will shine over us and in our hearts forever. I love you Gina! Sophia.”

During their heyday in the Golden Age of Hollywood, Gina – who was best known for her roles in the likes of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Solomon and Sheba – was pitted against Academy Award-winning star Sophia as a rival in an “annoying” attempt to drum up publicity, which ended up lasting for half a century.

Sophia said: “She and her publicists started this rivalry with me that lasted for 50 years. It was really annoying. We are different and have completely different career paths. I wanted to be an artist more than anything else, I wanted a high-level career.”

Gina was one of the biggest stars of European cinema in the 1950s and 1960s, but when her career declined, she became a photographer and sculptor. Often described as “the most beautiful woman in the world,” the Beautiful But Dangerous star was one of the last surviving icons of the era and as recently as 2018, she performed on Italy’s version of Strictly Come Dancing.


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