Iconic Italian movie star Gina Lollobrigida has died in a private clinic in Rome today, after being hospitalized ‘for some time’ there, her former attorney Giulia Citaniat said. The actress was 95.
Once known as “the most beautiful woman in the world,” Lollobrigida was considered one of the biggest cinema icons of her time, and, according to her grandnephew, who is the serving Agriculture Minister of Italy, was “one of the brightest stars of Italian cinematography and culture” and an “incomparable champion, icon of beauty and versatility.”
During the 50s and 60s, Lollobrigida was billed as one of the biggest movie icons of her time starring in many European and American classics such as John Huston’s ‘Beat the Devil,’ ‘Hunchback of Notre Dame’ and ‘Crossed Swords,’ appearing alongside such big-timers as Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra, Rock Hudson and Errol Flynn.
In 1953, after her breakthrough role in ‘Beat the Devil,’ co-star Bogart said Lollobrigida made “Marilyn Monroe look like Shirley Temple.”
Together with Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida was considered to be the biggest Italian sex symbol of the 1950s and 1960s.
At the time of her death, Lollobrigida was among the last living high-profile international actors from the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema.
Lollobrigida also made her mark as a photojournalist, after her acting career dwindled in the late 60s. In 1972, she famously conducted a unique photoshoot and interview with Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
Lollobrigida continued on as an active supporter of Italian and Italian-American causes, particularly the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF). In 2008, she received the NIAF Lifetime Achievement Award at the Foundation’s Anniversary Gala.
In 2013 she sold her jewelry collection and donated the nearly $5 million from the sale to benefit stem-cell therapy research. She won the Henrietta Award at 18th Golden Globe Awards.
In 1999, the actress also made an unsuccessful run for a seat in the European Parliament, and a failed attempt for the Italian Senate in 2022.
Gina Lollobrigida is survived by her son, Milko, and grandson, Dimitri.