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Legendary Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida dies at age 95

Gina Lollobrigida, the Italian actress from the 1950s who starred in films including “Fanfan la Tulipe,” “Beat the Devil,” “Trapeze” and “Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell,” has died at age 95. According to Italian news agency Lapresse, Lollobrigida died in a clinic in Rome. No cause of death has been cited. In September, Lollobrigida had had surgery to repair a thigh bone broken in a fall, but she recovered and unsuccessfully competed for a Senate seat in Italy’s elections held last year.

Lollobrigida’s first American movie was John Huston’s 1953 film“Beat the Devil,” in which she starred with Humphrey Bogart and Jennifer Jones. The same year she starred with Vittorio De Sica in Luigi Comencini’s “Bread, Love and Dreams,” for which she won a BAFTA for best actress in a foreign film. Lollobrigida starred in director Robert Z. Leonard’s Italian-language “The Most Beautiful Woman in the World”, for which she received the best actress award at the inaugural David di Donatello Awards in 1956.  In the same year she also starred in Carol Reed’s “Trapeze” starring Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis, filmed in Paris, as well as in the remake of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” in which Anthony Quinn played Quasimodo and Lollobrigida received top-billing portraying Esmerelda.  After an 11-year absence from screens big or small, Lollobrigida took on a recurring role on CBS’s primetime show “Falcon Crest” as Francesca Gioberti, where she earned her third Golden Globe nomination; and in 1984, she guest-starred on “The Love Boat”.

Lollobrigida married Slovenian doctor Mirko Skofic, in 1949; he gave up his practice to serve as her manager, but they were divorced in 1971.  After her movie career, Lollobrigida pursued other interests including photojournalism and sculpting; she also ran, unsuccessfully, for a seat in the European Parliament. In 2018, Lollobrigida was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She is survived by one son.

Editorial credit: Vladimir Yazev / Shutterstock.com

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