Luigina "Gina" Lollobrigida (born 4 July 1927 in Subiaco, Italy) is an Italian actress, active in films from the late 1940s through the early 1970s. Gina actually earned her fame in Italian cinema (her breakthrough role was in Bread, Love and Dreams in 1953) before beginning to get roles in American films in the late 1950's.
Mostly retired from filmmaking, but has taken up a second career as an artist and a humanitarian activist. She ran (unsuccessfully) for the European Parliament a decade or so ago. She's been overshadowed by Sophia Loren in public notice, but still has a considerable following.
Films with pages on TV Tropes:
- Beat the Devil (1953)
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1956)
- Strange Bedfellows (1965)
- Death Laid an Egg (1968)
This actress's work provides examples of:
- The 50s: The period of Gina's greatest success as an actress, though her best-known American films (Come September and Strange Bedfellows) were made in the early 1960s.
- Beauty Contest: Gina first came to significant public notice in 1947, when she entered the Miss Italy beauty pageant and won 3rd place. The 1st- and 2nd-place winners were, respectively, Lucia Bose and Gianna Maria Canale, who also became actresses; in fact,the Miss Italy pageants in the late 1940's and early 1950's turned out to be a fertile field for the discovery of stars and starlets for the burgeoning Italian film industry.
- Does Not Like Shoes: She played a number of charismatic barefoot characters, including Esmeralda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Maria De Ritis in Bread, Love and Dreams, and Ippolita from La bellezza di Ippolita. Besides, Gina may be this herself: she was the only actress to portray Esmeralda, who was shod in the original novel, in bare feet (perhaps it even was her own idea), felt very comfortable walking around barefoot during the filming, and enjoyed posing to the photographers like that.
- The Edwardian Era: The setting of her movies La Donna 'Piu Bella Del Mondo (Beautiful But Dangerous) and Hotel Paradiso.
- High Class Gloves: In common with many other female celebrities of The 50s, La Lollo frequently wore long gloves with her formal gowns and dresses in public appearances. Many of her 1950's and early 1960's movies, especially La Donna 'Piu Bella Del Mondo (Beautiful But Dangerous), feature scenes in which she's wearing long gloves.
- Keep Circulating the Tapes: A number of her movies, such as La Donna Piu' Bella del Mondo (The Most Beautiful Woman in the World, a biopic of Edwardian Era opera diva Lina Cavalieri), have never been officially released in the United States on VHS or DVD.
- Ms. Fanservice: Most of her movies during her time as an international star, especially La Donna 'Piu Bella Del Mondo (she has a lengthy Stocking Filler scene as a music-hall singer early on), Anna di Brooklyn (Fast and Sexy) (the most famous image from the movie shows her in a very skimpy one-piece black lace outfit), and Trapeze (arguably one of the main purposes of the movie is to show La Lollo in a revealing circus-performer costume).
- Of Corsets Sexy: Her 1950's movie, La Donna 'Piu Bella Del Mondo (Beautiful But Dangerous) shows Gina snugly corseted in several scenes, most strikingly during a fencing duel with a professional rival.
- Soap Opera: Toward the end of her active career as an actress, Gina worked for a while on the U.S. nighttime soap Falcon Crest.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair:
- Gina turned her brown curls blue for her role as the Blue Fairy in Luigi Comenici's 1972 version of Pinocchio.
- This trope could just as easily be called "You Gotta Have Red Hair", because for several years in the late 1960's Gina dyed her hair a bright copper (as can be seen, for instance, in her giallo film Death Laid An Egg).