Sofia Villani Scicolone (born September 20, 1934 in Rome, Italy), better known as Sophia Loren, is an Italian-born actress (although now a French citizen, living in Geneva), known for both her sultry looks (keeping her figure even now), and dramatic talent.
She was the first Academy Award winner for Best Actress in a foreign-language role. She was also very busy, acting in loads of films from the 1950s through the '70s, and only slowing down in the 80s (even turning down the role of Alexis Carrington in Dynasty (1981)) to raise her kids and focus on other work (both entrepreneurial and humanitarian).
When similarly curvaceous Jayne Mansfield sat down at Sophia Loren's table, Loren gave her a side-eye so famous that there's a whole Wikipedia article about it. She has long been aware of her sexy image, spoofing that image in some of her later roles. In 2006, she was selected as one of the eight people to carry the Olympic Flag at the Opening Ceremonies of the XX Winter Olympic Games in Torino. In 2007, she posed for a calendar in nothing but a swimsuit, and was apparently asked why she didn't pose nude. She said that "When Sophia Loren is naked, that is a lot of nakedness". At the age of 75, she took a spill when walking the red carpet at an event in Hollywood. She wasn't injured, but the fall did flip her skirt, revealing legs that were the envy of women one-third her age.
Fun fact: Her sister married Benito Mussolini's son, and her niece Alessandra Mussolini—who did at one point pose nude, for the Italian edition of Playboy no less—is a member of the European Parliament and was at one point a leading far-right politician in contemporary Italy. This amuses everyone.
Her films include:
- Quo Vadis (1951) — extra
- The Anatomy Of Love (1954)
- The Gold of Naples (1954)
- Poverty and Nobility (1954)
- The Millers Beautiful Wife (1955)
- Boy On A Dolphin (1957)
- Legend Of The Lost (1957)
- The Pride And The Passion (1957)
- The Black Orchid (1958)
- Houseboat (1958)
- That Kind Of Woman (1959)
- Heller In Pink Tights (1960)
- It Started In Naples (1960)
- The Millionaress (1960)
- A Breath of Scandal (1960)
- Two Women (1960)
- El Cid (1961)
- Five Miles to Midnight (1962)
- Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (1963)
- The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964)
- Marriage Italian Style (1964)
- Lady L (1965)
- Operation Crossbow (1965)
- Arabesque (1966)
- A Countess From Hong Kong (1967) — Charlie Chaplin's last movie
- Man of La Mancha (1972)
- Brief Encounter (1974)
- The Cassandra Crossing (1976)
- A Special Day (1977)
- Brass Target (1978)
- Prêt-à-Porter (1994)
- Grumpier Old Men (1995)
- Nine (2009)
- Cars 2 (2011, Italian dub)
- The Life Ahead (2020)
Tropes & Trivia in her works:
- Named After Somebody Famous: Her stage name, suggested by producer (and eventual husband) Carlo Ponti, was inspired by the Swedish actress Märta Torén.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: One notable instance in 1999, not in a film but when she presented Best Foreign-Language Film at the Academy Awards. After saying "And the Oscar goes to..." in a slight but manageable Italian accent, as she opened the envelope and saw the name of her fellow countryman and friend Roberto Benigni, she suddenly switched to her thick Southern Italian accent and screamed "ROBBÈRTO!"
- Stage Names: As noted above, her real name is Sofia Villani Scicolone (pronounced "she-ko-low-nay"). She went as "Sofia Lazzaro" in the early stages of her career before taking on the international-sounding "Sophia Loren".
- Those Two Actors: She starred alongside Marcello Mastroianni in thirteen films.