Sofia Villani Scicolone, also known as Sophia Loren, was born on September 20, 1934, in Rome, Italy. Sofia was the first-born among the two daughters of Riccardo Scicolone and Romilda Villani.
Her father, a construction engineer, and her mother, who was a piano teacher, were not married. Because of this, her father refused to give them financial support. Aside from her sister, Maria, Sofia also had two paternal half-brothers, namely Giuseppe and Giuliano.
During World War II, Sofia and her family lived in Pozzuoli. Since the city of Pozzuoli was the Allies’ frequent target, Sofia and her family moved to Naples. After the war, they moved back to the Pozzuoli city and opened their living room as a Pub. Their place soon became popular with the American soldiers stationed nearby. At the age of 15, Sofia joined a beauty pageant called Miss Italia 1950. She used the name Sofia Lazzaro, representing Lazio Region. Although she didn’t win Miss Italia’s grand title, she obtained the title ‘Miss Elegance 1950.’
In the year 1951, Sofia Lazzaro enrolled at Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, a film school in Italy. She appeared as an extra in an American Epic Drama, ‘Quo Vadis,’ directed by Mervyn LeRoy. She also appeared in some of the films including, the Italian comedy film, “Era lui… sì! sì!” (It’s Him!… Yes! Yes!) And an Italian anthology film, La Favorita, in 1952.
Life as a Star
In the later years of 1953, as Sofia appeared in various films, her name was changed. Carlo Ponti, an Italian film producer, changed Sofia’s name to Sophia Loren to appeal to a broader audience. In 1953, Sophia had her first starring role in the film Aida.
She also played the lead role in the film Two Nights with Cleopatra, later in the same year. However, her first breakthrough role was in the 1954’s film The Gold of Naples, directed by Vittorio de Sica. In the following years, Loren had starred in many films including, ‘Too Bad She’s Bad (1954), La Bella Mugnaia (1955), Scandal in Sorrento (1955), Boy on a Dolphin (1957), Lucky to be a Woman (1956), and the Pride and the Passion (1957). In 1958, Sophia Loren got a contract under Paramount Picture. Among the films she starred under Paramount Pictures was a film comedy film ‘Houseboat.’ She also starred in Desire under the Elms with an American actor and director, Anthony Perkins. In 1960, she appeared as a blonde in the movie Heller in Pink Tights, directed by George Cukor.
Some of her best films in the ’60s were The Millionairess (1960), El Cid (1961), It Started in Naples (1960), Arabesque (1966), and A Countess from Hong Kong (1967). As well as her successful films, she also acquired four Golden Globe Awards and an award of “World Film Favorite -Female,” in 1977. Furthermore, she was also nominated in Oscars for the best actor in the leading role and had won a Caesar Award for the best foreign movie.
In the 1980s, Loren acted infrequently. Although Loren was given a role in the 13 episodes of soap opera, Falcon Crest, she refused to take the role. Loren turned down the offer because she wanted to devote more time to raising her sons. The role was given to an Italian actress, Gina Lollobrigida.
In the 1990s, Loren received various awards for her contributions to world cinema. The awards she had received were the Academy Honorary Award (1991), Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award (1955), and was proclaimed as ‘one of the world cinema’s treasure.’
In the following years, Loren became selective in choosing her films. She decided to focused on various areas of business, including eyewear, jewelry, cookbooks, and perfume. Some of the movies she starred in the 2000s were Between Strangers (2002), Lives of the Saints (2004), and Nine (2009). In 2013, Loren made an Italian film adaptation based on a French play, The Human Voice, directed by his son, Edoardo Ponti.
Moreover, On November 2017, Loren received a star at Almeria Walk of Fame for her film “Bianco, Rosso e…” (1972) and an Almeria Tierra de Cine Award.
Marriage and Relationship
In 1950, sixteen years old Sophia Loren met the thirty-seven-year-old, Carlos Ponti. Ponti was separated from his wife, Giuliana, although the two were not legally divorced.
In September 1957, Loren married Ponti by proxy. However, in 1962, the two annulled their marriage to avoid being charged with bigamy. Although their marriage was annulled, they continue to live together at the time. In 1966, Ponti and Guiliana divorced, allowing Loren and Ponti’s marriage on 1966 of April.
Following their marriage, Loren bore her first child in December 1968 and named him Carlos Ponti Jr. In January 1973, their second son, Edoardo Ponti, was born.
These are some of the films of the great actress, Sophia Loren:
- The Gold of Naples (1954)
- Poverty and Nobility (1954)
- The River Girl (1954)
- Too Bad She’s Bad (1954)
- Two Nights with Cleopatra (1954)
- Scandal in Sorrento (1955)
- The Miller’s Beautiful Wife (1955)
- Lucky to be a Woman (1956)
- Boy on a Dolphin (1957)
- The Black Orchid (1958)
- Legend of the Lost (1957)
- The Pride and the Passion (1957)
- Houseboat (1958)
- Two Women (1960)
- The Millionairess (1960)
- Heller in Pink Tights (1960)
- A Breath of Scandal (1960)
- Madame (1961)
- El Cid (1961)
- Boccaccio ’70 (1962)
- Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1963)
- The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964)
- Operation Crossbow (1965)
- Lady L (1965)
- Judith (1966)
- Arabesque (1966)
- A Countess from Hong Kong (1967)
- More Than a Miracle (1967)
- Ghost- Italian Style (1967)
- The Priests Wife (1970)
- The Priests Wife (1970)
- Lady Liberty (1971)
- Sunflower (1970)
- Man of La Mancha (1972)
- Brief Encounter (1974)
- The Voyage (1974)
- Sex Pot (1975)
- The Cassandra Crossing (1976)
- A Special Day (1977)
- Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (1990)
- Ready to Wear (1994)
- Grumpier Old Men (1995)
- Nine (2009)
- The Human Voice (2013)