Gina Lollobrigida Dies At 95
The Hollywood legend Gina Lollobrigida, who devoted herself to sculpting in her final years, died on Monday at the age of 95.
Gina Lollobrigida, the Italian actress who became a Hollywood legend, passed away on Monday morning. She was 95 years-old.
R.I.P. Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida, she was 95 years old. She was absolutely stunning as Esméralda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1956. pic.twitter.com/b8KkMoBZJT
— Masquerade (@Masquerade2376) January 16, 2023
Lollobrigida Passes Away
Lollobrigida’s death was confirmed to the Associated Press by her agent Paola Comin, who said that she died in Rome. While no cause of death was given, it was previously reported that Lollobrigida had surgery back in September to repair a thigh bone broken in a fall.
“Farewell to a diva of the silver screen, protagonist of more than half a century of Italian cinema history. Her charm will remain eternal,” tweeted culture minister Gennaro Sangiuliano, according to CBS News.
Addio ad una diva del grande schermo, protagonista di oltre mezzo secolo di storia del cinema italiano. Il suo fascino resterà eterno.
Ciao Lollo. pic.twitter.com/LbHf2MMXFy
— Gennaro Sangiuliano (@g_sangiuliano) January 16, 2023
Born in 1927, Lollobrigida got her start in beauty contests, and she made her film debut in 1946. She would go on to become an international sex symbol in the 1950s and 1960s, and she was often compared to the Hollywood legend Sophia Loren, with whom she had an ongoing feud. Loren, 88, told Variety that she “is deeply shaken and saddened” by Lollobrigida’s death.
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Daily Mail reported that back in 2013, when she was 85 years-old, an auction of her jewellery by Sotheby’s in Geneva garnered $4.9million (£4million) and set a record for a pair of diamond and pearl earrings, which sold for $2.37million (£1.9million). All of that money went towards stem cell research.
“Jewels are meant to give pleasure and for many years I had enormous pleasure wearing mine,” she said at the time. “Selling my jewels to help raise awareness of stem cell therapy, which can cure so many illnesses, seems to me a wonderful use to which to put them.”
Bugs me when an actress dies & people only post young pictures. I want to be like Gina Lollobrigida, not because she was dubbed "the most beautiful woman in the world" in the '50s, but because she ran for the Italian senate at 95. Rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/qhsuOkDXXt
— Kelly Robinson's Brain in a Jar (@KellyRobinsonHQ) January 16, 2023
Lollobrigida was also a talented photographer who published six books of photos between 1972 and 1994. These books included Italia Mia (My Italy), The Philippines, and the Wonder of Innocence, photographs of and for children, according to Reuters.
“Children with their big wide-open eyes question us. Their looks should help us to forsake selfishness that undoubtedly leaves our hearts quite bare,” she wrote in one introduction.
Lollobrigida was married to Milko Skofic, a Yugoslavia-born doctor, from 1949 until they divorced in 1971. She would later become engaged to Javier Rigau, who was 34 years her junior, according to CBS News.
“I have always had a weakness for younger men because they are generous and have no complexes,” she explained in 2006. Though she dated Rigau for over 20 years, they never ended up marrying.
In 1974, Gina Lollobrigida was in Cuba to interview Fidel Castro. After she left, she was asked what he was like. She said, "If I was a man, I would have killed him." pic.twitter.com/1iEGpegcby
— Larry Two Fish1776 (@chesapeakelarry) January 16, 2023
Lollobrigida’s Final Years
In her final years, Lollobrigida devoted herself to sculpting, which had been her first love in her youth. She had a summer home in the Tuscan city of Pietrasanta, an artist’s colony where she enjoyed working with various sculptors.
Though she was one of the most popular Hollywood stars in the world in her hay day, Lollobrigida was a woman who valued her privacy.
“Popularity has a bright side, it unlocks many doors,” she once said, according to IMDB. “But the truth is that I don’t like it very much because it changes the private life into a very small thing.”
Gina Lollobrigida in a publicity photo for The Hunchback Of Notre Dame released in 1956
1927 – 2023 pic.twitter.com/57xfdbkjDv
— Artur Dorota (@ArturDor00) January 16, 2023
Lollobrigida was a true Hollywood legend, and there will never be another one like her. Please join us in saying a prayer for her family and friends during this difficult time.