The legendary Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida passed away at the age of 95, according to family members quoted by news outlet ANSA.
Francesco Lollobrigida, the Italian Minister of Agriculture, her grandnephew, tweeted the news of her passing and referred to her as “one of the brightest stars of Italian filmmaking and culture.”
Her passing was also covered by RAI state media.
In the 1950s and 1960s, Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren came to represent the earthy sexuality of Italian actresses.
Lollobrigida began her career as a popular beauty queen and model after completing her schooling as a painter and sculptor. In 1946, she made her film debut in a modest role in the action-packed adventure “The Black Eagle.”
She had become a major star in Europe by the early 1950s. In 1953, she made her English-language film début with Humphrey Bogart and Jennifer Jones in John Huston’s “Beat the Devil.”
Gina Lollobrigida, a 95-year-old actress, will run for Senate in Italy’s elections
In the 1956 adaption of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” she played Esmerelda against Anthony Quinn’s Quasimodo, and in King Vidor’s 1959 Technicolor epic “Solomon and Sheba,” she played the Queen of Sheba opposite Yul Brynner’s King Solomon.
In response to a decline in cinema roles in the 1970s, Lollobrigida established a new line of work as a photojournalist. She sporadically made appearances in movies and on television, most notably in 1984 in a recurring character in the US prime-time soap opera “Falcon Crest.”
Before the country’s elections last year, she declared in the daily Corriere della Sera that she was “simply weary of hearing politicians argue with each other without ever getting to the issue.” She ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the Italian Senate.