Gina Lollobrigida was an admired European actress and sexual icon during the 1950s and early 1960s. Additionally, she worked as a photographer, sculptor, journalist and has three sisters.
She began acting at a very early age, and by the time of John Huston’s 1953 camp drama Beat the Devil she had already become an established celebrity. Her thick brown curls led to an iconic hairstyle known as the poodle cut that she popularised further.
Early Life and Education
Luigia Lollobrigida was born and raised with her three sisters Giuliana, Maria and Fernanda in Subiaco Italy. As a young woman she participated in modeling competitions and beauty pageants – her success leading her to minor roles in Italian films of that period.
She eventually moved to Hollywood, working alongside some of the greatest names of the era – from Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis in Trapeze; Anthony Quinn as Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1956, opposite Esmeralda played by her; Yul Brynner appearing with him in King Vidor’s 1959 Technicolor epic Solomon and Sheba by King Vidor; as well as Yul Brynner starring opposite Burt Lancaster as Esmeralda opposite Burt Lancaster; then in King Vidor’s 1959 Technicolor epic Solomon and Sheba opposite Yul Brynner.
Gina became famous as a worldwide sex icon during the early 1960s and later ventured into politics and photography after retiring from acting.
Gina Lollobrigida was one of Europe’s premier actresses of the 1950s and 1960s. Additionally, she excelled as a photographer, sculptor and painter – earning three David di Donatello Awards, two Nastro d’Argento awards and six Bambi awards in recognition.
She collaborated with notable directors such as Mario Monicelli, Luigi Comencini and Pietro Germi throughout her career, appearing in many English-language movies such as Humphrey Bogart’s Beat the Devil as wife; playing an aerial circus performer opposite Antonio Quinn as Quasimodo; Carol Reed’s 1956 Trapeze being another notable example.
She was married once, to Milko Skofic, a Slovenian physician, with whom they had one child: Milko Skofic Jr. She also has several grandchildren. Lollobrigida served as Goodwill Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Achievement and Honors
Lollobrigida debuted as an Italian film actress following her win of multiple beauty contests and minor roles in Italian films. Soon thereafter she caught the attention of directors such as Riccardo Freda for Aquila Nera (Black Eagle; American title: Return of the Black Eagle), as well as Mario Costa with L’Elisir d’Amore.
She co-starred with some of Hollywood’s leading men, such as Rock Hudson and Sean Connery in Carol Reed’s circus drama Trapeze from 1956; Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis in Jean Delannoy’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame from 1957; and Yul Brynner for King Vidor’s final movie Solomon and Sheba released by King Vidor himself that same year.
After her cinematic career waned during the 1970s, she launched an equally successful second career as a photographic journalist. She captured iconic photographs of artists, politicians, and sports figures like Paul Newman, Salvador Dali, Henry Kissinger, Audrey Hepburn David Cassidy as well as the German national football team – among many others.
Luigia “Gina” Lollobrigida (4 July 1927 – 16 January 2023) was an Italian actress, model, photographer, painter and sculptor who achieved international renown during the 1950s and 60s as a sex icon. In the 1970s she financed and directed Ritratto di Fidel Castro with rare interviews of Cuban leader Fidel Castro that ignited speculations of romance between them.
“Lollo,” as she was affectionately known, was famed for her curly locks and statuesque figure; Time magazine likened her to a goddess on their cover in 1954. Lollo married twice and had three children from each marriage. An outspoken supporter of Italian and Italian-American causes, Lollo died at 95 in Rome surrounded by three of her sisters: Giuliana, Maria and Fernanda.
Celebrity Net Worth estimated Lollobrigida had an estimated net worth of $45 Million. She was an accomplished actress who made appearances in numerous films such as Trapeze, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Never So Few and The Law; earning praise for her performances in these and others such as Never So Few and The Law. Nominated three times for a Golden Globe but won just once (World Film Favorite Female). Also receiving six Bambi Awards and two Nastro d’Argento awards; she was later made an officer of France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by Jack Lang in 1985 in recognition of her photography and sculpture work.
Lollobrigida married Slovenian physician Milko Skofic and gave birth to their son before parting ways in 1971. Lollobrigida then launched a second career as a photographer. Her photographs featured many notable individuals such as Audrey Hepburn, Paul Newman, Ella Fitzgerald and Henry Kissinger; additionally she managed to secure an exclusive interview with Fidel Castro himself!