Sophia Loren: Stunning vintage photos of the Italian classic beauty icon, 1950s-1960s

Sophia Loren (born 1934, Rome, Italy), is an Italian film actress who rose from poverty-stricken origins in post-war Naples to be recognized as one of Italy's most beautiful women and its most famous film star. .

She was named by the American Film Institute as one of the greatest female stars of classical Hollywood cinema.

Before working in cinema, Sofia Ciccolone changed her last name to Lazzaro to work in popular pulp magazines that used still photographs to illustrate romantic stories.

Her first film role was as an extra, one of several enslaved girls in the American production Cuo Vadis? (1951). Under the tutelage of producer Carlo Ponti (her future husband), Scicolone was transformed into Sophia Loren.

Her career was launched in a series of low-budget comedies before gaining critical and popular attention with Aida (1953), in which she lip-synced Renata Tebaldi's vocals in the title role.

In 1960, Lauren starred in Vittorio De Sica's Two Women, a harsh, gritty story of a mother trying to protect her 12-year-old daughter in war-torn Italy. The two are gang-raped inside a church when they return to their home town after the bombings end.

Originally cast as Betty, Lauren fought against the type and was eventually cast as the mother (actress Eleonora Brown would portray Betty).

Lauren's performance earned her several awards, including the Best Performance Award at the Cannes Film Festival, the Academy Award for Best Actress, the first major Academy Award for a non-English language performance, or an Italian actress.

She won 22 international awards for two women. The film was very well received by critics and was a huge commercial success.

Although proud of the achievement, Lorraine did not attend the award ceremony citing fear of fainting. Nevertheless, Cary Grant called in Rome the next day to inform him about the Oscar award.

During the 1960s, Lauren was one of the most popular actresses in the world and continued to act with prominent leading men in the United States and Europe.

In 1964, his career reached its peak when he received $1 million for appearing in The Fall of the Roman Empire. In 1965, she received her second Academy Award nomination for her performance in Marriage Italian-Style opposite Marcello Mastroianni.

In the early 1980s, Lorraine opted to make a rare film appearance. Since then, she has appeared in films such as Pret-a-Porter (1994), Grumpier Old Men (1995), and Nine (2009).

Lorraine first met Ponti in 1950, when he was 15 and he was 37. Although Ponti was long separated from his first wife, Giuliana, they were not legally divorced when Lauren married him by proxy (two male lawyers stood in for him). Mexico on 17 September 1957.

The couple annulled their marriage in 1962 to avoid allegations of bigamy, but continued to live together. In 1965, after his application was approved by the then French Prime Minister Georges Pompidou, he became a French citizen. Ponti then obtained a divorce from Giuliana in France, allowing him to marry Lorraine on 9 April 1966.

They had two children, Carlo Ponti Jr., born on 29 December 1968, and Edoardo Ponti, born on 6 January 1973. Lauren's daughter-in-law is Sasha Alexander and Andrea Meszaros. Lorraine has four grandchildren.

Lorraine remained married to Carlo Ponti until her death on 10 January 2007 from pulmonary complications.

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