Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida receives the 2016 David di Donatello special award from Italian president Sergio Mattarella in 2016. Photo EFE
The Italian diva Gina Lollobrigida, considered an icon of Italian cinema and one of the most glamorous actresses of the golden age of Hollywood, she decided to try her luck again in politics, as she did in the 1990s, and at 95 she will appear as a senator on the lists of a left-wing party.
Described by many as a legend in the world of Italian celluloid and awarded a Golden Globe in the 1960s, Lollobrigida he just turned 95 in Julybut she retains all her energy and now channels them into a new challenge: to get the Italians to vote to make her become a senator in the next legislature, after the general elections to be held in the country on 25 September.
She is a candidate as the main candidate in the single-member senatorial college of Latina for the Italy Sovereign and Popular partya new Eurosceptic political alliance, which opposes the sending of arms to Ukraine and “warmongering Atlanticism” and which is supported, among other forces, by the Communist Party and the Socialist Homeland.
She’s not crazy, she acknowledges in an interview recently published in the newspaper Corriere della Serasimply “tired of listening to politicians who speak without finding solutions”.
“As long as I have energy, I will use it for important things, especially for my country “he assures, while admitting that, if elected, he will fight “for the people to decide, from health to justice”.
“Italy has problems, I want to do something good and positive”, he says.
Protagonist of films such as “Good Evening, Mrs. Campbell” Y “Crazy Crazy” She says she made the decision after talking to her lawyer, Antonio Ingroia, and moved by her greatest inspiration, Mahatma Gandhi, who praises “his way of doing things, non-violence”.
She still does not know if she will campaign, but she acknowledges that she is willing to do so if necessary, and also speaks of Mario Draghi, who was President of the Italian Council with a government of national unity from February 2021 to July of this year, when he was pushed to resign by the abandonment of three important members of his coalition, Movimento 5 Stelle, Lega and Forza Italia, who did not stand for the vote of confidence.
Monica Vitti and Gina Lollobrigida in 1980. AFP photo
“I liked Draghi … I respect his work, but I don’t agree with it“, he points out.
Lollobrigida tried her luck in the world of politics already in the 90s, when she ran for the European Parliament at the hands of Romano Prodi’s democrats, but she was not elected.
That attempt, however, did not take away his illusion, moreover he remembers it as an “experience” and reflects that “In life you can lose and you can win”.
The polls for the early elections on 25 September give the conservative coalition formed by Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, Giorgia Meloni’s far-right Brothers of Italy and Matteo Salvini’s Lega as favorites.
Berlusconi, who turns 86 four days after these elections, recently said he was thinking of running for senator, the chamber from which he was expelled in 2013, after the final confirmation in court of his conviction for fraud.
This verdict prevented him from holding executive positions and running for election for several years.
a movie life
Luigia Lollobrigida was born in Subiaco (municipality in the province of Rome), on July 4, 1927 and, contrary to the popular image attributed to her, she is the daughter of wealthy middle classes (his father was a wealthy furniture maker), reduced to near poverty by the Allied bombing of his region.
The family moved to Rome, still occupied by the Nazis, and faced economic difficulties. The young Gina, in fact, paid for part of her studies at the Institute of Fine Arts by selling drawings and appearing in some fotonovelas, under the stage name of Diana Loris. He had clear goals and character.
Kenzo Takada and Gina Lollobrigida. AP photo
So, almost by chance, she took the opportunity of a beauty contest to get noticed to get to the 1947 edition of Miss Italy in Stresa, in the north-west of Italy, where she came second, but won over the public and judges.
He made his stage debut at the age of 17. and then he tried his luck as an extra at Cinecittà…, with the help of a little notoriety, for having participated in the field of fotonovelas.
Contrary to what is thought of her, the most famous “voluptuous” of Italian cinema together with Sophia Loren (seven years younger), Lollobrigida he became famous abroad before in Italy and for many decades she was the only Italian diva (together with Alida Valli) loved by American directors.
The first to notice was the artistic tycoon Howard Hughes, who took her to Los Angeles in 1950 with the promise of a rich exclusive contract.
Gina, on the other hand, who has the character of a “purebred horse”, immediately realized that this golden cage was not for her. He quickly closed his suitcases, returned to Rome – he suffered the revenge of Hughes, since he did not work in the United States until 1956 – and he embraced the new Italian cinema of neorealism.
He participated in works with Pietro Germi (“The city reacts”) and with Carlo Lizzani (“Achtung bandits”) in the middle of the last century, sculpting roles of vigorous popular passion in which he refined a self-taught performance, on which he imprinted his personality.
Gina Lollobrigida dances with Gilberto Scarpa in one of his famous parties in 1996.
The first personal success, however, takes place outside the borders, in the French film “Fanfan la Tulipe”with Gerard Philippe, in 1952.
She starred in films by Rene Clair, Alessandro Blasetti, Mario Monicelli, Mario Soldati and finally became an Italian diva with the triumphant “Bread, love and imagination” by Luigi Comencini (1953) His work with Dino Risi It marked the beginning of his rivalry – more presumed than real – with Sophia Loren.
“La Lollo” (everyone called her that) refused a role and Sophia replaced her, as will happen several times in the following decade.
Meanwhile, Lollobrigida has had several successes abroad: she worked with John Huston and Robert Siodmak, she starred with Burt Lancaster and Frank Sinatra, she played a magnificent Esmeralda alongside Anthony Quinn in “The hunchback of Notre Dame”worked with Errol Flynn and Yul Brynner and accepted the challenge of dubbing herself in French and singing as a soprano (in “The Most Beautiful Woman in the World”, alongside Vittorio Gassman, for which she won her first David di Donatello ).
away from the set
His career on the set is shorter than his artistic lifeonly because at the beginning of the 70s she decided that her passion would take her further: she left the cinema (to which she would return only twenty years later) to become a photographer, a space in which she had great success creating portraits of divas and politicians (including Fidel Castro), fellow adventurers from his previous life and great artists.
But her thirst for life will take her even further: she tried her hand as a sculptor and its exhibitions have traveled around the world.
Personal life was much more tormented: she married only once (in 1949, with the Slovenian doctor Milko Skofic with whom she had a son and from whom she divorced in 1971), after 90 years she revealed that she was raped when she was very young and explained that this pain had marked his whole life. He has never admitted or denied love episodes linked to the great actors with whom he worked and who had lost their minds for her.
In 2006 she announced that she wanted to marry the Spaniard Javier Rigau very much younger than her, but then the marriage was denied by both of them. There is still a legal battle going on with her son Andrea Milkowho accuses a collaborator of the actress of deceiving her to steal a good part of her fortune.
She currently lives alone in the grand mansion on the Via Appia Antica, but she has nothing of the diva on the way to the sunset: her ironic vitality and her frankness in looking at life have triumphed over time and have handed down an intact image for all generations. who saw her as an icon of cinema, an Italian “sex symbol” and is remembered around the world for her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Source: EFE and ANSA