Gina Lollobrigida dead: 10 films to remember the Bersagliera

She’s dead Gina Lollobrigida, the actress and icon of Italian cinema was 95 years old. Last September Lollobrigida was discharged from the clinic where she was hospitalized and operated on after a fall at home, an accident that caused her to fracture her femur.

Gina Lollobrigida – Biographical notes

Gina Lollobrigida was born on July 4, 1927 in Subiaco, Italy. Destined to the title of “The most beautiful woman in the world”, Lollobrigida, daughter of a furniture manufacturer, began her career as a model and successfully participated in various beauty contests. In 1947 she aims for Miss Italy, but she comes third, that year she wins Lucia Bosè. After appearing in half a dozen films in Italy, including her debut Black Eagle (1946), The elixir of love (1947), The crime of Giovanni Episcopo by Alberto Lattuada (1947) and The Secret of Don Juan by Camillo Mastrocinque (1947), it is said that the American film magnate Howard Hughes had flown her to Hollywood to meet her, but this American foray will not turn into an overseas career, a Hollywood launch that will arrive several years later, in 1953, with The treasure of Africa by John Huston (1953).

Back in Italy, in 1949, Gina married Milko Skofic, a Slovenian doctor, with whom she had a son, Milko Skofic Jr. The couple remained married for 22 years, until their divorce in 1971. With the increase of her film roles and national popularity, and after the role of opera singer Lina Cavalieri in the biopic Beautiful But Dangerous (1955), Gina becomes for everyone as “The most beautiful woman in the world”, which is the Italian title of Leonard’s film. Speaking of nicknames Lollobrigida was also affectionately nicknamed “Lollo”, a nickname that was also used for a famous salad. Someone claims that this further homage was to her curly hair and her naughty outfits worn in many photo shoots.

After acting for Mario Monicelli and Steno in Dog’s life (1950) and The infidels (1953), for Mario Camerini in Wife for one night (1952) and for Mario Soldati ne The provincial (1953), comes the role that will consecrate her as an icon of Italian comedy, and in which yet another nickname will be coined, the “Bersagliera”. The movie is Bread, love and fantasy by Luigi Comencini (1953) in which a charming Vittorio De Sica in uniform loses his head, not reciprocated, for the free-range character of Lollo, and in the end courts and falls in love with the village midwife played by Marisa Merlini. The film will also be a great success in France, will win a Silver Bear in Berlin, will be nominated for an Oscar in the Best Story category and the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures will include it in the list of the best foreign films of the year. Lollobrigida after winning the Silver Ribbon for Best Actress, will return to the role of “Bersagliera” for the sequel Bread, love and jealousy (1954) still directed by Comencini and alongside Vittorio De Sica and Marisa Merlini.

In 1958 Lollobrigida was again the protagonist alongside Vittorio De Sica Anne of Brooklyn, film co-directed by De Sica himself with Carlo Lastricati; in 1959 she is an Italian refugee in the United States during the Second World War Sacred and profane by John Sturges; in 1961 he starred with Rock Hudson in Come back in September, romantic comedy directed by Robert Mulligan which wins the Golden Globe for best film. In the 60s Lollobrigida also starred in Hippolyta’s beauty (1962) in which he plays a former dancer who falls in love with a gas station attendant played by Enrico Maria Salerno; she also stars with Jean-Paul Belmondo and Tomas Milian in the comedy Crazy sea (1963) in which she played the brooding owner of a boarding house; she re-teams with Rock Hudson in the comedy Strange bedfellows (1965) by director Melvin Frank and alongside Vittorio Gassman, Ugo Tognazzi and Adolfo Celi in the comedy The pleasant nights (1966) from the homonymous collection of short stories by the Bergamo writer Giovanni Francesco Straparola.

In the 1970s, Gina Lollobrigida starred in a handful of films, including the comedy western And they kept stealing the million dollars (1971), in which he starred with spaghetti western icon Lee Van Cleef, and in 1972 he appears in the iconic Pinocchio television show by Comencini in the role of the Blue Fairy. During this time Lollobrigida took a break from acting to focus on another career: photography. Her subjects include Paul Newman, Salvador Dalí and the German national football team. A skilled photographer, Lollobrigida saw a collection of her work entitled “Italia Mia” published in 1973. Immersed in her other passions (sculpture and photography), Lollobrigida fleetingly returns to acting preferring the small screen, in 1984 she appears in five episodes of the TV series Falcon crest; in 1985 and guest starred for a double episode of Love Boat and in 1988 he acted for Giuseppe Patroni Griffi in The Roman, TV film based on the homonymous novel by Alberto Moravia already adapted by Luigi Zampa in a 1964 film starring Pina Piovani and Lollobrigida herself in the roles of mother and daughter respectively. In this television remake Lollobrigida plays her mother and Francesca Dellera her daughter.

Before finally retiring from acting in 1997, Gina Lollobrigida appears in One hundred and one nights by Agnès Varda (1995), a film created to pay homage to the history of cinema on the occasion of the centenary of its birth; she stars with Gérard Depardieu in the French comedy XXL of 1997 and is in the cast of the TV miniseries A woman on the run in the role of a rich publisher who loses her son in a car accident, in the cast also Monica Scattini, Orso Maria Guerrini, Dalila Di Lazzaro and Ben Gazzara. Lollobrigida will abandon retirement only in 2011 to play a cameo in the parody film Box Office 3D – The movie of movies by Ezio Greggio. In June 1999 Lollobrigida unsuccessfully ran for one of the 87 Italian seats in the European Parliament, from his hometown of Subiaco. The actress has also been a corporate executive for fashion and cosmetics companies. As she said in an April 2000 interview: “I studied painting and sculpture at school and became an actress by mistake.”

10 films with Gina Lollobrigida

1. The Provincial by Mario Soldati (1953)

2. Bread, Love and Fantasy by Luigi Comencini (1953)

3. Luigi Zampa’s Roman (1954)

4. The Most Beautiful Woman in the World by Robert Z. Leonard (1955)

5. Carol Reed’s Trapeze (1956)

6. Return to September by Robert Mulligan (1961)

7. The Italian Lover (Les Sultans) by Jean Delannoy (1966)

8. The Adventures of Pinocchio by Luigi Comencini – TV miniseries (1972)

9. And they kept stealing the million dollars by Eugenio Martín (1971)

10. Basil Dearden’s Straw Woman (1964)

Filmography

Black Eagle, directed by Riccardo Freda (1946)
Lucia di Lammermoor, directed by Piero Ballerini (1946) – uncredited
L’elisir d’amore, directed by Mario Costa (1947)
The crime of Giovanni Episcopo, directed by Alberto Lattuada (1947)
The secret of Don Giovanni, directed by Camillo Mastrocinque (1947)
Vendetta nel sole (A Man About the House), directed by Leslie Arliss (1948)
Madness for the opera, directed by Mario Costa (1948)
Clowns, directed by Mario Costa (1948)
Hammer bells, directed by Luigi Zampa (1949)
Anselmo is in a hurry, directed by Gianni Franciolini (1949)
Miss Italy, directed by Duilio Coletti (1950)
Hearts without borders, directed by Luigi Zampa (1950)
Alina, directed by Giorgio Pàstina (1950)
A Dog’s Life, directed by Mario Monicelli and Steno (1950)
The city defends itself, directed by Pietro Germi (1951)
Enrico Caruso, legend of a voice, directed by Giacomo Gentilomo (1951)
Passport to the East (A Tale of Five Cities), Rome episode, directed by Romolo Marcellini (1951)
Achtung! Bandits!, directed by Carlo Lizzani (1951)
I don’t have love… however… however, directed by Giorgio Bianchi (1951)
Wife for a night, directed by Mario Camerini (1952)
Fanfan la Tulipe, directed by Christian-Jaque (1952)
Other times, epis. The Trial of Phryne, directed by Alessandro Blasetti (1952)
The Beauties of the Night (Les Belles de nuit), directed by René Clair (1952)
The infidels, directed by Mario Monicelli and Steno (1953)
The provincial road, directed by Mario Soldati (1953)
Bread, Love and Fantasy, directed by Luigi Comencini (1953)
The treasure of Africa (Beat the Devil), directed by John Huston (1953)
The Big Game (Le Grand Jeu), directed by Robert Siodmak (1954)
The master of Don Giovanni (Crossed Swords), directed by Milton Krims (1954)
The Roman, directed by Luigi Zampa (1954)
Bread, love and jealousy, directed by Luigi Comencini (1954)
The most beautiful woman in the world, directed by Robert Z. Leonard (1955)
Trapezio (Trapeze), directed by Carol Reed (1956)
Notre-Dame de Paris, directed by Jean Delannoy (1956)
Anna of Brooklyn, directed by Vittorio De Sica and Carlo Lastricati (1958)
The law (La Loi), directed by Jules Dassin (1959)
Solomon and the Queen of Sheba (Solomon and Sheba), directed by King Vidor (1959)
Sacred and Profane (Never So Few), directed by John Sturges (1959)
Go Naked in the World, directed by Ranald MacDougall (1961)
Come September (Come September), directed by Robert Mulligan (1961)
The Beauty of Hippolyta, directed by Giancarlo Zagni (1962)
Imperial Venus, directed by Jean Delannoy (1962)
Crazy sea, directed by Renato Castellani (1963)
Woman of Straw, directed by Basil Dearden (1964)
The dolls (ep. Monsignor Cupido), directed by Mauro Bolognini (1965)
Strange Bedfellows (Strange Bedfellows), directed by Melvin Frank (1965)
Me, me, me… and the others, directed by Alessandro Blasetti (1966)
Hotel Paradiso, directed by Peter Glenville (1966)
The Italian Lover (Les Sultans), directed by Jean Delannoy (1966)
The Pleasant Nights, directed by Armando Crispino and Luciano Lucignani (1966)
The Adventures and Loves of Miguel Cervantes (Cervantes), directed by Vincent Sherman (1967)
Death has laid the egg, directed by GiulioQuesti (1967)
Mash, the private war of sergeant O’Farrell (The Private Navy of Sgt. O’Farrell), directed by Frank Tashlin (1968)
Stuntman, directed by Marcello Baldi (1968)
Good Evening, Mrs Campbell (Good Evening, Mrs Campbell), directed by Melvin Frank (1968)
A beautiful November, directed by Mauro Bolognini (1969)
And they kept stealing the million dollars (Bad Man’s River), directed by Eugenio Martín (1971)
A welcome guest… for my wife, directed by Jerzy Skolimowski (1972)
Mortal sin, directed by Francisco Rovira Beleta (1973)
One Hundred and One Nights (Les cent et une nuits de Simon Cinéma), directed by Agnès Varda (1995)
XXL, directed by Ariel Zeitoun (1997)
Box Office 3D – The film of films, directed by Ezio Greggio (2011) – cameo

Gina Lollobrigida dead: 10 films to remember the Bersagliera