How Sophia Loren became a screen goddess

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Sophia Loren is like the queen of Hollywood movies, known for her beauty and the glamorous way she lives.

Her journey to becoming famous was tough. She was born into a poor life, and even when she became famous, some people didn’t like how she looked.

But now, everyone agrees that she’s the most beautiful woman to ever be in movies. Even at 88 years old, she still looks stunning.

It’s surprising to learn that the woman who inspired music, said no to marrying Cary Grant, and was the first to win an Oscar for a foreign-language film, had a tough beginning.

Sophia Loren was born in 1934 in Rome as Sofia Villani Scicolone. Her mom was not only a piano teacher but also an actress with Hollywood noticing her good looks. Sophia’s mom even won a contest for looking like Greta Garbo, a famous actress, but her strict family didn’t let her become a movie star.

Instead, Sophia’s mom supported and guided her, helping her start a successful career in movies later on.

Sophia grew up without the support of her father, who was also dad to her younger sister Maria but he refused to marry their mother and had no involvement in family life.

”I saw my father only six times in my life,” she told People Magazine. “He was a great source of pain and humiliation for my mother, whom he seduced and abandoned, for my younger sister, Maria, who suffered terribly because he would not give her his name, and for myself.”

Growing up in a single-parent household was tough financially.

Sophia Loren had a really tough childhood. She grew up in extreme poverty, sharing a bedroom with eight other people at her grandparents’ house. Conditions got so bad that her mom had to use water from the car radiator to give something to eat to Sophia and her sisters.

During World War II, Sophia went through some really scary times. She was once knocked down during an air raid, and she got hit by pieces of metal, leaving a scar on her chin. She remembers the sounds and experiences from the war, saying they stay with you forever. Even though she was just a little girl back then, those memories never go away.

She suffered from mites and lice and was bullied at school for being so skinny.

But she emerged as the successful beauty we know her as today. After becoming a finalist in the Miss Italia 1950 beauty pageant, she then went on to attend the National Film School in Italy.

Still, her looks were criticized, and she was told her nose wasn’t right and she had to lose weight.

“It was an interesting nose, which is why I still have never changed it. Sometimes when you are very young, you have to wait for nature to shape you on the face or on the body. Then little by little, people see the nose was much nicer than they thought,” she told the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Sophia Loren got her big break when she was 19, playing the role of an Ethiopian slave in the movie Aida. People loved her performance, and she earned a lot of praise.

Four years later, she starred alongside Cary Grant and Frank Sinatra in The Pride and the Passion. In 1960, she won an Oscar for her role in Two Women, where she played a mother trying to take care of her daughter in war-torn Rome.

Sophia didn’t stop there – she went on to win many awards, including five special Golden Globes, a Grammy Award, an Honorary Academy Award, and the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievements.

In her personal life, there were stories about affairs and bigamy, but she stayed married to Italian film producer Carlo Ponti for 50 years until he passed away in 2007. They first met when Sophia was only 16, and Carlo helped her become a star in Italy before she turned 25.

Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti fell in love right away. They first met when Sophia was 16 at a beauty contest in Rome. Carlo, who was on the judging panel, noticed her and sent her a note, inviting her to participate.

They got married in 1957, but there was a problem. Carlo’s previous divorce wasn’t accepted in Italy, so they faced a charge of bigamy. Carlo was 21 years older than Sophia, and when they first got married, he was still legally married to his first wife.

So, because of some legal problems, Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti’s marriage was canceled in 1962. To fix it, they became citizens of France and got married again, but this time, everything was legal.

Later on, they had two sons: Carol Jr., who is a conductor for orchestras, and Eduardo, who is a filmmaker. Nowadays, Sophia has four grandchildren.

Sophia’s love life has been in the spotlight many times; for example, she once turned down a marriage proposal from Cary Grant.

Her stunning looks were something she never focused on, staying true to herself and ensuring she provided the secure home life for her kids that she never had.

“My character is my best feature,” she told the Telegraph newspaper. “I was really a nobody, a little girl, unhappy, in desperation because of the life I was living with my family and no father.”

There’s still so much we don’t know about this screen goddess as she burns her personal diary every year, but we do know she is devoted to her family and her work, still acting at 88 years old.

In 2020, Sophia Loren starred in a movie called “The Life Ahead,” directed by her son Edoardo Ponti. It was her first leading role in over ten years. In the film, she plays Madam Rosa, a survivor of the Holocaust and a former sex worker.

Sophia said she drew from her own experiences during the war to understand Madam Rosa’s truth and honesty.

Besides acting, Sophia is also a businesswoman now. There are two restaurants in Italy with her name—one in Florence and one in Milan. The Milan restaurant opened in 2022, and Sophia was there for the opening.

She loves food and says, “In my life, I have had many passions, and one of them is undoubtedly food.” She also mentioned that no director has ever been able to put her on a diet, and she has never given up a good plate of pasta for the sake of her figure.

The career that this screen goddess has built for herself despite her tough childhood and the knockbacks she endured is inspirational.

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