Italian bombshell movie star Gina Lollobrigida passes away at 95

She underwent surgery to mend a thigh bone damaged in a fall in September of last year, but she recovered and ran for a Senate seat in Italy's elections, losing.
Italian bombshell
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WASHINGTON: The 1950s Italian bombshell movie star Gina Lollobrigida, best known for projects like 'Fanfan la Tulipe,' 'Beat the Devil,' 'Trapeze' and 'Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell,' passed away aged 95. According to Italian news agency Lapresse as quoted in a report by Variety, a US-based news outlet, Lollobrigida passed away in a Rome clinic. The reason for death is unidentified.

She underwent surgery to mend a thigh bone damaged in a fall in September of last year, but she recovered and ran for a Senate seat in Italy's elections, losing.

After declining Howard Hughes' offer to produce films in Hollywood in 1950, Lollobrigida featured alongside Gerard Philipe in the popular and critically acclaimed French swashbuckler "Fanfan la Tulipe" in 1952.

She played alongside Humphrey Bogart and Jennifer Jones in John Huston's 1953 film noir spoof "Beat the Devil," which was filmed in Italy. She co-starred with Vittorio De Sica in "Bread, Love, and Dreams" by Luigi Comencini that same year, for which she received a BAFTA for best actress in a foreign film.

The Italian-language film "The Most Beautiful Woman in the World" (also known as "Beautiful but Dangerous"), in which Lollobrigida appeared, won the best actress prize at the first David di Donatello Awards in 1956.

As per a report by Variety, she appeared in Carol Reed's "Trapeze" that same year, which was shot in Paris and co-starred with Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, and other notable actors. Lollobrigida played Esmerelda in the production of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" which was produced by Italy and France and starred Anthony Quinn as Quasimodo. Along with Yul Brynner, she starred in King Vidor's 1959 films "Solomon and Sheba" and "Never So Few," which featured Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford, and Steve McQueen.

In 1961, she co-starred in the comedy "Come September" with Rock Hudson. She was currently switching between Italian, American, and sporadically French productions on a regular basis.

In 1961 she won the Golden Globes' Henrietta Award for world film favourite -- female. For her performance in the Italo-French play "Imperial Venus," the actress was given a David di Donatello Award in 1963.

While continuing to make Italian movies, Lollobrigida's international star began to fade until a resurgence with the 1968 comedy "Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell," starring Shelley Winters and Phil Silvers. She co-starred in Basil Dearden's 1964 English thriller "Woman of Straw" with Sean Connery and Ralph Richardson. After an 11-year break from all types of television, Lollobrigida returned to the small and large screens in 1984 with a cameo appearance on "The Love Boat" and a recurring part as Francesca Gioberti on the CBS primetime drama "Falcon Crest.

" Luigina Lollobrigida was born in the Italian town of Subiaco. She began modelling in her teens, which led to involvement in a number of beauty contests. In 1947, she finished third in the Miss Italia pageant. A modest part in the Italian-language "Return of the Black Eagle" marked her feature picture debut the year prior. Lollobrigida wed Mirko Skofic, a Slovenian physician, in 1949; he gave up his practice to work as her manager, but the couple divorced in 1971.

She got the Golden Medal of the City of Rome in 1986, a 40th Anniversary David in 1996, and a 50th Anniversary David in 2006 at the David di Donatello Awards. In 1986, she was awarded the Berlinale Camera at the Berlin International Film Festival.

In 1995, she received a special award from the Karlovy Vary Film Festival for her remarkable contribution to international cinema. In 2008, she received a career award from the Rome International Film Festival. Lollobrigida received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2018. She is survived by her son.

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