Born to illegitimacy and poverty, Sophia Loren became the symbol of European luxe and sensuality–a passionate life force in dozens of unforgettable films of the ’50s and ’60s. Her throbbing beauty burned through vehicles like Desire Under the Elms, El Cid and Black Orchid. Perhaps her greatest performance was in Two Women, in which Loren, as a desperate mother trying to save her daughter during WWII, emotes while wading through rivers, the better to show off that meltingly delicious body.
She is adored for those dangerous curves, but real Loren fans are just as enamored of the way that, in anger, joy or grief, words gushed forth like a river of the darkest, most bittersweet chocolate.
It seems impossible that one person could shape a country’s image of what it meant to be an Italian, but there it is: Sophia Loren is that woman.
In Her Own Words: “I have no regrets. Regret only makes wrinkles.”