Gina Lollobrigida Dies: Legendary Italian Actress Was 95

Gina Lollobrigida attends Premiere Il Banchiere Anarchico
Elisabetta Villa/Getty Images for Sun Film Group Tiziana Rocca Production

Gina Lollobrigida, one of the most famous actresses of European and Hollywood cinema in the 1950s and 60s, has died. She was 95.

The legendary movie star, known for her roles in films such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Beautiful But Dangerous, passed away on Monday (January 16) in Rome, as confirmed by the Italian news agency ANSA.

Born on July 4, 1927, in the Italian town of Subiaco, Lollobrigida started her career as a model, winning several beauty contests. Around the same time, she began taking on minor roles in Italian films. She gained national exposure in 1947 when she placed third in the Miss Italia pageant.

Lollobrigida would continue her acting career throughout the 1950s, despite signing a contract with film producer Howard Hughes, preventing her from working on movies filmed in the United States. Regardless, she found success in Europe with her breakthrough role in the 1952 French feature Fearless Little Soldier.

She also gained praise and attention for her roles in the Italian-language films Bread, Love and Dreams, The Wayward Wife, and Woman of Rome. Then, in 1953, she played Humphrey Bogart‘s wife in Beat the Devil, her first mainstream English-language film. She also starred alongside Errol Flynn in Crossed Swords, Burt Lancaster in Trapeze, and Frank Sinatra in Never So Few.

Lollobrigida’s star continued to rise throughout the 1960s, winning multiple awards, including a Golden Globe in 1961 for World Film Favorite. Her career slowed down over the next decade, but in the 1980s, she briefly returned to the limelight on the small screen, starring in the TV soap-opera Falcon Crest, which earned her her third Golden Globe nomination.

She also starred in a supporting role in the 1985 TV miniseries Deceptions and appeared as a guest star on the comedy-drama series The Love Boat.

In recent years, Lollobrigida has dedicated her time to photography and art. She was also heavily involved in politics, having run as a candidate in the Italian general elections in 2022 for the Sovereign and Popular Italy party.