Tributes are pouring in for Gina Lollobrigida, one of Europe’s biggest movie stars, who died on Monday at the age of 95.
A global sex symbol during the 1950s and ’60s, Lollobrigida worked with Hollywood heavyweights such as Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra, Errol Flynn and Rock Hudson.
Sophia Loren was one of the first people to pay tribute to “La Lollo,” as the Italians called her. Loren said in a statement she “is deeply shaken and saddened” by the news of Lollobrigida’s death.
The two divas had parallel careers in Italy and Hollywood and were often considered rivals.
Italy’s Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano tweeted: “Adieu to a diva of the big screen, protagonist of half a century of Italian cinema. Your charm will remain eternal. Ciao Lollo.”
“Ciao Gina. With You the last diva has left us,” Tweeted actor director Giulio Base, whose wife, Filming Italy festival chief Tiziana Rocca, was instrumental to Lollobrigida getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2018.
Con te se ne va l’ultima ‘diva’.#GINALOLLOBRIGIDA
— Giulio Base (@GiulioBase) January 16, 2023
Lollobrigida is best known among her countrymen for Luigi Comencini’s 1953 classic “Bread, Love and Dreams.”
In a 2018 interview with Variety Lollobrigida recalled: “De Sica taught me to understand cinema. He helped me to understand that cinema is an art; an art that can give you immediate gratification because the audience response is so wonderful.
Outside Italy, she is famous for playing seductive gypsy Esmeralda in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1956) opposite Anthony Quinn, Queen Sheba with Yul Brynner in King Vidor’s hit epic “Solomon and Sheba” (1959) and Napoleon’s sister Paolina Bonaparte in “Imperial Venus” (1962).