Sophia Loren Celebrates 80 Years

sophia lorenAn international icon, over 100 films – several award winning – Sophia Loren stands as both Italy’s greatest cinematic export and ‘the embodiment of Italian womanhood’. Born Sofia Scicolone, she was known as Sofia Lazzaro early in her movie career – because her beauty was allegedly said to raise Lazarus from the dead! Renowned as ‘la Loren’ or ‘Donna Sophia’, even the papal secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, in discussing the Vatican’s opposition to human cloning, once joked that ‘an exception might be made in the case of Sophia Loren.’
She is the recipient of a record six David Di Donatello awards for Best Actress, a Grammy, five special Golden Globes, an Academy Award in 1962 and an Honorary Academy Award in ’91, and Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award, in 1995. As one director said, ‘Sophia is perhaps the only movie star who has never forgotten where she came from.’ Wonderfully human, devoid of glamour and downtrodden in de Sica’s classic wartime tearjerker La Ciociara (Two Women), she was the first Oscar-winning actress for a foreign language film.
Off-screen, too, her Neapolitan roots and warmth show through in her endless embrace of la dolce vita and Italian food. As she once quipped, ‘Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.’ Today she may keep her famous curves in check with pasta portion control – but still attributes her secret for ageless beauty to ‘a love of life, spaghetti, and the odd bath in virgin olive oil.’
Though Sophia Loren turned 80 this month, astonishingly, nothing much has changed. In the fickle world of showbiz, she maintained her one and only 50-plus-year marriage. She works when she wants to; she dotes on her children and grandchildren; she appears regally at red carpet events. Looking every inch the naturally glamorous movie queen – from still enviable hourglass figure to heels – she eclipses so-called stars half her age. She is the ultimate role model not just for older women, but perhaps Everywoman.   Buon Compleanno, Sophia !
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