By Giada Zampano
ROME (AA) – Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida, known around the world as an icon of Italy's renaissance after World War II, died on Monday at the age of 95.
Lollobrigida, called by her Italian fans "La Lollo," became one of the shining symbols of the Italian cinema of the 1950s and 60s, co-starring Hollywood stars such as Humphrey Bogart, Rock Hudson, Tony Curtis, and Frank Sinatra.
Lollobrigida died in a Rome clinic, her lawyer said.
The actress had recently run for a seat in the parliament for a left-wing political party at Italy’s national elections in September.
Named “Luigina” Lollobrigida, she was born on 4 July, 1927. Lollobrigida was first discovered by a talent scout, who offered her an audition at Cinecitta, at the time the largest film studio in Europe.
In 1947, she participated in the Miss Italia beauty pageant – a competition that launched other famous actresses, including her long-time rival and fellow Italian star Sofia Loren – and came third.
She was later noticed by American movie mogul Howard Hughes, who was struck by her beauty and repeatedly offered to marry her.
The peak of her career came in the mid to late 1950s, when she starred in “Solomon and Sheba,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “Beautiful But Dangerous,” which made her known as “the most beautiful woman in the world.”
In the 1970s, Lollobrigida largely withdrew from acting and focused on photography and sculpture.