erik lundegaard


Tuesday January 17, 2023

Gina Lollobrigida (1927-2023)

I’ve only seen a handful of her movies and not the better-known ones. Looking over her IMDb page, I guess it’s just “The Law” (1959) and “Beat the Devil” (1953) rather than, say, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1956) with Anthony Quinn and “Solomon and Sheba” (1959) with Yul Brynner. But she does leave an impression. Oof. Both sexy and lovely. Her figure almost gets in the way of how beautiful she is. Co-star and onscreen husband in “Beat the Devil,” Humphrey Bogart, put it well. He said she was “the most woman I’ve seen for a long time—makes Marilyn Monroe look like Shirley Temple.” In 1955, she starred in “La donna più bella del mondo,” which 20th Century Fox redubbed “Beautiful But Dangerous,” but the exact translation is more apt: The Most Beautiful Woman in the World.

Then there’s that name. You couldn’t come up with a name that sounded more like a sex symbol. In fact, that may be where I first came across her: spoofed as Lollobrickida on “The Flintstones” and Gina Lollo Jupiter on “The Jetsons.”

She won three Donatellos for best actress—“La donna più bella del mondo” (1955), “Venere imperiale” (1963), and “Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell” (1969)—and was nominated for a BAFTA for “Pane, amore e fantasia” (1955), but no Oscar noms. I guess the Academy couldn’t get past the name or the figure. She left the movies in the early 1970s, became a photo-journalist, interviewed Fidel Castro, returned to acting for “Falcon Crest” in the mid-1980s, ran for political office in the mid-1990s, lost. Apparently she lost a lot of her money along the way, too. Helluva life.

The most beautiful woman in the world. She was 95.

Posted at 10:00 AM on Tuesday January 17, 2023 in category Movies