Her ascent to stardom wasn’t simple; she came from a low-income background and faced criticism for her appearance when she did make it big.
Even at eighty-eight years old, we still regard her as the most gorgeous woman to have ever graced our screens.
How the screen goddess Sophia Loren rose to fame.
It’s incredible to think that the woman who spurred musical inspiration, declined Cary Grant’s marriage proposal, and went on to become the first foreign-language film actor to win an Oscar came from such humble beginnings.
Her mother, Sofia Villani Scicolone Rome, was an actress and piano instructor whose attractiveness also attracted the attention of Hollywood. Sofia was born in 1934. Sophia’s gorgeous mother was once the winner of a Greta Garbi lookalike competition, but her conservative family forbade her from pursuing a career in film.
Rather, the mother would mentor her daughter and support Sophia while she pursued a career in movies.
Sophia was raised without the assistance of her father, who was also the father of her younger sister Maria. However, he stayed out of the family, refusing to marry their mother.
She said to People Magazine, “I only saw my father six times in my life.” “He caused a great deal of suffering and embarrassment to me, my younger sister Maria, who suffered greatly because he would not give her his name, and to my mother, whom he seduced and abandoned.”
The financial struggles of growing up in a single-parent home were real.
According to Direct Expose, “she was raised in severe poverty, living with other relatives and sharing a bedroom with eight people at her grandparents’ home.” “Eventually, things got so bad that Loren’s mother would occasionally give her daughters water from the car radiator.”
Sophia survived World War II, when she was hit by shrapnel and forced to the ground in one aerial raid, leaving her with a scar on her chin.
She famously remarked, “I was a little girl, but the sound and the experiences of the war never, never leave you.”
She was teased at school for being so thin, and she had lice and mites.
But she eventually turned into the prosperous beauty that we all know today. She attended the National Film School in Italy after placing as a finalist in the Miss Italia 1950 beauty competition.
Despite this, she received criticism for her appearance and was advised to lose weight because of her nose.
“I still haven’t changed my nose because I thought it was an unusual one. Occasionally, in your early years, you have to wait for nature to sculpt your face or body. Eventually, people began to realise that the nose was far prettier than they had initially believed, she told the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Her big break came when she was 19 years old and received critical acclaim for her performance as an Ethiopian slave in the film Aida.
She co-starred with Cary Grant and Frank Sinatra in The Pride and the Passion four years later, and she won an Oscar in 1960 for her portrayal of a mother who is frantic to support her daughter in war-torn Rome in the film Two Women.
The honours didn’t end there for Loren; in addition, he went on to win the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement, a Grammy Award, an Honorary Academy Award, and five further Golden Globes.