Sophia Loren, born Sofia Costanza Brigida Villani Scicolone, born on September 20, 1934, is an Italian actress. She went on to become an iconic actress and her career reached a pinnacle in 1964 when she was paid $1 million to appear in “The Fall of the Roman Empire.” The American Film Institute named her one of the ‘greatest female stars of classic Hollywood cinema’. Loren is one of the last surviving major stars from Hollywood’s Golden Age, and the only living person on the AFI’s list as of 2022. Loren is worth celebrating and we will help you mark her special day.
September 20, 1934
Sophia Loren, born Sofia Villani Scicolone on September 20, 1934, in Rome, Italy, is an Italian film actress who rose from humble beginnings in postwar Naples to become widely regarded as one of the country’s most beautiful women and its most famous movie star. Her first film role was as an extra in the American production of “Quo Vadis?” (1951), where she was one of many slave girls. Scicolone was transformed into Sophia Loren under the tutelage of producer Carlo Ponti, who later became her husband. Her career began with a series of low-budget comedies before she gained critical and popular attention with “Aida” (1953), in which she lip-synced Renata Tebaldi’s singing in the title role.
Loren was nominated for a second Academy Award in 1965 for her performance in “Marriage, Italian Style,” opposite Marcello Mastroianni. Such exposure undoubtedly helped her win an Academy Award for best actress in “Two Woman” (1960), making her the first actor to win an Oscar for a non-English language role. Two other De Sica films featured her comedic talents and paired her with another Italian film icon, Marcello Mastroianni: “Leri, Oggi, Domani” (1963, “Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow”), which won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. Her best late-career performance, again with Mastroianni, was for director Ettore Scola in “Una Giornata particolare” (1977, “A Special Day”). Loren’s subsequent work included the television film “Courage” (1986), as well as the feature films “Prêt-à-Porter” (1994), directed by Robert Altman, and “Nine” (2009). Loren was the first female celebrity to launch her own perfume, ‘Sophia,’ in 1981, and a line of eyewear soon followed.
Loren met her husband, Carlo Ponti when she was 15 and he was 37. They wed but had to annul the marriage since Ponti was not legally divorced from his wife. They, however, continued to live together, and in 1965, they became French citizens after their application was approved. Ponti then obtained a divorce allowing him to marry Loren on 9 April 1966 and the couple remained together until Ponti died in 2007. The couple had two sons and today Loren is a grandmother of four.
Loren's first film role was as an extra in the American production of “Quo Vadis?” (1951).
Loren starts her career in a series of low-budget comedies before making her mark with Aida (1953), in which she lip-syncs Renata Tebaldi's singing in the title role.
Loren wins the Academy Award for best actress in “Two Woman,” making her the first actor to win an Oscar for a non-English language role.
Following the international success of A. E. Hotchner's biography “Sophia Loren: Living and Loving, Her Own Story,” Loren portrays herself in a television movie based on her autobiography.
Why We Love Sophia Loren
She is family-orientated
In the early 1970s, she started a family. During this time in her life, she focused on her family. Acting took a back seat, and she only appeared in a few films.
She pushed through a hard life
Loren and her sister grew up in Pozzuoli, a small village near Naples, with their mother and grandmother, without the support of their father. Loren's grandmother ran a pub from their living room, and the adolescent Sophia supported the family business by waiting tables and washing dishes.
She always looks for the positive
Loren has always been positive-minded and has seen the world as a place full of beauty. She has confessed that she chooses to see the bright side of life and will hardly be in a sad or melancholic mood.
5 Surprising Facts
She is a chef
Loren proved to the world that she is an excellent cook when her cookbook was first released in 1971.
She is a marquess
Loren’s father, Riccardo Scicolone, was of noble lineage; Loren is technically a marquess, the Marquess of Licata Scicolone Murillo.
She is a voice actor
In 2011, Loren lent her voice to depict Mama Topolino in the Disney movie, Cars 2.
She was a pageant queen
At the Miss Italia pageant in 1950, judges named her "Miss Elegance," and she came within a whisker of winning the entire thing as "Miss Italia."
She has three siblings
Her siblings are Anna Maria Villani Scicolone, Giuliano Scicolone, and Giuseppe Scicolone.
Sophia Loren FAQs
What languages does Sophia Loren speak?
She speaks Italian, French, and English.
Where does Sophia Loren live right now?
She mainly lives in Geneva, Switzerland but also owns homes in Naples and Rome.
What was Sophia Loren jailed for in Italy in 1982?
She was arrested for a tax-related scandal and ended up spending 17 days in the Italian prison as part of a one-month sentence for tax evasion.
Sophia Loren’s birthday dates