Today, screen legend Sophia Loren turned 80 and she never looked more beautiful while putting her life on display in Mexico City.
Sophia Loren celebrated her 80th birthday on Saturday, September 20.
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Considered a national treasure of Italy, the screen star started out with a tough life. Born in 1934 to an unwed mother and barely surviving a WWII bombing that devastated her hometown of Rome, Sophia managed to make it big in Hollywood after appearing in Vittorio De Sica's 1960 film Two Women.
She used personal experience to play a widow and mother-of-two living in a war-torn country. Earning international fame and an Oscar, Loren became the first non-English speaking actor to win Best Actress. After appearing in more than 90 films and working since the age of 14, the Italian's name is synonymous with beauty and sensuality.
In 1995, Loren stared with Walter Matthau, Jack Lemmon, and Ann-Margaret in the Grumpy Old Men sequel Grumpier Old Men. Entertainment Weekly was on set with the quartet, where the costars all managed to ruin take after take from laughter.
And in classic Loren fashion, the actress simply brushes off the failed takes because after so many years in the public eye, she knows the value of what makes an audience stick around. Talent, enjoyment, and chemistry on screen. Daryl Hannah broke a very well-known no sequels rule to meet the auburn-haired stunner.
A fan of cooking, Loren was often found in her trailer making a big pot of Bolognese sauce, speaking highly of Matthau. "Walter is not an actor, not at all. He's a normal person." When the magazine jokingly called the man "a beast," she quickly dispelled that idea. "He's a very attractive man. I like him very much." Loren enjoys life, enjoys what it brings.
To the general public and colleagues, Sophia Loren is admired for her grace, beauty, and kindness. She's never been shy on expressing opinions, but she's always been honest. And that is a sort of kindness in itself. Perhaps some of the honesty comes from a life where her father refused to divorce his wife and marry Loren and sister Maria's mother.
And poverty-stricken Sofia Scicolone transformed into Sophia Loren, who would star in films with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant, Clark Gable, and Richard Burton. In fact, Burton once described her walk as "swaying like rain" while being "stupendously intelligent."
And she's inspired actresses, as well.
Whoopi Goldberg told a story recently where her mother's encouragement revolved around how poverty did not hurt Loren's changes in life. "“The minute you have a doubt that you’re not enough, look at Sophia Loren." Continuing, she admitted her mother's advice wasn't always overly optimistic, but helpful anyway. "Now, I don’t know if you’re going to grow as well as Sophia Loren, but because we don’t know take the shot.”
Everyone loves the actress. Lina Wertmüller recently described the star's impact. "Who else inspires the whole range of feminine charms, from sex to motherhood?" And loyalty matters the Grand Dame of Italy. Ines Bruscia's been her secretary and personal assistant for over 50 years. Together, Loren and Bruscia offer hospitality and graciousness to all who visit the house.
With a career lasting over 60 decades, the actress recently played her mother Romilda Villani in Maria's adaption of the autobiography My House is Full of Mirrors. Margareth Madè played Loren. In an odd turn, Sophia played herself and Villani in a 1980 adaptation (Sophia Loren: Her Own Story).
Unwilling to open up publically about her life, she told Vanity Fair, “My life is not a fairy tale” and “painful still to speak about it.” But she still offered to meet, to discuss a career spanning decades. Strength is found in every age and stage of the woman’s remarkable life.
And this week, the 80-year-old put prized possessions on display for an exhibition in Mexico City’s Soumaya Museum. A first for star, friends, and general public. The Hollywood Reporter noted the display included her “wardrobe collection, awards, books, movie posters, video clips and what Loren calls her most valuable possession: the Oscar statuette she won for best actress in Two Women.”
Moved by the response, the love of a life she kept quiet, brought tears Loren’s eyes. "I'm very moved by this, it's a beautiful exhibit." And today, the museum hosted a red carpet affair for the queen of Italian neorealism.
So here’s celebrating the awesomeness that is Sophia Loren.