We all know Sophia Loren as a gorgeous and talented actress who has achieved great success and the love of millions of admirers all over the world. However, her life hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing, and she still finds it painful to talk about some events from her past. Still, she managed to endure all of these hardships and show the world what a strong person she is.
We at Bright Side found 12 facts about Sophia Loren that show different sides of this movie legend’s personality.
Even though Sophia Loren’s father was of noble lineage, and she is technically entitled to call herself a marchioness, he wasn’t there for her and didn’t support the family. She grew up in poverty and had to start working with her grandmother when she was a teenager.
Sophia admits to being taunted throughout her childhood for being illegitimate, as her mother never married Sophia’s father. Until the age of 14, she was considered an ugly duckling. She even had nicknames like “The Stick” and “Toothpick” because she was thin, but then she grew up to be one of the most beautiful women.
Her bullies were proven wrong pretty quickly when young Sophia Loren started successfully participating in beauty pageants. For her first contest, Sophia’s grandmother made a dress out of a pink curtain, because they couldn’t afford to buy a new one. In 1950, she got the title “Miss Elegance” at the Miss Italia pageant.
- Sophia got her first role when she was only 16, and she played the main part in a movie when she was as young as 19. She used her first earnings to support her family: for example, the actress paid for her sister to have her father’s name, as she was illegitimate, and felt ashamed because of that.
Sophia Loren received an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the movie Two Women (1961), and it was the first major Academy Award for a non-English-language performance or for an Italian actress.
In 1981, she became the first female celebrity to launch her own perfume. Later, Sophia Loren also launched a brand of eyewear.
Even serving a 17-day prison sentence on tax evasion in 1982 never harmed Sophia’s popularity: when she returned from jail, she was met by crowds of journalists and fans. In 2013, the supreme court of Italy cleared her of the charges.
In 1991, the actress got the Academy Honorary Award for her significant contribution to the movie industry and was declared “one of the world cinema’s treasures.”
Sophia Loren is known for embracing the natural look of her body. This confidence was initially demonstrated during her very first screen test when a cameraman found her features too unusual and advised Sophia to lose some weight and get a nose job. Even though this remark could have destroyed any other young actress’s self-esteem, Sophia just refused the idea and persevered.
Her confidence never left her. For example, the actress wasn’t ashamed of appearing on the red carpet with her armpit hair showing. Being a strong proponent of the idea of loving and accepting oneself, the actress noted, “There is too much pressure to live up to certain images of what women should look like.”
For the drama Two Women, which was one of Sophia’s most recognized works, she was initially supposed to play the role of a young woman, but she insisted on playing this character’s mother. She fought against the type of “just a beautiful woman,” and proved herself as a talented actress.
Sophia Loren is rather tall (her height is around 5’9″). Even though this intimidated some male actors who avoided appearing together with her, this did not stop her from wearing towering high heels.
The actress appeared in the 2007 edition of the famous Pirelli Calendar at the age of 72.