ROME—Gina Lollobrigida, one of Italy’s most famous screen actors, has died at the age of 95 after a long illness, according to her nephew Francesco Lollobrigida, Italy’s Agriculture minister, who called her a “peerless icon.”
Lollobrigida was a leading lady to major film stars including Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra, Rock Hudson and Errol Flynn during the 1950s and 1960s before changing her career path to politics and photography.
She reached international fame in the 1953 film Beat the Devil with Bogart. She starred opposite Flynn in Crossed Swords and Anthony Quinn in Hunchback of Notre Dame. She acted with Rock Hudson in both Come September, for which she won a Golden Globe award for best actress, and Strange Bedfellows. Of Hudson, she said she knew he was gay because he did not make a pass at her. She worked with Frank Sinatra, who she famously disliked, saying he had no sense of humor, in Never So Few.
She was born on July 4, 1927 near Rome to a carpenter and became a model and beauty contestant before beginning her acting career. In 1947, she placed third in the Miss Italia competition.
She ran for public office in 2022, narrowly losing a senate seat. At the time she told the Corriere Della Sera newspaper: “I was just tired of hearing politicians arguing with each other without ever getting to the point.” She promised to “fight for the people to decide, from health to justice. Italy is in bad shape, I want to do something good and positive.”
She also ran unsuccessfully for European parliament in 1999.
Her photographic skill won acclaim for her shots of Henry Kissinger, Ella Fitzgerald and Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.