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The Celebrity Archaeology Podcast

May 15, 2018

Bella Sophia Loren! The ageless Neopolitan beauty is show in a photograph from 1984. She famously said: "Everything you see, I owe to pasta!" If only the Mediterranean diet was the perfect answer for everyone. But for Sophia-it works! Young Sophia Sophia was born September 20, 1934 in a war-torn town called Pozzioli near Naples. To escape from her surroundings, she went to the movies. "When I saw the movies, I forgot about the war... forgot about hunger." She was raised by a single mother who had aspirations of being an actress herself. Her mother won a Greta Garbo look - alike contest but her parents wouldn't permit her to go to Hollywood for a screening. Loren was so thin in her younger days that the neighborhood kids would taunt her and call her "toothpick." She went to Rome and entered the "Miss Italy" beauty contest but didn't win. The contest did garner her some attention and she was offered roles as an extra in films - most of them uncredited. Carlo Ponti Sophia caught the eye of director of Carlo Ponti when she was 17 years of age. He was 22 years her senior. She said he gave her confidence and taught her many things. The still married Ponti who couldn't divorce because of Church rulings, took Sophia under his wing. They finally married in France. "It was love at first sight for both of us, we genuinely loved each other." They were married 41 years until his death in 2007. Beautiful Imperfection They said her eyes were too big and her nose too long but Sophia stuck to her guns and stayed with her natural beauty. In her memoir, Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: My Life, Loren describes going to Ponti’s office for a test screening and the cameraman saying she’s “impossible to photograph.” When Ponti, an Italian film director and Loren’s late husband, later suggested she try “softening” her “dominant profile,” she refused. "I didn’t want a small, turned-up nose,” she wrote. “I knew perfectly well that my beauty was the result of a lot of irregularities all blended together in one face, my face. Whether I won or lost, it was going to be in the original version." Family Sophia's desire for children and her many miscarriages was well-documented. After being told that she could never bear children by a doctor, she sought the advice of many experts and eventually gave birth to sons Carlo, Jr. and Eduardo. Career The pairing of Italian star Marcello Mastroianni and Sophia in many films was said to be one of the most popular pairings in screen history. Her other co-stars included Cary Grant, Clark Gable, Marlon Brando and Richard Burton to name just a few. It was during the filming of "Houseboat" that Sophia and Cary Grant had a romance but he left the relationship broken-hearted when Sophia returned to Italy to marry her true love Carlo Ponti. Three of Sophia's most famous films include Vittorio DeSica's "Two Women," "Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow," and "Marriage Italian Style." Surprisingly, it would be the role in "Two Women" that won Sophia Loren her Academy Award for Best Actress. The story took her back to roots in war-torn Italy and her remembrances helped her bring life to the screen. Links: The Book: The Podcast on iTunes: Hear, rate and review the Podcast in iTunes! The Site: