The actress Sophia Loren is the embodiment of southern Italian beauty and Neapolitan spirit. Especially in her first movies, she played the typical woman from the “popolo di Napoli”, the common people of Naples.
In the Italian originals she speaks with a heavy Neapolitan accent and can be quickly identified as a Neapolitan by her genuine gesture. Distinctive for her acting career was her incidental meeting with the Neapolitan film director, Vittorio De Sica that Sophia Loren described in an interview:
“Perhaps De Sica was really impressed by me, because when he saw me and realized that I am a Neapolitan, he started talking Neapolitan with me and we had a nice conversation (…). He was looking for a young woman to play the role of the pizza maker in the movie L’oro di Napoli (The Gold of Naples), and that became my first role,…”
The film “L’oro di Napoli” was the international breakthrough of Sophia Loren
Vittorio De Sica became a close, brotherly friend, and together they made a series of movies like, for example, La Ciociara in 1960 (Two Women) that earned her the Oscar for Best Actress. It was the first time an actress won an Academy Award for a non-English-speaking role. She was also nominated for the movie Matrimonio all’ italiana (Marriage Italian-Style).
Cary Grant fell in love with her
Sophia Loren went to Hollywood, learned English, and made famous movies like The Pride and the Passion with Frank Sinatra and Cary Grant. While shooting Houseboat, where Sophia Loren has the part of a feisty maid, Cary Grant fell in love with her and asked her to marry him. But Sophia Loren’s true love was the Italian film director, Carlo Ponti, whom she married later on.
Sophia Loren made many movies with Marcello Mastroianni, but among her partners were also Paul Newman, Marlon Brando, Anthony Perkins, Charlie Chaplin, John Wayne, Gregory Peck, Clark Gable, and Anthony Quinn. To date, Sophia Loren has played in more than 80 movies, and is still one of the most successful and beautiful actresses. The movie Prèt-à-Porter from 1995 earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress.