Home > CSC bids farewell to Gina Lollobrigida, the queen of Italian cinema
CSC bids farewell to Gina Lollobrigida, the queen of Italian cinema
Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia
January 16, 2023

With the death of Gina Lollobrigida, who passed away in Rome today, Italy has lost another portion of its film history. In his eulogy on the death of Pier Paolo Pasolini, Alberto Moravia declared that, throughout a century, only three or four poets are born. In over one hundred years of Italian cinema, you can count true Divas on the fingers of one hand, and ‘La Lollo’, as she was affectionately nicknamed in Italy, was doubtless one of them, on a par with Sophia Loren and Silvana Pampanini. The three actresses embodied an ideal of beauty in three different, but equally iconic forms.

Lollobrigida’s face was immediately recognizable, gifted as it was with natural freshness, contagious spontaneity, and a straightforward, never shifty, gaze. ‘The girl next door’ was loved by countless moviegoers when she played the role of the Bersagliera in Bread, Love and Dreams (1952) and Frisky (1953), both directed by Luigi Comencini.

After starring in Christian-Jacque’s Fanfan la Tulipe (1952), the international film industry was ready to welcome Lollobrigida. She went on to work with film directors such as John Huston, Robert Siodmak, Robert Z. Leonard, Carol Reed, Jean Delannoy, Jules Dassin, King Vidor (1959), John Sturges, Robert Mulligan, Jean Delannoy, Basil Dearden, and played the lead opposite movie stars like Humphrey Bogart, Burt Lancaster, Anthony Quinn, Yves Montand, Yul Brynner, Frank Sinatra, Rock Hudson, and Sean Connery. In 1958, Orson Welles directed the documentary Portrait of Gina.

In the sixties, Lollobrigida took on new, unusual roles in films by Giulio Questi and Marcello Baldi (1968), then she regained great popular acclaim as The Fairy with Turquoise Hair in the TV mini-series The Adventures of Pinocchio (1972) directed by Comencini, thus reassociating with her partner in arts of the fifties. This role allowed her to win the hearts of the younger generations and her still striking features to pass into legend. (Luca Pallanch)

Sign up to our newsletter