Sofia Costanza Brigida Villani Scicolone Dame Grand Cross OMRI (born 20 September 1934), known professionally as Sophia Loren, is an Italian actress. She was named by the American Film Institute as one of the greatest female stars of Classical Hollywood cinema. As of 2022, Loren is the last surviving major-star from the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema and the only living person on AFI’s list.
Encouraged to enroll in acting lessons after entering a beauty pageant, Loren began her film career at age sixteen in 1950. She appeared in several bit parts and minor roles in the early part of the decade, until her five-picture contract with Paramount in 1956 launched her international career. Her film appearances around this time include The Pride and the Passion, Houseboat, and It Started in Naples. During the 1950s, she starred in films as a sexually emancipated personae and was one of the best known sex symbols of the time.
Loren’s performance as Cesira in the film Two Women (1961) directed by Vittorio De Sica won her the Academy Award for Best Actress, making her the first actor to win an Oscar for a non-English-language performance. She holds the record for having earned seven David di Donatello Awards for Best Actress: Two Women; Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1963); Marriage Italian Style (1964, for which she was nominated for a second Oscar); Sunflower (1970); The Voyage (1974); A Special Day (1977) and The Life Ahead (2020). She has won five special Golden Globes (including the Cecil B. DeMille Award), a BAFTA Award, a Laurel Award, a Grammy Award, the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival and the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival. In 1991, she received the Academy Honorary Award for lifetime achievements.
Beginning at the start of the 1980s, Loren chose to make rarer film appearances. Since then, she has appeared in films such as Prêt-à-porter (1994), Grumpier Old Men (1995), and Nine (2009).