80 Years of The Hollywood Reporter
The most glamorous and memorable moments from a storied history.
Forty-nine years ago, Sophia Loren was given a best actress Academy Award for Two Women, becoming the first person to win for a non-English-speaking role. At the 1991 Oscars, she received an honorary award for being "one of the genuine treasures of world cinema," and on May 4, she'll be onstage for a career tribute at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater. "Sophia Loren is the only movie star I know whose stature actually gets bigger after you know her," her Nine director Rob Marshall says. "Those iconic features, that infectious laugh, her warm heart all radiate with indescribable magic." With a Loren retrospective, the Academy has a lot to work with. There's the tough, fatherless childhood in Naples during World War II and the discovery by and marriage to producer Carlo Ponti that began when she was 22 and he 44. It lasted 50 years, broken only by an annulment then remarriage after Ponti's Mexico divorce from his first wife was ruled invalid. "I have done everything for love of Sophia," he said a few years before his 2007 death at age 94. Her leading men included Cary Grant, Marlon Brando, Clark Gable, Frank Sinatra, Paul Newman and Gregory Peck, though none of them clicked quite as well onscreen with Loren as Marcello Mastroianni. They did 13 films together, including 1964's Marriage Italian Style, which earned Loren her only other Oscar nom. There have been missteps in her career — the 18 days she spent in an Italian jail for tax evasion is one — but as she once said: "It's better to explore life and make mistakes than to play it safe. Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life."