Born on September 20, 1934 in Rome, Sofia Scicolone grew up in Pozzuoli, a town not very far from Naples. At the tender age of fourteen she entered a beauty contest and won. She was crowned “The Queen of the Sea.” At the age of sixteen she left her hometown to go to Rome to try her luck at acting. From the time she was very young she was fascinated by Hollywood legends such as Tyrone Power, Cary Grant, Rita Hayworth and Gene Kelly. She was able to get some bit parts in films such as Quo Vadis, Hearts Upon The Sea, The Vote, Bluebeard’s Six Wives and Io Sono il Capatz and she continued to enter beauty contests.
Sophia met director /producer Carlo Ponti during the competition for the Miss Roma beauty contest. Carlo gave her a screen test. Responsible for discovering other European actresses such as Alida Valli and Gina Lollobrigida, he would soon add Sophia to his list. She was offered the female lead in the film production of Verdi’s opera Adia. Sophia then met director/actor Vittorio de Sica who enlisted her for a part in The Gold of Naples. This would result in a working relationship where she would be cast in eight seven more films with Vittorio. Loren headed for Hollywood, where she would be cast with scores of legends including Marlon Brando, Clark Gable, and Cary Grant. The prestigious Coppa Volpi in 1958 for her work in the film Black Orchid, a film in which she starred opposite of Cary Grant. She would go on to win an Oscar two years later and a Best actress award at Cannes for her portrayal of a mother in war-ravaged Italy in the film Two Women (1960) by Vittorio De Sica. She proved to be a as comfortable in dramatic situations as well in comedies such as “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” and “Marriage Italian Style.”
For over 50 years Sophia has continued to remain in the public eye making films, appearing on television and has won numerous awards. In 1980 she was awarded with an Oscar for Lifetime Achievement and People Magazine called her “one of the world’s most stunning and age-resistant women” in 1999.