An art student and beauty queen, per CNN, screen legend Gina Lollobrigida moved into acting in her native Italy just after World War II. This was an explosively creative era for Italian cinema, and Lollobrigida was a key part of it. She became a superstar in Europe and an international sex symbol in the 1950s, headlining a run of Hollywood hits including “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “Beat the Devil,” and “Solomon and Sheba.” She ultimately headed back to Italy, where she starred in, wrote, and directed a number of films.
Lollobrigida didn’t act much after 1973, though she did pop up on “Falcon Crest” and “The Love Boat.” She filled her time by becoming a celebrated photojournalist and a politician; In 2022, she ran for a seat in the Italian Senate. According to NPR, Lollobrigida had leg surgery after she broke a thigh bone in a fall in September 2022. She died in Rome on January 16, 2023. She was 95.