Sophia Loren (born Sofia Villani Scicolone September 20, 1934) is an international film star and Italy’s most renowned and honored actress.
Loren began her career at age 14 after entering a beauty pageant in 1949. Encouraged to enroll in acting lessons, Loren appeared in several bit parts and minor roles until the late 1950s when Loren’s five-picture contract with Paramount launched her international career. Notable film appearances around this time including; Houseboat, That Kind of Woman and It Started in Naples.
It was not until her deglamorized performance as Cesira in Vittorio De Sica’s Two Women that her talents as an actress were recognized. Loren’s performance earned her the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1962 and made her the first artist to win an Oscar for a foreign-language performance.
She holds the record for having earned six David di Donatello Awards for Best Actress, the most ever received: Two Women; Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow; Marriage Italian-Style (for which she was nominated for a second Oscar); Sunflower; The Voyage and A Special Day. After starting her family in the early 1970s, Loren spent less time on her acting career and chose to make only occasional film appearances. In later years, she has appeared in American films such as Grumpier Old Men and Nine.
As well as an Academy Award, Loren earned a Grammy Award, five special Golden Globes, a BAFTA Award, a Laurel Award as well as the Honorary Academy Award in 1991. In 1995, she received the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievements, one of many such awards.