International sex symbol, Gina Lollobrigida was one of the highest-profile actors of the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema.
She started out from humble beginnings to become one of the most recognizable faces of Italian post-war cinema, rivalled only by fellow Italian actress Sophia Loren
Her former lawyer, Giulia Citani, said she died at a clinic in Rome. No cause of death was given.
She starred in films including The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, Solomon and Sheba, Beautiful But Dangerous and The World’s Most Beautiful Woman during her five-decade acting career.
Moving away from the movie world, Lollobrigida found success as a photographer and sculptor and later ventured into politics.
In 1975, rumors swirled that she had had an affair with Cuban leader Fidel Castro, after she secured exclusive access to him for a documentary she produced.
She later made headlines in 2006, when aged 79, she announced she was marrying a man 34 years her junior. She later called off the wedding, blaming the media for spoiling it.
In September 2022, she failed in a bid to win a seat in the Italian parliament for Sovereign and Popular Italy (ISP), a leftist political party at national elections, after they failed to reach the 3% electoral threshold.
When she was 80, she said in an interview: „All my life I wanted a real love, an authentic love, but I have never had one. No one has ever truly loved me. I am a cumbersome woman”.
Born to a working-class family in Subiaco, a poor mountainous area east of Rome, Lollobrigida initially studied sculpture, but got her break in the film world after finishing third in the 1947 Miss Italia beauty contest.
One of her earliest screen roles was playing an adulteress in 1953 film The Wayward Wife.
A role opposite Humphrey Bogart in John Huston’s 1954 film Beat the Devil added to her exposure, but it was the 1955 movie The World’s Most Beautiful Woman – which became one of her signature roles – which sealed her worldwide fame.
Born Luigia Lollobrigida on 4 July, 1927, she studied at Academy of Fine Arts in Rome, before working as a model under the stage name Diana Loris.
In 1950 she married the Yugoslavian doctor Milko Skofic, who later became her manager. The couple had one son and separated after nearly 17 years.
In 2006, she announced her she would be marring close friend Javier Rigau, a Spanish man 34 years her junior. She called it off months later saying that media coverage had ruined her life with „endless attacks, slander and violence”.