Real name: Luigina Lollobrigida
Birthdate: July 4, 1927
Luigina Lollobrigida popularly known as Gina (born July 4, 1927 in Subiaco, Italy), is a Golden Globe Award-winning Italian actress.
Lollobrigida is one of four daughters of a furniture manufacturer (her sisters are Giuliana, Maria and Fernanda). She spent her youth in a picturesque mountain village. In her youth, Gina did some modeling, and from there she went to participate successfully in several beauty contests. At around this time, she began appearing in Italian language films. In 1947, Gina entered the Miss Italy pageant and came in 3rd place. The contest was won by Lucia Bosé and second place was Gianna Maria Canale - they would both go on to be actresses though neither would come near Lollobrigida's success.
In 1949 she married a Slovenian physician, Mirko Skofic. (They had one son, Mirko Skofic jr, and were divorced in 1971). Her appearance in Italian films brought her to the attention of Hollywood and she made her first American film, Beat the Devil, in 1953. As her popularity increased, Lollobrigida earned the nickname The World's Most Beautiful Woman after her signature 1955 movie.
She made another notable appearance in Trapeze with Burt Lancaster in 1956 and starred in The Hunchback of Notre Dame the same year. In 1959 she co-starred in Frank Sinatra's Never So Few (she is rumoured to have had an affair with Sinatra) and in 1961 made one of her most popular films, Come September, with Rock Hudson, for which she won the Golden Globe as "World Film Favorite".
By this time she had embarked on what turned out to be a successful career as a photographic journalist. She photographed, among others, Paul Newman, Salvador Dalí and the German national football team and scooped the world's press by obtaining an exclusive interview with Fidel Castro. In 1973 a collection of her work was published, Italia Mia.
Now virtually retired from acting, she has not made a film since 1997, she told Parade magazine in April 2000: I studied painting and sculpting at school and became an actress by mistake .... I've had many lovers and still have romances. I am very spoiled. All my life, I've had too many admirers.
In October 2006, at age 79, she announced to Spain's ¡Hola! magazine her engagement to a 45-year-old Spanish businessman, Javier Rigau y Rafols, whom she met at a party in Monte Carlo in 1984. . The engagement was called off on 6 December 2006 due to media pressure around the event .