Luigina “Gina” Lollobrigida is an Italian actress, photojournalist and sculptor. She was one of the highest profile European actresses of the 1950s and early 1960s, a period in which she was an international sex symbol.
In 1950, Howard Hughes invited Lollobrigida to work in Hollywood, but she refused, preferring to remain in Europe; this decision prevented her from working in American movies filmed in the USA until 1959, though not from working in American productions shot in Europe.
Her performance in Bread, Love and Dreams (Pane, amore e fantasia, 1953) led to her receiving a BAFTA nomination and won a Nastro d’Argento award. Lollobrigida also appeared in The Wayward Wife (1953) and in Woman of Rome (1954).
These were three of her most renowned Italian films, but she worked also in the French industry on such films as Fearless Little Soldier (Fanfan la Tulipe, 1952), Beauties of the Night (Les Belles de nuit, also 1952) and Le Grand Jeu (1954).
By the end of the 1970s, Lollobrigida had embarked on what she developed as a successful second career as a photographic journalist. She photographed, among others, Paul Newman, Salvador Dalí,Henry Kissinger, David Cassidy, Audrey Hepburn, Ella Fitzgerald and the German national football team. She even managed to obtain an exclusive interview with Fidel Castro, leader of Communist Cuba. In 1973, a collection of her work was published under the title Italia Mia.