Fab, Fearless, Females: Sophia Loren's 1st Fashion Ad at 80!

By: Susan Berman Hammer

After all these years, I am still involved in the process of self-discovery. It's better to explore life and make mistakes than to play it safe. Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life. - Sophia Loren

You should never do too much of one thing. You have to leave people saying, “If she had done even more, it would have been better." Let them suffer! - Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren, the fabulous Oscar-winning Italian film actress and grandmother to four, will star in a new role this fall – her first-ever fashion ad campaign! At 80 (she'll be 81 on Sept. 20), the screen legend who has acted in nearly 100 movie roles and received numerous film awards will model as the new face of Italian designer Dolce & Gabbana's beauty line.

Loren said in a recent article in The Wall Street Journal: “I’ve never done a fashion ad campaign before, because although I have been asked a lot to do them, my mind was always on the acting.” 

In the fashion ad, Loren models a black lace dress and a “Honey kissed” favorite – cherry red lipstick! She collaborated with Dolce & Gabbana to formulate the new lipstick called "Sophia Loren No 1."

Thinking back on her teen years, Loren recalled the first time she ever wore lipstick. “The first lipstick I ever wore was made of geraniums,” she said. “I was 13. Back then, I was not really thinking a lot about lipstick. I was thinking, what am I going to eat tomorrow? But in Pozzuoli [a small town outside Naples], we had a very nice garden with a lot of geraniums. And they have these parts, in pink and dark red. I used to squash them to my lips.”

Loren was born Sofia Scicolone in Rome, the daughter of an aspiring actress and piano teacher whose lover had refused to marry her. Later, Loren's Mom moved her family to Pozzuoli, a poor town near Naples where Loren remembers begging for food from U.S. soldiers during World War II. The family lived with Loren's grandmother. Eventually, they relocated to Rome where Loren earned a small income for them by modeling and winning prizes in beauty contests.

At one contest in the early 1950s, she met Carlo Ponti, Sr. who helped her land her first acting roles. Ponti eventually left his wife and married Loren. They enjoyed a 50-year marriage until Ponti's death in 2007. Read more about Loren in the Daily Mail.... 

Commenting on her greatest passions in The Wall Street Journal article, Loren said they're her life and her family. “I enjoy what I have. Otherwise I would be very unhappy, I couldn’t talk, answer, and laugh with you now.”

When asked about whom she considered to be the most beautiful woman, she answered: “One of the most beautiful women I ever knew was my mother.”

Quotes from Sophia Loren:

Profile: Italian Film Actress Sophia Loren

Career history: Loren began her career at age 14 after entering a beauty pageant and by age 15, she met Carlo Ponti, Sr., the 37-year-old producer whom she would later marry. Nine years later, she won her first award from the Venice Film Festival.

Films: Loren has acted in nearly 100 films. For a list of these films, titles and awards (1950-2014), click here....

Critic's Comments About Her: “...behind the mesmerizing olive green eyes and silken cappuccino skin of her youth was a will of steel and an exceptional talent.”

Latest film: An adaption of Jean Cocteau's The Human Voice released in 2014.

Spouse: She married film producer Carlo Ponti, Sr. on Sept. 17, 1957. However, under Italian law, Ponti was still officially married to his first wife Giuliana. Five years later, Ponti and Loren's marriage was annulled to escape bigamy charges. After Ponti obtained a divorce from Giuliana in France, he remarried Loren on April 9, 1966. They were married until he died in 2007.

On Loren's Marriage to Ponti: When asked if she would ever marry again, Loren replied: "No, never again. It would be impossible to love anyone else."

Sons: 2 (Carlo Ponti, Jr., 46, and Edoardo Ponti,42)

Daughters-in-law: 2

Grandchildren: 4

Siblings: 3

Books: Loren's 300-page memoir published last year is entitled: “Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow - My Life.” One critic said: "her book reads like a 'who's who of world cinema' in the past 60 years as it chronicles her life" (from poverty to riches and glamour).

Her book title comes from the 1963 three-part comedy anthology directed by cinema great Vittorio De Sica in which Loren played three different roles. The 'tomorrow' part appears to be her way of saying her career is not over.

Her On-Screen Passion: Loren and Cary Grant in a scene from the romantic comedy “Houseboat.” The director complained about their simmering sexual tension and their actual attraction to one another which is described in Loren's book.

Has Sophia Loren or the roles she played over her 65-year career influenced your attitude toward life, love or family? We hope you'll chime in in the comments section below!

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Susan Berman Hammer brings more than 35 years of professional communications, management and parenting experience as well as journalism training to The Honey Good team of writers. Susan is also PR counsel and a business strategist to HoneyGood.com. Susan previously served as the Senior VP-Account Supervisor of a Chicago PR agency and later headed her own agency. She earned graduate and undergraduate degrees from Northwestern University. Follow Susan on Twitter: @SueBermanHammer