Born Sofia Villani Scicolone on September 20th 1934 in Rome, Sophia Loren is a symbol of Italy in the world and one of the most famous on-screen faces of all time.
She was discovered as a teenager in a beauty pageant. In 1957, she married Italian film producer Carlo Ponti, and in 1958 she signed a five-picture deal with Paramount Pictures, appearing in films alongside stars such as Cary Grant and Anthony Perkins.
She shot to fame in 1962 when she became the first foreign-language actress to win an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Italian director Vittorio de Sica's film Two Women (La Ciociara).
She starred in films with Peter Sellers, Charlton Heston, Gregory Peck, Charlie Chaplin and many other names that conjure the history of cinema.
We celebrate her 84th birthday with a collection of classic photos from the beauty icon's past.
Sophia Loren (right) in 1955. Photo: AFP PHOTO/INTERCONTINENTALE/AFP.
American actor John Wayne and Sophia Loren arrive in Rome from Africa after Wayne broke a leg during the shooting of 'The Legend of the Lost'. Photo: STAFF/INTERCONTINENTALE/AFP.
Sophia Loren with Italian director Vittorio de Sica (left) and American actor Clark Gable in 1959 during the shooting of the film 'It started in Naples'. Photo: AFP PHOTO.
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An undated photo of Sophia Loren and Marlon Brando. Photo: AFP PHOTO.
Sophia Loren is accompanied by Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali (l) and American actor Paul Newman at the Boulogne studios where her husband, Carlo Ponti, was organizing the shooting of the film 'Lady L' in 1964. Photo: AFP PHOTO.
Sophia Loren, accompanied by her husband Carlo Ponti (R), and Fabre-Lebret, president of the Festival, waves to the crowd in April 1964, during the Cannes International Film Festival. Photo: AFP PHOTO.
British actor, author and film director Charlie Chaplin and Sophia Loren give a press conference to announce their film 'A Countess from Hong Kong' in November 1965 at the Savoy Hotel in London. Photo: AFP PHOTO.
An undated photo. Photo: AFP PHOTO.
Sophia Loren, with husband Carlo Ponti, holds her first child, Carlo Jr., a few days after he was born in a clinic in Geneva in 1959. Photo: AFP PHOTO.
A picture taken during the 1960s in Paris of Sophia Loren and her husband Carlo Ponti. Photo: AFP PHOTO.
Italian actress Sophia Loren and film producer Carlo Ponti (2nd L) arrive at the Palace Festival, 27th May 1976 during the Cannes International Film Festival. AFP PHOTO.
American actor Robert de Niro and Sophia Loren display their awards during the 36th International film festival in Cannes on May 7th, 1983. Ralph Gatti/AFP.
Sophia Loren and her second son Edoardo Ponti, now a director, are seen in July 1984 on the set of the film 'Qualcosa di Biondo' being filmed in Rome under the direction of Maurizio Ponzi. Sophia Loren played the role of a taxi driver taking her son to a Swiss clinic for an eye operation. AFP/UPI PHOTO.
Sophia Loren with Federico Fellini (centre), to whom she presented an Oscar for a lifetime achievement award, and Marcello Mastroianni at the Oscars in 1993. Photo: Scott Flynn/AFP.
Italian director Roberto Benigni is led off the stage by presenter-actress Sophia Loren (right) after winning the Oscar for Foreign Language Film for his movie 'Life is Beautiful' during the 71st Academy Awards on March 21st 1999 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP.
Sophia Loren and Shirley MacLaine, (R) present during the 81st Annual Academy Awards held at Kodak Theatre on February 22nd, 2009 in Hollywood, California. Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP.
Sophia Loren in the Netherlands in September 2018. Photo: Robin Utrecht/ANP/AFP.
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