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Gina Lollobrigida was born in Subiaco, Italy. She was the daughter of a furniture manufacturer. In 1947, Gina entered a beauty competition for Miss Italy. After appearing in a half dozen films in Italy, it was rumored that in 1947 film tycoon Howard Hughes had her flown to Hollywood; however, this did not result in transplanting the star to America, and she returned to Italy. [Gina's Hollywood breakout movie wouldn't come until 6 years later in the John Huston film "Beat the Devil" (1953).] As her film roles and national popularity increased, Gina was tagged "The Most Beautiful Woman in the World" (1955) after her signature movie. Gina was nicknamed la "Lollo, " as she embodied the prototype of Italian beauty. (Her earthy looks and short "tossed salad" hairdo were especially influential, and in fact there's a type of curly lettuce named "lollo" in honor of her cute hairdo.) Her film "Come September" (1961) costarring Rock Hudson won the Golden Globe as the World's Film Favorite. In the 1970s Gina was seen in only a few films, as she took a break from acting, and concentrated on another career: photography. Among her subjects were Paul Newman, Salvador Dali and the German national soccer team. A skilled photographer, Gina had a collection of her work, "Italia Mia, " published in 1973. Immersed in her other passions (sculpting and photography), it would be 1984 before Gina would grace American TV on "Falcon Crest." Although Gina was always active, she only appeared in a few movies in the 1990s. In June, 1999, Gina became a politician and ran unsuccessfully for one of Italy's 87 European Parliament seats, from her hometown of Subiaco. Gina was also a corporate executive for fashion and cosmetics companies.
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