The Italian Almanac

Gina lollobrigida

Italian News - October 21

Gina Lollobrigida, the Italian movie icon whose sultry looks thrilled male cinema audiences in the 1960s, has shown she still has what it takes to get her man four decades later. The 79-year-old actress, once tagged The Most Beautiful Woman in the World, has confirmed that in November she will marry a man 34 years her junior.

The groom-in-waiting is Javier Rigau Rifols, a Spanish property entrepreneur from Barcelona, whom she claims to have known for 22 years, ever since they met at Monte Carlo. "He's young, fun-loving, intelligent. We have a good time together. We don't feel the age difference," she said.

Lollobrigida, better known to Italians as 'La Lollo', said she would be getting married in America where there was likely to be more chance of escaping the paparazzi. "I'll be wearing a dress by an Italian designer, but it won't be white".

A sloe-eyed, buxom brunette, La Lollo long vied with fellow Italian bombshell Sophia Loren and French sex kitten Brigitte Bardot for the title of the world's sexiest woman. She even starred in a 1955 film called La Donna Piu Bella del Mondo (The World's Most Beautiful Woman), which became her signature movie.

The daughter of a furniture manufacturer from a mountain village near Rome, she has made over 60 films including some during the 1990s. Lollobrigida's Hollywood breakout role came in the John Huston film Beat the Devil (1953). In 1961 she won a Golden Globe with Come September co-starring Rock Hudson.

Since retiring from cinema Lollobrigida has tried her hand as a photographer, sculptor, photojournalist and a fashion and cosmetics executive. Seven years ago she stood unsuccessfully for the European Parliament.