Isabeli Fontana

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Loren poses for Pirelli



ROME (AFP) - Veteran sex symbol Sofia Loren, first featured on magazine covers half a century ago, will appear for next year's Pirelli calendar dressed up only in diamond earrings.


The voluptuous Italian screen legend, who will celebrate her 72nd birthday on September 20, joins a galaxy of international female stars posing in the nude for the 2007 cult calendar, the Italian magazine Gente (People) reported Wednesday.

Others include Spain's
Penelope Cruz, Britain's
Naomi Watts, US star
Hilary Swank and France's Lou Doillon, the daughter of singer-actress Jane Birkin.

The calendar portraits of Loren taken by Dutch photographers Inez van Lamsweerde and Winoodh Matadin are "very beautiful and will add to the myth of La Loren," said Loren's close friend Silvia Damiani, one of the privileged few to have already caught a glimpse of the latest Loren revelations.

The newspaper Corriere della Sera Wednesday published test versions of the closely guarded pictures showing the star stretched out on a bed -- but fully dressed in a black outfit and wrapped in a sheet.

Among the Naples star's screen triumphs was an appearance in a transparent negligee in her 1964 movie "Marriage Italian Style," and her striptease in front of fellow Italian Marcello Mastroianni in "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow," reprised 30 years later in director
Robert Altman's "Pret a Porter" (Ready to Wear).

Her Indian summer in the nude has divided Italy's showbusiness world.

"Sofia Loren is an icon, she can do whatever she likes," said statuesque actress
Valeria Marini, herself a veteran of the nude photography front.

But screen director Gianni Boncompagni thought otherwise. "I don't see the use of it," he was quoted as saying.

And Sofia herself?

"You have to be firm about it when you make up your mind to do something you like and you've been thinking about doing for a long time," she told Gente, which reports that Loren has just a completed a health cure.

Born Sofia Scicolone on September 20, 1934, she and her single mother lived in abject poverty in the war-torn slums of Naples.

At 14 she began entering area beauty contests, later becoming a model and appearing in a number of uncredited bit parts in films.

After winning a beauty contest in Rome, she was signed to a film contract by producer Carlo Ponti, whom she later married.

Veteran sex symbol Sofia Loren is seen at an awards ceremony in Moscow in May 2006. Loren, first featured on magazine covers half a century ago, will appear for next year's Pirelli calendar dressed up only in diamond earrings.(AFP/File/Maxim Marmur)

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