Known as the quintessential “femme fatale” of the "Golden Age of Hollywood," Sophia Loren rose from participating in a beauty pageant as a teenager, to being the first actor to win the Academy Award for a foreign-language movie. The Italian bombshell is also known for her affair with Cary Grant.
Monica Bellucci is one of the most popular actresses from Italy. Her popularity in the West helped her become the oldest woman to play a Bond girl in the history of the James Bond film franchise. Known for her hourglass figure, she has been regarded as a sex symbol and has appeared in lists like 100 Hottest Women of All-Time.
Gina Lollobrigida is an Italian actress and photojournalist counted amongst the highest-profile European actresses of the 1950s and 1960s. Considered a sex symbol in her youth, she had a successful career both in the film and TV industries. She later built a second career as a photojournalist. She is a recipient of the NIAF Lifetime Achievement Award.
Claudia Cardinale is a Tunisian-born Italian actress who played important roles in some of the most popular Italian and French movies of the 1960s and 1970s. After achieving immense popularity as an actress in Italy, Cardinale starred in the 1963 American comedy film The Pink Panther, which increased her popularity. Claudia Cardinale was also renowned for her beauty.
Born to an Italian Germanist scholar father and a Greek painter mother, Valeria Golino was destined to be associated with the arts but had initially aspired to be a cardiologist. She later stepped into movies and gained fame for her roles in movies such as Rain Man and the Hot Shots! franchise.
Simonetta Stefanelli is an Italian fashion designer, entrepreneur, and former actress. She is best known for her portrayal of Apollonia Vitelli-Corleone in the popular crime film, The Godfather. After retiring from acting in 1992, Simonetta Stefanelli became an entrepreneur. She owns a fashion store called Simo Bloom, where she designs shoes and purses.
Best known for her title role in the film Teresa, Pier Angeli had stepped into showbiz at the tender age of 16. The Golden Globe-winning actor also appeared in films such as Flame and the Flesh and The Silver Chalice. She died of a barbiturate overdose at 39.
Known as the Rolling Stones muse, for her affairs with at least two of the iconic rock band’s members, Anita Pallenberg was an actor-model. The Rolling Stones tracks such as You Got The Silver and Angie were inspired by her. She had also studied fashion designing after recovering from drug addiction.
Caterina Murino first gained attention after participating in the Miss Italy contest. She later began her showbiz career as a model and starred in films such as The Corsican File. She also appeared as Bond Girl Solange in Casino Royale. She is also well-versed in dances such as flamenco and tango.
Daniela Bianchi is an Italian actress known for her portrayal of Bond girl Tatiana Romanova in the popular spy film, From Russia with Love. After appearing in the second James Bond film, Bianchi landed roles in a number of Italian and French movies. Apart from acting, Daniela Bianchi also studied ballet and worked as a fashion model.
Born in a stable in Verona, Lory Del Santo lost her father in an accident later and was raised by her mother. Beginning her TV career at 16, she later also participated in the Miss Universe contest. She gave birth to Eric Clapton’s son but lost the child in a freak accident.
Born to a fashion photographer father and a fashion PR mother, who were both models previously, Matilda Lutz began modeling quite early in life. She moved to Los Angeles after dropping out of university and initially worked in an Italian eatery to sustain herself. She later appeared in movies such as Rings.
Once likened to pop icon Samantha Fox, Sabrina Salerno was a pop diva from the 1980s. She began her career winning a beauty contest and then became a known face on Italian TV, with shows such as Premiatissima. She later soared to fame with tracks such as Sexy Girl and Boys.
Elisabetta Canalis is an Italian showgirl and actress. Renowned for her impressive physique and good looks, Canalis has been a popular model in Italy, appearing on publications like Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. She has also modeled for Roberto Cavalli and was featured in the Max nude calendar in 2003. In 2010, she was ranked the seventh-most beautiful woman on Maxim.
Mădălina Diana Ghenea is a Romanian model and actress. Apart from acting and modeling, Ghenea also participates in fashion shows around the world. She achieved international fame in 2016, when she became the face of a luxury brand called Vanitas.
Best known for her role as the Cigar Girl in the James Bond flick The World Is Not Enough, Maria Grazia Cucinotta initially made a name for herself in the Italian TV industry. She was also appreciated for her role in the comedy-drama movie Il Postino and has a star on Toronto’s Italian Walk of Fame.
Silvia Colloca is an Italian-Australian actress, cookbook author, opera singer, and TV cookery show personality. An opera-trained mezzo-soprano, she worked in musical theater before becoming an actress. She later created her own TV cookery shows that earned her much international prominence. She also runs a successful YouTube channel in collaboration with Marion Grasby.
Anna Magnani was an Italian actress best remembered for her real-life portrayals of characters and explosive acting. In 1956, Magnani became the first Italian ever to receive an Academy Award when she won the award for her portrayal of Serafina Delle Rose in the 1955 film, The Rose Tattoo. She had also won other prestigious awards like the Silver Bear.
Edwige Fenech is an Algerian-born Maltese-Sicilian film producer and actress. She is best known for starring in the commedia sexy all'italiana, a subgenre of commedia all'italiana film genre, which made her a popular sex symbol of her time. Edwige Fenech is also known for appearing in giallo films.