Significant People in Sophia Loren's Life and Career

J - M

"Sophia Loren and Marcelllo Mastroianni are the most successful Italian twosome since Romulus and Remus." - Joseph E. Levine

Michael Jackson

Serge Lama

Joseph E. Levine

Gina Lollobrigida

Marcello Mastroianni

Walter Matthau

Zubin Mehta

Alberto Moravia

Alessandra Mussolini

Romano Mussolini

JACKSON, Michael (Gary, IN, 1958 - Los Angeles, 2009)
American entertainer and pop icon whose successful musical career and controversial personal life have been a part of pop culture for the last quarter-century. Sophia was one of his fans in the late 1980's and attended several of his concerts. Interview excerpts of Sophia can be seen in the documentary The Legend Continues...

LAMA, Serge (Bordeaux, 1943 - )
Famous French singer known to be a womanizer. Sophia attends many of his concerts in the late 1970's in Paris and they are seen together many times in restaurants and clubs. The rumor is strong in 1979 about the two of them having a love affair. They both denied it stating they are good friends. When asked by a reported to comment on her relationship with Lama, Sophia mischievously replied, "I love his songs, he likes my movies."

LANOCITA, Arturo (Limbadi, 1904 - Milan, 1983)
Italian journalist and film critic, he worked for Italy's daily Il Corriere della Sera from 1930 until 1969. He was President of the Jury at the 1963 Venice Film Festival and wrote the first biography on Sophia Loren which was published by Longanesi in 1966.

LEVINE, Joseph E. (Boston, MA, 1905 - Greenwich, CT, 1987)
Producer and self-appointed movie mogul, he was one of Hollywood's most flamboyant characters and was referred to as "Jumping Joe Levine". Founding Embassy Pictures in the late '50s, Levine, as a film distributor, became popular for buying Italian films and then promoting them to American audiences.  Among the films and events featuring Sophia he bought or promoted are Attila, La Ciociara, Boccaccio 70, The World of Sophia Loren, Matrimonio all'italiana and I girasoli.  He is in great part the man behind Sophia's success in America  A documentary film about Levine titled Showman was released in 1962.

LEVY, Alan (New York City, 1932 – Prague, 2004)
American reporter known for his contribution to many American magazines, including and Life and McCall’s. His biography of Sophia called Forever Sophia: An Intimate Portrait was published in 1979 - at the same time Living and Loving - and includes many details of the nine interviews he conducted with her from June 1969 until 1977.

LOLLOBRIGIDA, Gina (Subiaco, 1927 - )
Italian actress and Sophia's most ferocious rival in the 1950's. She and Sophia were part of the "bosom feuds" started in 1954 in London at the Italian Film Week. She started to be labeled an Italian bombshell in 1952, following the release of Altri tempi. She appeared in 65 films or series throughout her career. She has published several photopraphy books and gave up acting years ago. There are only two photo sessions of the Italian divas posing together, one at the 1954 Berlin Film Festival with Yvonne De Carlo in the middle and the other one with Michael Jackson taken at his Rome concert in 1988. Despite all the rivalry, Sophia can be grateful to Gina for at least three roles the latter declined or discarded in the films Aida, Pane, amore e... and Lady L.

LUCHERINI, Enrico (Rome, 1932 - )
Famous Italian press agent who still manages nowadays some aspects of Sophia's career. He participated on and off in Sophia's career, starting The Black Orchid. With the film La Ciociara, he helped improve Sophia's image in the 60's, following her proxy wedding in Mexico and adultery charges against husband Carlo Ponti. He also contributed to the promotion of other films starring Sophia or produced by Ponti, including Francesca e Nunziata, and the 2006 exhibit Scicolone, Lazzaro, Loren. According to Lucherini, "Sophia is and remains the only true diva that we have."

LUMET, Sidney (Philadelphia, PA, 1924 - New York, 2011)
American filmmaker who directed Sophia in That Kind of Woman. The film was shot at the peak of the bigamy scandal following the proxy marriage in Mexico. Lumet admired the way she coped, refusing to let it affect her job or the production schedule. As many other directors and actors did, he fell in love with Sophia. "Most everybody who works with her does. She literally takes your breath away when she walks into a room. She's got wit, she sings bloody well, and linguistically she's extraordinary." (Lumet)

LUXARDO, Elio (Sorocaba, Brazil, 1908 - Milan, 1969)
Brazil-born master of photography who made the first glamorous portraits of Sophia in 1952. Luxardo moved from Brazil to Rome in 1932 and by the early 1940's anyone who would sit in his Via del Tritone studio could say they have achieved success. In 1950, he moved to Milan where his studio on Corso Vittorio Emanuele was just as famous. Luxardo's photos are unique with intense light and shade contrasts.

MASTROIANNI, Marcello (Fontana Liri, 1924 - Paris, 1996)
Italian actor and probably Italy's grandest actor ever. He played opposite Sophia in 10 films: Peccato che sia una canaglia, La bella mugnaia, Ieri oggi domani, Matrimonio all'italiana, I girasoli, La moglie del prete, La pupa del gangster, Una giornata particolare, Fatto di sangue, and Prêt-à-Porter. Sophia was present in Rome the day of the state funeral. "When I perform with Marcello, I am the full moon. And he is the ring around me". (Loren)

MATTHAU, Walter (New York City, NY, 1920 - Santa Monica, CA, 2000)
American actor known for his role in The Odd Couple with co-star Jack Lemmon - they made 10 fims together - he played opposite Sophia in Grumpier Old Men, a sequel to the 1993's Grumpy Old Men. He was a teller of tall tales and dealt with a gambling addiction during all his career.  Matthau had a reputation for being difficult to work with but Sophia as a professional knew how to get the best of it. She attended the memorial service in his honor at the Directors Guild Theater in 2000. "It was sparks, fireworks, between us. He's a great man - funny and tender." (Loren)

MEHTA, Zubin (Bombay, 1936, - )
Indian-born conductor of Western classical music; he is among Sophia's best friends today. Mehta was Music Director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra from 1960 until 1967 before moving to the USA where where he became musical director for both Los Angeles and New York Philarmonic orchestras. He was made Music Director for Life by Israel Philarmonic Orchestra in 1981. also taught Carlo Jr while Sophia's son was studying music in California.

MONROE, Marilyn (Los Angeles, CA, 1926 - Los Angeles, CA, 1962)
American actress, model and pop icon in the 50's and the early 60's who remains a myth nowadays. Sophia never met Marilyn - Lollobrigida did - but she had the highest admiration for the platinum blonde with whom she definitely identified herself. Sophia's mole lavishly displayed on her left cheek in 1959-1960 may have been done as a tribute to Marilyn. "Carlo knew that I had an enormous admiration for Marilyn, that I adored her like a sister even though I had never met her. I identified with her. Perhaps because we both rose from ashes." Sophia Loren.

MORAVIA, Alberto (Rome, 1907 - id., 1990)
One of Italy's leading novelists whose works have been acted by Sophia several times in cinema, namely Peccato che sia una canaglia, La donna del fiume, Ieri oggi domani and La Ciociara. He did a famous interview with Sophia in 1962 which was published in many magazines, inlcluding L'Europeo on September 23 of the same year. "One of the best writers we've had in Italy. His book La Ciociara totally changed my life." (Loren)

MOSCATI, Italo (Milan,  - )
Italian screenwriter, film director and writer, he teaches History of Mass Communication at the University of Teramo. His works include books on Anna Magnani and Vittorio De Sica. He published two books on Sophia in 1994 and in 2005.

MUSSOLINI, Alessandra (Roma, 1962 - )
Italian actress, model, singer, and politician; Sophia's niece who played in Bianco, rosso e..., Una giornata particolare, Aurora, and Sabato, domenica e lunedì.  She was busy on the entertainment scene in her early 20's; her career includes her participation as co-host for the Domenica In show, an album called Amore and the cover of Italian Playboy in 1983, which did not help her career as an actress. She was elected in 1992 in Naples and was part of the right wing National Party until 2003. Since then, she has created her own party called the Social Alternative. Relationships between Sophia and Alessandra have faded out since. She is commonly called Sandra with the family.

MUSSOLINI, Romano (Forli, 1927 - Rome, 2006)
Third and youngest son of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, he was a famous jazz musician in Italy and Sophia's brother-in-law. He married Maria Scicolone, Sophia's sister, in 1962. The couple had two children, Alessandra and Elisabetta, before they separated in 1971. Their divorce became official in 1976. "I didn't want Maria to marry him, not because he was a Mussolini, but because I never thought he was the right man for her." (Loren) He died in 2006 with all Mussolini family members attending but Sophia was not present.


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Updated 12/31//2013