Significant People in Sophia Loren's Life and Career


T - Z

Sexy, very sexy, all sexy, the sexiest on earth." - Elsa Maxwell

Josip Broz Tito

Achille Togliani


Armando Trovajoli

Peter Ustinov

Romilda Villani

Lina Wertmüller

Gig Young

TITO, Josip Broz (Kumrovec, Croatia - 1892 - Ljubljana, Slovenia, 1980)
President of Yugoslavia who ruled over his country from 1945 until his death in 1980. As Carlo is in the midst of negotiating a coproduction deal with the Yugoslav governement, he and Sophia receive an invitation to visit him in the summer of 1970. Sophia's cooking had such an impression on Tito that he wondered why she bothered making movies with much talent.

TOGLIANI, Achille (Pomponesco, 1924 - Rome, 1995)
Italian singer and actor who first met Sophia on the set of fumetti Principessa in esilio and who played with in Il paese dei campanelli. They liked each other very much and he is most likely Sophia's first flirt at a time she was confused about a possible realtionship with Ponti, a married man 22 years older than her. Ponti with the help of Mario Natale used the relationship to promote Sophia's exposure which reached a peak in September 1953 when Visto magazine published on its cover that the two were engaged.

TOTÒ (Naples, 1898 - Rome, 1967)
Italian comedian born Antonio De Curtis. Although the quality of the films in which he appeared is sometimes debatable - he did more than 100 -, he was by far one of the greatest European comics. He played with Sophia in Tempi nostri and Miseria e nobiltà, as well as in Tototarzan and Le sei mogli di Barbablù at the time Sophia was an extra. He also starred in L'oro di Napoli but not in Sophia's episode 'Pizze a credito'. "Totò was the first person I met at Cinecittà. He is the one who gave me a hand and allowed me to make my first appearance in a film." (Loren)

TROVAJOLI, Armando (Rome, 1917 - Rome, 2013)
Italian music composer who gave Sophia her first singing lessons and guided her in the recording of her first record Che m'è 'mparato a fa'. He said in 1959: "Sophia would need to study singing for just three months and I am sure that all great female singers would be beaten by Sophia, by her irresistible musicality, ability and willpower. That you can write."  He is a prolific and profound music composer whose scores include La tratta delle bianche, Due notti con Cleopatra, Un giorno in pretura, La Ciociara, Boccaccio 70,  Ieri, oggi, domani, Matrimonio all'italiana, La moglie del prete, Una giornata particolare, La Ciociara and Lives of the Saints. Sophia has always called him "don Armando".

USTINOV, Peter (London, 1921 - Genolier, Switz., 2004)
Multi-talented actor, writer and director who spoke more than six languages. He played Nero in Quo Vadis and was later to direct Sophia in Lady L. "He creates a wonderful atmosphere on the set, one joke after another, and with him it is all spontaneous. He makes me feel like I am relaxing at home with friends rather than working at a studio." (Loren)

VILLANI, Romilda (Pozzuoli, 1909 - Rome, 1991)
Sophia's mother whose dream has always been to be a movie star. She won in the 1932 a Greta Garbo look-alike contest in Italy and won a trip to Hollywood and a screen test, but her parents refused to let her go. She had a small role in an  unreleased movie by Salvatore Di Bonito that same year called "Giuventù eroica". She acted as Sophia's mentor in the 1950's and was present on most movies sets until the late 1960's. Sophia epitomizes the woman she wanted to be. In a September 2000 interview, Barbara WaIters suggested, "Your story, you have said, what you became, is really what your mother wanted to become." To which Loren responded, "I think so... I think she's the real Sophia Loren... My mother is Sophia Loren."

American writer, actress and dialogue coach. She worked with Sophia in Aurora and remains one of Sophia's friends. She appears in Sophia Italian Style biography program. If Two Women was the film of her youth, A Special Day was the film of her adulthood. (Vincent)

WAYNE, John (Winterset, IA - Los Angeles, CA, 1979)

Amerian actor and icon known as The Duke who played innumerable roles in western and World War II epics movies during six decades. They played together in Legend of the Lost, Sophia's second American production filmed in Libya. After Sophia gave him an inspired first screen kiss in the movie, Wayne, who was also the film's producer, would have chortled "Oh! you,  gorgeous investment, you!"

WERTMÜLLER, Lina (Rome, 1926 - )
Italian director and screenwriter - and one of Sophia's true friends - known for her own original blend of carnivalesque style and scathing social satire; she has directed Sophia in four films: Fatto di sangue, Sabato, domenica e lunedi, Francesca e Nunziata, and Too Much Romance... It's Time for Stuffed Peppers. Lina Wertmüller became in 1977 the first woman to be nominated for Best Director at the Academy Award for the film Pasqualino Sette Bellezze released in 1975 in Italy. "Lina is a legend." (Loren). We are friends and we enjoy working together, we have fun." (Wermüller)

YOUNG, Gig (St. Cloud, MN, 1913 - New York City, 1978)

American actor known for his supporting roles in many American movies in the 1950's and once married to Elizabeth Montgomery (Bewitched). He played in Five Miles to Midnight with Sophia. He was immediately smitten with smitten with Sophia according to his biographer George Eels.

ZAVATTINI, Cesare (Luzzara, 1902 - Rome, 1989)
One of the most prolific Italian scriptwriters of Italy, he collaborated in the movies L'oro di Napoli, Il segno di Venere, La ciociara, Boccaccio '70 and I girasoli. He was also an excellent novelist, a fine poet, a humorist, a painter of recognised talent. He inhabited half a century of Italian culture and marked it profoundly. "I sometimes wonder what Italian cinema would have been if De Sica and Zavattini had never met." (Loren)

ZEC, Donald (London, 1919 - )
British writer and journalist who published in 1975 Sophia's first biography in English called Sophia: An Intimate Biography. He met Sophia several times during her various stays in London, including the filming of The Key. His books include a famous biography on Queen Mother and celebrities such as Lee Marvin and Barbra Streisand.


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Updated 05/22/2016