Sophia Loren

Photograph for TIME by BRIAN ARIS

ROMAN GODDESS: Loren still maintains close ties to Italy's capital city, where she was born

Some actors know how to act; many women manage to look beautiful; all Italians remember they're from Italy. Sophia Loren — real name Sofia Villani Scicolone — does all this without effort.

She's a natural, in more ways than one. First, the acting. From her lead debut in 1952, she showed she could be both funny and tragic, sexy and maternal. She would always pick films that were right for her age and her mood. In 1961 she won the first Oscar ever given for a performance in a foreign-language film for her role in La...

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