She appeared in several bit parts and minor roles in the early part of the decade, until her five-picture contract with Paramount in 1956 launched her international career.
Notable film appearances around this time include The Pride and the Passion, Houseboat, and It Started in Naples.
Riccardo Scicolone refused to marry Villani, leaving the piano teacher and aspiring actress without support.
During World War II, the harbour and munitions plant in Pozzuoli was a frequent bombing target of the Allies.
After the war, Loren and her family returned to Pozzuoli.
Loren's grandmother Luisa opened a pub in their living room, selling homemade cherry liquor.
When she was 16, Loren entered a beauty pageant, Miss Italia 1950 and, while she did not win, was selected as one of the finalists.
Place of Birth: Rome, Italy Nationality: Italian Occupation: Actress, writer, designer, singer Height: 5 feet 8 in; 1.74 m Measurements: 38-24-38 in; 96-60-96 cm Famous for: She is best known for playing major roles in many great Italian and Hollywood movies as well as for her stunning beauty.
Her talents as an actress were not recognized until her performance as Cesira in Vittorio De Sica's Two Women; Loren's performance earned her the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1962 and made her the first actress to win an Oscar for a foreign-language performance.
She holds the record for having earned six David di Donatello Awards for Best Actress: Two Women; Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow; Marriage Italian Style (for which she was nominated for a second Oscar); Sunflower; The Voyage; and A Special Day.
Aside from the Academy Award, she has won a Grammy Award, five special Golden Globes, a BAFTA Award, a Laurel Award, the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival, the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival, and the Honorary Academy Award in 1991. De Mille Award for lifetime achievements, one of many such awards. 21 of the top 25 female American screen legends in the American Film Institute's survey, AFI's 100 Years...100 Stars, and she is currently the only living actress on the list.
the daughter of Romilda Villani (1910–1991) and Riccardo Scicolone, a construction engineer of noble descent (Loren wrote in her autobiography that she is entitled to call herself Marchesa di Licata Scicolone Murillo).