Italian actress Sophia Loren, 89, recovering after a fall


Italian actress Sophia Loren (right) with Mohamed Al Fayed outside Al Fayed's Harrods store in Knightsbridge, London, on July 7, 1999. Photo: AP

Italian screen legend Sophia Loren was recovering Monday after undergoing hip surgery following a fall at her Geneva home.

The star suffered fractures when she fell on Sunday just days after her 89th birthday, but a subsequent operation was successful, according to a statement from Loren's eponymous chain of restaurants.

"Now she will have to observe a short period of convalescence followed by a course of rehabilitation," it said.

"Fortunately everything went well and the Signora will be back with us very soon."

Born into poverty in Naples, Loren rose to become a Hollywood star, earning two Oscars along the way.

She was also one of the great sex symbols of the 1950s and 1960s, and Italy's best known cinematic export.

But she was dismissive of relying on looks alone, once saying: "Being beautiful can never hurt, but you have to have more.

"You have to sparkle, you have to be fun, you have to make your brain work, if you have one."

In 2020, she interrupted a decades-long absence from films to play the lead role in Netflix's La Vita Davanti a Se (The Life Ahead) directed by her son Edoardo Ponti, about a Holocaust survivor who develops an unlikely friendship with a Senegalese orphan.

She garnered critical acclaim for her performance, almost six decades after winning an Oscar for Vittorio de Sica's film La Ciociara (Two Women) about a wartime mother's rape.

She was also given an honorary lifetime achievement Oscar in 1991. - AFP

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