Anita Ekberg

Birth Date:
29.09.1931
Death date:
11.01.2015
Person's maiden name:
Kerstin Anita Marianne Ekberg
Categories:
Actor, Model
Nationality:
 Swede
Cemetery:
Set cemetery

Kerstin Anita Marianne Ekberg was a Swedish actress, model, and sex symbol. She is best known for her role as Sylvia in the Federico Fellini film La Dolce Vita (The Sweet Life, 1960), which features a scene of her cavorting in Rome's Trevi Fountainalongside Marcello Mastroianni.

Early life

Ekberg was born on 29 September 1931, in Malmö, Skåne, the eldest girl and the sixth of eight children. In her teens, she worked as a fashion model. In 1950, Ekberg entered the Miss Malmö competition at her mother's urging leading to the Miss Sweden contest which she won. She consequently went to the United States to compete for the Miss Universe 1951 (an unofficial pageant at that time, the pageant was official in 1952) title despite not speaking English.

Early career

Though she did not win Miss Universe, as one of six finalists she did earn astarlet's contract with Universal Studios, as was the rule at the time. In America, Ekberg met Howard Hughes, who at the time was producing films and wanted her to change her nose, teeth and name (Hughes said "Ekberg" was too difficult to pronounce). She refused to change her name, saying that if she became famous people would learn to pronounce it, and if she did not become famous it would not matter.

As a starlet at Universal, Ekberg received lessons in drama, elocution, dancing, horseriding and fencing. She appeared briefly in the 1953 Universal films, Abbott and Costello Go to Mars and The Golden Blade. Ekberg skipped many of her drama lessons, restricting herself to horseriding in the Hollywood Hills. Ekberg later admitted she was spoiled by the studio system and played instead of pursuing bigger film roles.

Mainstream career

The combination of a colourful private life and physique gave her appeal to gossip magazines such as Confidential and to the new type of men's magazine that proliferated in the 1950s. She soon became a major 1950s pin-up. In addition, Ekberg participated in publicity stunts. Famously, she admitted that an incident where her dress burst open in the lobby of London's Berkeley Hotel was prearranged with a photographer.

By the mid-1950s, after several modelling jobs, Ekberg finally broke into the film industry. She guest-starred in the short-lived TV series Casablanca (1955) andPrivate Secretary. She had a small part in the film Blood Alley (1955) starringJohn Wayne and Lauren Bacall. She appeared alongside the Dean Martin andJerry Lewis comedy act in Artists and Models (1955) and Hollywood or Bust(1956) both for Paramount Pictures. For a while she was publicized as "Paramount's Marilyn Monroe."

Paramount cast her in War and Peace (1956) which was shot in Rome, alongsideMel Ferrer and Audrey Hepburn. Meanwhile, RKO gave the actress her first leading role in Back from Eternity (also 1956). Ekberg featured in five films released during 1956, the last two being Man in the Vault and Zarak. These other productions were minor and had a limited impact on her career. In 1957, she starred in the British drama Interpol with Victor Mature and Valerie also in 1957 with Sterling Hayden.

In 1958, she appeared in two high-profile films, where she co-starred with Bob Hope in Paris Holiday and starred with Philip Carey and Gypsy Rose Lee inScreaming Mimi. A European film, Sheba and the Gladiator (1959), followed.

Federico Fellini gave Ekberg her greatest role in La Dolce Vita (1960), in which she played the unattainable "dream woman" of the character played by Marcello Mastroianni. The film has been released in English, French, German and Italian. After this, she accepted a fairly good role in The Dam of the Yellow River in 1960.

She then appeared in Boccaccio '70 (1962), a film that also featured Sophia Loren and Romy Schneider. Soon thereafter, Ekberg was being considered to play the first Bond girl, Honey Ryder in Dr. No, but the role went to an unknown Ursula Andress. In 1963, Ekberg would go on to costar with Andress, Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin in the western-comedy 4 for Texas. Fellini would call her back for two more films: I clowns (1972), andIntervista (1987), where she played herself in a reunion scene with Mastroianni.

Personal life

Ekberg has been married twice to actors. She was married to Anthony Steel from 1956 to 1959 and then to Rik Van Nutter in 1963; the couple divorced in 1975. In an interview, she said she wished she had a child, however stating the opposite on another occasion.

Ekberg did not live in Sweden after the early 1950s and rarely visited the country. However, she welcomed Swedish journalists into her house outside Rome and in 2005 appeared in the popular radio program Sommar, where she talked about her life. She stated in an interview that she would not move back to Sweden before her death since she would be buried there. Ekberg said the Swedish people and media have not appreciated her sufficiently. Nevertheless, her personal and radio appearances have been popular in Sweden.

On 19 July 2009, she was admitted to the San Giovanni Hospital in Rome after falling ill in her home in Genzano according to a medical official in its neurosurgery department. She had been living in Italy for many years. Despite her condition not being serious, Ekberg was put under observation in the facility.

In December 2011, it was reported that the 80-year-old Ekberg was "destitute" following three months in a hospital with a broken thigh in Rimini, during which her home was robbed and badly damaged in a fire. Ekberg applied for help from the Fellini Foundation, itself in difficult financial straits.

Ekberg died on 11 January 2015 at the age of 83 at the clinic San Raffaele in Rocca di Papa, in Castelli Romani,Italy.

Partial filmography

  • Abbott and Costello Go to Mars (1953)
  • The Golden Blade (1953)
  • Blood Alley (1955)
  • Artists and Models (1955)
  • War and Peace (1956)
  • Back from Eternity (1956)
  • Hollywood or Bust (1956)
  • Man in the Vault (1956)
  • Zarak (1956)
  • Interpol (1957)
  • Valerie (1957)
  • Paris Holiday (1958)
  • The Man Inside (1958)
  • Screaming Mimi (1958)
  • Sheba and the Gladiator (1959)
  • La Dolce Vita (1960)
  • Behind Closed Doors (1961)
  • The Dam on the Yellow River (1961)
  • Boccaccio '70 (1962)
  • Seven Seas to Calais (1962)
  • Call Me Bwana (1963)
  • 4 for Texas (1963)
  • The Alphabet Murders (1965)
  • Who Wants to Sleep? (1965)
  • How I Learned to Love Women (1966)
  • Way...Way Out (1966)
  • Pardon, Are You for or Against? (1966)
  • The Glass Sphinx (1967)
  • Woman Times Seven (1967)
  • Fangs of the Living Dead (1969)
  • Death Knocks Twice (1969)
  • Malenka (1969)
  • I clowns (1970) as herself
  • The Divorce (1970)
  • The French Sex Murders (1972)
  • Northeast of Seoul (1972)
  • Killer Nun (also known as Suor Omicidi or Deadly Habits) (1978)
  • S*H*E (1980)
  • Intervista (1987) as herself
  • Bambola (1996)

***

Kerstin Anita Marianne Ekberg was a Swedish actress, model, and sex symbol, active primarily in Italy.

She is best known for her role as Sylvia in the Federico Fellini filmLa Dolce Vita (1960).

Ekberg was born on 29 September 1931, in Malmö, Skåne, the eldest girl and the sixth of eight children. In her teens, she worked as a fashion model.

In 1950, Ekberg entered the Miss Malmö competition at her mother's urging, leading to the Miss Sweden contest which she won. She consequently went to the United States to compete for the Miss Universe 1951 title (an unofficial pageant at that time, the pageant became official in 1952) despite speaking little English.

Although Ekberg did not win the Miss Universe pageant, as one of six finalists she did earn a starlet's contract with Universal Studios, as was the practice at the time.

As a starlet at Universal, she received lessons in drama, elocution, dancing, horseriding and fencing. She appeared briefly in the 1953 Universal films, Abbott and Costello Go to Mars and The Golden Blade. Ekberg skipped many of her drama lessons, restricting herself to riding horses in the Hollywood Hills. Ekberg later admitted she was spoiled by the studio system and played instead of pursuing bigger film roles.

The combination of Ekberg's physique and colourful private life (such as her well-publicized romances with Hollywood's leading men, such asFrank Sinatra, Tyrone Power, Yul Brynner, Rod Taylor and Errol Flynn. appealed to gossip magazines, such as Confidential, and she soon became a major 1950s pin-up, appearing in magazines like Playboy.

Anita Ekberg, star of La Dolce Vita, dies aged 83  (VIDEO)

 Additionally, Ekberg participated in publicity stunts. She once admitted that an incident wherein her dress burst open in the lobby of London's Berkeley Hotel was prearranged with a photographer.

By the mid-1950s, after several modelling jobs, Ekberg finally broke into the film industry. She guest-starred in the short-lived TV series Casablanca (1955) and Private Secretary. She had a small part in the film Blood Alley (1955) starring John Wayne and Lauren Bacall. She appeared alongside the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis comedy act in Artists and Models(1955) and Hollywood or Bust (1956), both for Paramount Pictures. For a time she was publicized as "Paramount's Marilyn Monroe".

Ekberg featured in five films released during 1956. Paramount cast her in War and Peace (1956) which was shot in Rome, alongside Mel Ferrer andAudrey Hepburn. Meanwhile, RKO Pictures gave the actress her first leading role in Back from Eternity (also 1956).[8] The last two were Man in the Vault and Zarak, both minor productions that had a limited impact on her career.

Ekberg starred in the British drama Interpol withVictor Mature and in Valerie (both 1957) withSterling Hayden.

 She then co-starred with Bob Hope in Paris Holiday, and with Philip Carey andGypsy Rose Lee in Screaming Mimi (both 1958). A European film, Sheba and the Gladiator (1959), followed.

Federico Fellini gave Ekberg her best role in La Dolce Vita (1960), performing a role as the unattainable "dream woman" of the character played by Marcello Mastroianni. The film features a scene of her cavorting in Rome's Trevi Fountain alongside Mastroianni]].

After this, she accepted a fairly good role in The Dam on the Yellow River in 1960.

She then appeared in Boccaccio '70 (1962), a film that also featured Sophia Loren andRomy Schneider. Soon thereafter, Ekberg was being considered to play the first Bond girl,Honey Ryder in Dr. No, but the role went to the then-unknown Ursula Andress.

Ekberg co-starred with Andress, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin in the western-comedy 4 for Texas (1963).

Fellini would call her back for two more films: The Clowns (1972) andIntervista (1987), wherein she played herself in a reunion scene with Mastroianni.

Both of Ekberg's marriages were to actors. She was wed to Anthony Steel from 1956 until their divorce in 1959, and to Rik Van Nutter from 1963 until their divorce in 1975. In one interview, she said she wished she had a child, but stated the opposite on another occasion.

Ekberg was often outspoken in interviews, e.g., naming famous people she couldn’t bear. She was also frequently quoted as saying that it was Fellini who owed his success to her, not the other way around: "They would like to keep up the story that Fellini made me famous, Fellini discovered me", she said in a 1999 interview with The New York Times.

Ekberg did not live in Sweden after the early 1950s and rarely visited the country. However, she welcomed Swedish journalists into her house outside Rome and in 2005 appeared on the popular radio program Sommar, and talked about her life. She stated in an interview that she would not move back to Sweden before her death since she would be buried there.

On 19 July 2009, she was admitted to the San Giovanni Hospital in Rome after falling ill in her home in Genzano according to a medical official in the hospital's neurosurgery department. Despite her condition's not being serious, Ekberg was put under observation in the facility.

In December 2011, it was reported that the 80-year-old Ekberg was "destitute" following three months in a hospital with a broken hip in Rimini, during which stay her home was robbed of jewellery and furniture, and her villa was badly damaged in a fire.

 Ekberg applied for help from the Fellini Foundation, which also found itself in difficult financial straits.

Anita Ekberg died on 11 January 2015, at age 83, at the clinic San Raffaele in Rocca di Papa, in Castelli Romani, Italy.

 Her death was caused by complications from a longtime illness.

Source: news.lv, wikipedia.org

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        Relations

        Relation nameRelation typeBirth DateDeath dateDescription
        1Anthony SteelAnthony SteelHusband21.05.192021.03.2001
        2Rik  NutterRik NutterHusband01.05.192915.10.2005
        3Jorge GuinleJorge GuinlePartner00.00.191600.00.2004
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        11Oskar  HomolkaOskar HomolkaCoworker12.08.189827.01.1978
        12Marcello MastroianniMarcello MastroianniCoworker28.09.192419.12.1996
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