“I love Rita Hayworth. Her beauty, her sassiness, her class and those legs… Mamma mia!” screen legend Sophia Loren, one of the fabulous stars of British Vogue’s 2021 Hollywood Portfolio, enthused of her personal hero. She may love Hayworth, but Loren herself is a bona fide icon to millions of movie fans everywhere.
From It Started in Naples (1960), to Scandal in Sorrento (1955) and Two Women (1960), Loren’s memorable performances span decades. Most recently, she starred in The Life Ahead, a film directed by her son, the acclaimed Italian director Edoardo Ponti. As magnetic a presence as ever at 86, Loren’s talent is as a rare as her beauty.
Below, we look back on some of the actor’s best quotes to date-along with some of her chicest ensembles.
On eating well
“Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.”
“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself, and once for her child.”
“Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.”
“The two big advantages I had at birth were to have been born wise and to have been born in poverty.”
On sex appeal
“Sex appeal is 50% what you’ve got and 50% what people think you’ve got.”
“Mistakes are a part of the dues one pays for a full life.”
“Getting ahead in a difficult profession requires avid faith in yourself. That is why some people with mediocre talent, but with great inner drive, go so much further than people with vastly superior talent.”
“It’s a mistake to think that once you’re done with school you need never learn anything new.”
“I’ve never tried to block out the memories of the past, even though some are painful. I don’t understand people who hide from their past. Everything you live through helps to make you the person you are now.”
“A woman’s dress should be like a barbed wire fence: serving its purpose without obstructing the view.”