Anita Ekberg
Kerstin Anita Marianne Ekberg (born on September 29, 1931) is a Swedish model, actress and cult sex symbol. She was born in 1931 in Malmö, Skåne into a very large family. She was the sixth of eight children, the oldest girl. In her teens she worked as a fashion model. In 1950 Anita was urged by her mother to enter the Miss Malmö competition which led to the Miss Sweden contest. Anita won both competitions and consequently went to America to compete (unsuccessfully) for Miss Universe in the United States despite not speaking English.

As a contestant in Miss Universe, she did win a starlet's contract with Universal Studios, who in those days gave contracts every year to the six finalists. In America, Anita met millioniare film producer, Howard Hughes who wanted her to change her name, nose and teeth. 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 didn't become famous, it wouldn't matter.

At Universal the starlets received lessons in drama, elocution, dancing, horse-riding and fencing. Anita regarded the whole system as a paid vacation and did not attend many of the lessons, restricting herself to horse riding in the Hollywood hills. Anita later admitted that she was spoiled by the studio system and played instead of pursuing bigger film roles.

The Pin Up

While at Universal Anita continued to bloomed physically, to the delight of photographers including legendary director and photographer Russ Meyer who went on record numerous times to say that she was the most beautiful woman he ever photographed and that her 40D bustline was the most ample in A-list Hollywood history, dwarfing rivals Jayne Mansfield and the British actress Sabrina. Anita also delighted the gossip columnists with her social life. Her name was linked to many famous men, and Anita was given the nickname "The Iceberg" because of her mysterious demeanor

The combination of Anita's colourful private life and physique, made her ideal material both for gossip magazines like Confidential and for the new type of men's magazine that proliferated in the 1950s. Quickly she became a major '50s pin-up. In addition Anita participated in publicity stunts. Famously, she has admitted that her dress bursting open in the lobby of London's Berkeley Hotel was pre-arranged with a photographer.

Film career

By the mid-50s, other studios offered Ekberg work. Paramount Studios and Frank Tashlin cast her in Hollywood or Bust (1956) and Artists and Models (1955) both starring Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Both films show off her stunning body but also use her as a foil for many of the director's clever sight gags.[1] Ekberg also played an Amazonian extraterrestrial in 1953's Abbott and Costello Go to Mars.

Bob Hope joked that her parents had received the Nobel Prize for architecture as she was touring with him and William Holden to entertain U.S. troops in 1954. That tour led her to a contract with John Wayne's Batjac Productions. Wayne cast her in a small role Blood Alley (1955) where Ekberg's features and appearance were Orientalized to play a Chinese woman, a role that earned her a Golden Globe award.

RKO gave Anita the female lead in Back From Eternity. Co-starring Robert Ryan and Rod Steiger. Anita was perfectly adequate in her cardboard role, and suggested that with a good director and a worthwhile part, she might have something to offer.

In 1956 Anita went to Rome to make War And Peace, directed by distinguished Hollywood veteran King Vidor and co-starring Audrey Hepburn.

As Sylvia in La dolce vita

It was Federico Fellini who gave Ekberg her greatest role in La dolce vita (1960), in which she played the unattainable "dream woman" opposite Marcello Mastroianni; then Boccaccio '70 in 1960, a movie that also featured Sophia Loren. Fellini would call her back for two other films: I clowns (1972), and Intervista (1987), where she played herself in a reunion scene with Mastroianni.

La Dolce Vita was a sensational success, and Anita Ekberg's uninhibited voluptuousness cavorting in Rome's Trevi Fountain remains one of the most celebrated images in movie history. By 1961 she was perhaps the most extravagantly feminine star in movies.

Personal life

Ekberg was married to the British actor Anthony Steel from 1956 to 1959. From 1963 to 1975, she was married to the actor Rik Van Nutter; during their marriage, she had several miscarriages, but no successful pregnancies. In an interview she said she wished she had a child, although on another occasion she said she never wanted a child.

She reportedly was romantically involved with Tyrone Power, Marcello Mastroianni, Errol Flynn, Yul Brynner, Frank Sinatra, and Gary Cooper; she also had a three-year affair with the late Fiat chairman Gianni Agnelli.

Anita has continued working in small parts and today she lives with four dogs in a house near Lazio in Italy, still impatient, still brutally honest, and still good humoured. She admits that she has received offers for her memoirs but has refused, because she is aware that all that is wanted is intimate details of her love life.

She hasn't lived in Sweden since the early 1950s and rarely visits the country. She speaks Swedish with some difficulties. She has welcomed Swedish journalists in her house outside Rome, and in 2005 she appeared in the popular radio program Sommar, talking about her life. She has stated in an interview that she will never move back to Sweden, not until she dies, when she will be buried there. She has frequently said that the jealous Swedish people and media haven't appreciated her enough, but despite this, her personal and radio appearances have been very popular.


--> Source : Wikipedia