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Sophia Loren: Roles She Missed That Other Actresses Made Famous

By    |   Monday, 16 Nov 2015 06:58 PM

Italian film star Sophia Loren gained fame for her roles in films like “Two Women,” “El Cid,” “A Special Day,” and “Nine.” Her Hollywood stardom began in the 1950s, and by the '60s, she became an international celebrity who starred in Italian, American, and French films.

But she didn’t take every role that came along. Here are a few she missed that other actresses made famous.

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'Cleopatra'
Loren did play the lead in in the 1954 Italian film “Two Nights with Cleopatra,” but when Hollywood did it big in 1963, the studio went with another beauty, Elizabeth Taylor.

'The Comedians'
Loren also lost out to Taylor in 1967 in “The Comedians.” Richard Burton and Loren were going to star in the political thriller, cinema website Platinum Fallacies recalls, but “producer/director Peter Glenville, with [his] eye firmly on the bottom line, thought he could get the expensive Liz at a bargain price by confiding in her early on that Dick and the Italian sex goddess would be together in close quarters (along with the rest of the cast and crew) while filming progressed on-location in far off West Africa. Glenville’s machinations worked perfectly, and Liz promptly cut her customary $1 million salary in half to co-star with hubby. It was the first time that Burton received a higher salary than his wife.”

'Doctor Zhivago'
Loren was married to producer Carlo Ponti, and Ponti bought the film rights to “Doctor Zhivago” so Loren could play Lara. But director David Lean talked him out of it, and the part went to Julie Christie instead.

'North By Northwest'
As author Lang Thompson notes for Turner Movie Classics, leading man Cary Grant lobbied for Loren to be cast as his leading lady “because he at one time had romantic interest in her,” Thompson writes, “but she left to film ‘Two Women’ in Italy. The studio wanted Cyd Charisse. Hitchcock of course preferred one of his trademark blondes and gave the part to Eva Marie Saint.”

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'The Taming of the Shrew' and 'The VIPs'
Throughout her career, Loren was always neck-and-neck with Elizabeth Taylor when it came to casting decisions. She lost two more films to Taylor as the lead in “The Taming of the Shrew” and “The VIPs.” During the filming of 1963’s “VIPs,” Taylor’s affair with the married Richard Burton was heating up, author Margarita Landazuri recalls for Turner Movie Classics. Taylor “wanted to stick close to him,” Landazuri writes, so she begged for the part, saying, “Let Sophia stay in Rome. I'll do it.”

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Italian film star Sophia Loren gained fame for her roles in films like "Two Women," "El Cid," "A Special Day," and "Nine." Her Hollywood stardom began in the 1950s, and by the '60s, she became an international celebrity who starred in Italian, American, and French films.
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2015-58-16
Monday, 16 Nov 2015 06:58 PM
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