Carlo Ponti may have won Sophia Loren's heart, but there was competition from Hollywood's most dashing men.
Sophia met Cary Grant on the set of 1956's 'The Pride and the Passion,' an apt title, given their explosive chemistry. "He had been my dream since I was a little girl — tall, handsome, charming, funny, gentle," she admitted in her new memoir, 'Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow.'
The sparks that flew between Cary and Sophia even made Frank Sinatra, their 'Pride' costar insanely jealous. "Cary and Sophia's on-screen chemistry was amazing, magical, charismatic... because that was the same as their offscreen chemistry," says Marc Eliot, author of 'Cary Grant: A Biography.' "Cary was totally in love with Sophia."
Sophia Loren and Cary Grant in Jan. 1958. (Photo Credit: Getty)
Even after she settled down with Carlo, Sophia was pursued by costars. She clashed with Marlon Brando on the set of director Charlie Chaplin's 1967 'A Countess in Hong Kong.' In her memoir, she calls Marlon "a sad little man" and recounts a story in which he grabbed her during a scene and bit her lip, drawing blood.
Related Story: Sophia Loren Opens Up About Her Time in Prison and Being Robbed in New Memoir
This type of treatment, along with her desire to live in Italy with Carlo, ultimately drove Sophia out of Hollywood.
"She was gorgeous, she had a voluptuous figure — that's all that Hollywood cared about," said Ty Burr, author of 'Gods Like Us: On Movie Stardom and Modern Fame.' "American audiences found her exotic, but she was beloved by the Italian audiences."
To read the full story on Sophia and her leading men pick up the new issue of 'Closer Weekly,' on newsstands now!
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