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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 (1960), which features a scene of her cavorting in Rome’s Trevi Fountain alongside Marcello Mastroianni.

a12021_anita_02Early 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 title (an unofficial pageant at that time, the pageant became official in 1952) despite speaking little English.

Early career

Though she did not win Miss Universe, as one of six finalists she did earn a starlet‘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 a12021_anita_03her 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 a12021_anita_01was 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) andHollywood 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, alongside Mel 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 a12021_anita_04productions 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 in Screaming 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), and Intervista (1987), where she played herself in a reunion scene with Mastroianni.

a12021_anita_05Personal life

Both Ekberg’s marriages were to actors. She was married to Anthony Steel from 1956 to 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, naming famous people she couldn’t bear. And she was 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 a12021_anita_06Rome 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.

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.

Text from Wikipedia

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…. for another picture gallery featuring one of my all time
favourite fifties bombshells, Anita Ekberg

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When young Ted was a small boy Scandinavian magazines was crammed with images of Anita, Norwegian too, even though she was Swedish (I guess the Norwegian magazine editors felt she was a little ours too.)

These images along with those of Sophia Loren and others awakened young Teds interest in women and formed a taste in shape and form that has lasted to this day. Ted still like his women with a little meat on the bones 😉

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Anyone who have been following my blog for a while must have noticed that I have a thing for Anita Ekberg and since it is my blog I felt like posting a little Ekberg gallery to day – Ted

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Anita Ekberg, nude, photo taken by Andre De Dienes in 1955

Image found at LostFoundAndEnvied

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Anita Ekberg
Kerstin Anita Marianne Ekberg (born 29 September 1931 in Malmö, Skåne) is a Swedish model, actress and cult sex symbol. She is best known for her role as Sylvia in the 1960 Federico Fellini film, La Dolce Vita, which features the legendary scene of her cavorting in Trevi Fountain alongside Marcello Mastroianni.

To the Anita Ekberg gallery:

Anita-Ekberg-Gallery-

 

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Diana Dors
Diana Dors (23 October 1931 – 4 May 1984) was an English actress. She was born Diana Mary Fluck in Swindon, Wiltshire, and was educated at Colville House in Swindon. She was considered the English equivalent of the blonde bombshells of Hollywood.

To the Diana Dors gallery:
Diana-Dors-gallery

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Article from LIFE magazine  January 16, 1956
High-powered beauty and publicity
land Anita Ekberg in “War and Peace”

LIFE 16 jan 1956 3

Under the eyes of an Italian movie production crew, Swedish Anita Ekberg as princess Helena in “War and Peace” lies in her wedding bed.

Of all the monumental things about the production of War and Peace just finished in Rome, not the least is Anita Ekberg . Miss Ekberg, who is 5 foot 7, has a 39 1/2 bust, 23 waist and 36 hips, plays the role of Tolstoy’s Princess Helene, and for her it is the first big break so far in a film career that started promisingly four years ago and got almost nowhere.

Coming to the U.S. as the "Beautiful Maid of Malmo" (LIFE, Oct. 8, 1951), 20 year.old "Miss Sweden," a professional model and guest at the contest, stole the Miss America show at Atlantic City. But on a subsequent trip to Hollywood she rated only bit parts in three films, studio stills and gossip. An intensive promotion drive by a producer and a lucky break when the actress originally slated for the part took sick got her the Princess Helene role. For lending her out her producer got a fee of $20,000 from the Italian makers of “War and Peace”, he will get a reported $40,000 fee for her next film and $75,000 for a third .

 

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This cover of LIFE magazine from January 16 1956 was just to much for the moral majority so two of their faithful members took pen in hand and gave the editors a piece of their mind.


Cover

Sirs:
The cover picture of Anita Ekberg (Life Jan. 16) is most offensive and in poor taste for a family magazine. It can’t be excused as art.

Mollie D Levine

Malverne, N.Y.


Cover

Sirs:

The cover of your magazine on the Jan. 16 issue is a source of embarrassment in a home which is sincerely grateful for the otherwise high calibre of journalism Life stand for.

Mary Taylor

Rochester N.Y.



I for one am glad that our high moral standard and decency have such ready and able protectors that are not afraid to voice the thoughts and feelings we all harbour. Such filth should not be allowed into our homes. Shame on you Sirs – Ted

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