The Academy honored Sophia Loren with its Lifetime Achievement Award at the 1991 Oscars ceremony. She made an astounding 93 films in her career. In her acceptance speech, she intoned that had she attended previously, she would have been alone. Neither Cary Grant nor Ponti could be at her side.
The iconic actress was honored once more for a lifetime of greatness in 2019. She collected the European Cultural Taurus Award at the Vienna State Opera in a dazzling gown at 85. It was presented to her by her son Carlo.
An Enterprising Woman
Today, we expect celebrities to launch a clothing line and a fragrance. We only wonder why they haven’t yet. Sophia, always ahead of the curve, launched her own line of perfume before it was even a thing. She was the first.
Famous ladies of our day have her to thank. Since she was known for her posh eyewear, always donning ornate and lovely frames, introducing her own line of frames was the next step in merchandising for the entrepreneurial Sophia Loren.
Carlo Ponti lived a long and happy life with Sophia, even if that took 20 years to dial in. His life ended in 2007 after their 41 years of marriage. He was 94 when he was rushed to the hospital for medical complications. The family had been living in Geneva, on that tenth day of January when he departed this world and left Sophia for good.
Sophia knew that in marrying a man two decades older, she could only feel fortunate that he lived so many years. Her only regret was that she did not get a traditional marriage in a white princess gown.
Sophia’s name was cleared at last. It was in 1974, that she was convicted of tax evasion. Specifically, she was charged with failure to file. This, she said, was her accountant’s responsibility, and she blamed him for the charges against her. The accounting discrepancy caused the Hollywood star to be banned from Italy for years until she agreed to serve the time.
Her lawyer pursued appeals for decades. Finally, 40 years later, the charge was dropped. She said it was a miracle, according to her attorney.
The Ponti Boys
At the top of Sophia’s greatest achievements is the birth of her sons, a major challenge as she was forced to bed rest for the entirety of both pregnancies. It was a sacrifice she took on wholeheartedly. Motherhood was her greatest role, more important even than her friend Oscar.
After marrying Carlo in 1966, they welcomed Carlo Ponti Jr. in 1968. Edoardo Ponti arrived in 1973. Sophia would have had babies earlier, but she suffered two traumatic miscarriages before Carlo Jr. was born. It was a heart-wrenching experience made worse by a doctor who said she would never carry a child to term.