Sofia Villani Scicolone Dame Grand Cross OMRI (born 20 September 1934), known professionally as Sophia Loren is an Italian actress. Encouraged to enroll in acting lessons after entering a beauty pageant, Loren began her film career at age 16 in 1950. She appeared in several bit parts and minor roles in the early part of the decade, until her five-picture contract with Paramount in 1956 launched her international career. Notable film appearances around this time include The Pride and the Passion, Houseboat, and It Started in Naples. Loren’s performance as Cesira in the movie Two Women (1961) directed by Vittorio De Sica earned her the Academy Award for Best Actress, making her the first actor or actress to win an Oscar for a foreign-language performance. She holds the record for having earned six David di Donatello Awards for Best Actress: Two Women; Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1963); Marriage Italian Style (1964) (for which she was nominated for a second Oscar); Sunflower (1970); The Voyage (1974); and A Special Day (1977). After starting a family in the early 1970s, Loren chose to make rarer film appearances. Most recently, she has appeared in American films such as Grumpier Old Men (1995) and Nine (2009). For Nine she received the Satellite Award for Best Cast together with the ensemble cast. She has also won a Grammy Award, five special Golden Globes (including the Cecil B. DeMille Award), a BAFTA Award, a Laurel Award, the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival, the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival and the Honorary Academy Award in 1991. In 1995, she received the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievements, one of many such awards. In 1999, Loren was named by the American Film Institute the 21st greatest female star of Classic Hollywood Cinema. She is currently the only living actress and the highest ranked living person on the list.
Brown’s primary acting role was in Two Women. In an interview about the movie, Brown stated that Sophia Loren, who played her mother, protected her from some of the underlying implications of the rape scene in the film. She also said that director Vittorio De Sica brought her to tears for the climatic final scene (upon hearing that the character played by Jean-Paul Belmondo had died) by saying that a telegram had arrived saying that Brown’s parents had died in an accident. Brown appeared in a few other films in the 1960s, including The Sailor from Gibraltar, The Tiger and the Pussycat and Cuore matto… matto da legare, before choosing to retire from acting at age 19, after her appearance in The Young, the Evil, and the Savage (1968). Brown later attended John Cabot University in Rome, graduating with a degree in Business and Economics. She then worked as a translator at the Italian Parliament, while also doing voice acting, in both English and Italian, for two decades in Italy.Brown made her first screen appearance in 50 years in the 2018 Italian film Un Amore Così Grande (A Love So Big). The film focuses on the world of opera in Verona, Italy, and features performances by the operatic pop trio Il Volo.
Brown’s parents met when her American father was introduced to her Neapolitan mother while he was working with the International Red Cross in post-World War II Italy. Brown was married once, and was widowed in 1993.