Luigia “Gina” Lollobrigida (4 July 1927 – 16 January 2023) was an Italian actress, photojournalist, and politician. She was one of the highest-profile European actresses of the 1950s and early 1960s, a period in which she was an international sex symbol. At the time of her death, she was among the last high-profile international actors from the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema.
As her film career slowed, Lollobrigida established a second career as a photojournalist. In the 1970s she achieved a scoop by gaining access to Fidel Castro for an exclusive interview.
Lollobrigida continued as an active supporter of Italian and Italian-American causes, particularly the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF). In 2008 she received the NIAF Lifetime Achievement Award at the Foundation’s Anniversary Gala. In 2013, she sold her jewellery collection and donated the nearly US$5 million from the sale to benefit stem-cell therapy research. She won the Henrietta Award at the 18th Golden Globe Awards.
By the end of the 1970s, Lollobrigida had embarked on what she developed into a successful second career as a photographic journalist. She photographed, among others, Paul Newman, Salvador Dalí, Henry Kissinger, David Cassidy, Audrey Hepburn, Ella Fitzgerald, and the German national football team. In 1974 she managed to obtain an exclusive interview with Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Between 1972 and 1994 she published six collections of her photographs, including the 1973 title Italia Mia.