‘Hunger was the major theme of my childhood’: Sophia Loren

The actor recounts how she was raised in deplorable conditions

Yesteryear actor Sophia Loren is one of the most renowned stars Hollywood has ever seen. What many are unaware of is her trajectory: from having an impoverished childhood to her metamorphosis into an icon.

Having been raised during the war, Loren’s childhood was spent in deplorable conditions. In this video, the actor recounts how she was so thin back then that her friends would call her ‘Sofia Stuzzicadenti’ which translates to ‘Sophia Toothpick’.

“Hunger was the major theme of my childhood,” says Loren. “My mother was begging for food for us. She’d bring us back a potato, a fistful of rice”. There was an instance during the war when the allies marched through Napoli and a soldier threw a piece of chocolate towards Loren but she had no idea what it was.

She says Ponti was her mentor. “I met Carlo when I was 16 years old so I really was born with him and believed in him so much because I felt protected by him and I felt little by little great love for him and I wanted to have a family with him.” Although the film producer passed away in 2007, Loren says he is still the love of her life.

In her famous book Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: My Life, the actor writes, “My life became like a minefield through which I slowly made my way. I went from launch to launch, movie to movie, dinner to dinner. Facing each challenge allowed me to get closer to what I had dreamed of becoming.”

In hindsight, she believed that her tragic childhood was a blessing a disguise, because whatever followed could only be an improvement.

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