The World's Prettiest Women

Celebrating Beautiful Women of Today and Yesterday

Sophia Loren October 8, 2009

Filed under: Actresses — pashley1916 @ 2:01 am
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sophia-lorenSophia Loren (born September 20, 1934) is an Italian film actress and an international sex symbol. In 1961, she won an Academy Award for Best Actress for Two Women, becoming the first actor to win an Academy Award for a non-English-speaking performance.

Loren was born Sofia Villani Scicolone at the Clinica Regina Margherita in Rome on September 20, 1934, to Riccardo Scicolone and Romilda Villani. Scicolone refused to marry Villani, leaving her, a piano teacher and aspiring actress, without support. Romilda, Loren and sister Maria returned to Pozzuoli, near Naples, to live with Loren’s grandmother in order to survive.

During World War II, the harbor and munitions plant in Pozzuoli was a frequent bombing target of the allies. During one raid, as Loren ran to the shelter, she was struck by shrapnel and wounded in the chin. Subsequently, the family moved to Naples and begged distant relatives to take them in.

After the war, Loren and her family returned to Pozzuoli. Grandmother Luisa opened their living room as a pub, selling homemade cherry liquor. Villani played the piano, Maria sang and Loren waited tables and washed dishes. The place was very popular with the American GIs stationed nearby.

When she was 14 years old, Loren entered a beauty contest in Naples and, while not winning, was selected as one of the finalists. Later she enrolled in acting class and was selected as an extra in the Mervyn LeRoy film, Quo Vadis, thus launching her career as a motion picture actress. She eventually changed her name to Sophia Loren.

 

Bo Derek

Filed under: Actresses — pashley1916 @ 1:45 am
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BoDerekDerek was born Mary Cathleen Collins in Long Beach, California. She is of Irish, German, Dutch and Welsh descent. Her father is Paul Collins, a Hobie Cat executive. Her mother is Norma Collins, hairdresser to Ann-Margret. After the parents divorced, Norma Collins married American stunt performer Bobby Bass.

Derek attended Narbonne High School in Harbor City, California. Derek then attended George S. Patton Continuation school which is adjacent to Narbonne.

Derek started modeling to pay for a new surf board, and after a few shoots and a deodorant advertisement found she had a knack for performance. She got herself a Hollywood agent, and on the audition trail met director John Derek, 30 years her senior. John filed for divorce from his wife, actress Linda Evans, and the pair moved to Germany to avoid John being charged with statutory rape under U.S. law due to Bo only being 16. The couple returned to America soon after Bo’s 18th birthday, and married in 1976. They remained married until his death in 1998.

 

Hayley Westenra

Filed under: Singers — pashley1916 @ 1:36 am
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HayleyWestenraHayley Dee Westenra (born 10 April 1987 in Christchurch, New Zealand) is a New Zealand soprano, songwriter and UNICEF Ambassador. Her first internationally released album, Pure, reached #1 on the UK classical charts in 2003 and has sold more than two million copies worldwide. Pure is the fastest-selling international d├ębut classical album to date, having made Westenra an international star at age 16. In August 2006, she joined the Irish group Celtic Woman, was featured on their Celtic Woman: A New Journey CD and DVD, toured with them on their 2007 Spring Tour, and also was featured on their latest DVD, The Greatest Journey: Essential Collection, released in 2008.