January 10, 2007

Sophia and her older man.

Sophia Loren's husband Carlo Ponti just died -- at the age of 94.
Ponti was married to his first wife, Giuliana, when he met Loren, who was almost 25 years younger than he, in about 1950.

They tried to keep their relationship a secret in spite of huge media interest, while Ponti's lawyers went to Mexico to obtain a divorce.

Ponti and Loren were married by proxy in Mexico in 1957 -- two male attorneys took their place. The couple only found out about their marriage when the news was broken by a society columnist.
Well, this is an interesting story problem for math class, but I'm just going to look up Sophia Loren's birth date. It's September 20, 1934. She was 16 when they met in 1950. He was 38. She was 23 when she married the 45-year-old Ponti. Now, he is dead, and she is 72.

Remember this cover of Life Magazine?

That was from 1966. It was about a year before Twiggy entered our brains and made Sophia look fat. Click on the image to see a page of all the Life Magazine photos from that year. I remember them so well. Everyone read Life then. On the covers: Bobby Kennedy, Ian Fleming, Melina Mercouri, Jean-Paul Belmondo, "LSD Art," a White House wedding, "young black militants," Claudia Cardinale, "Mod male fashions," Julie Christie, Elizabeth Taylor, TV's Batman, Jackie Kennedy, Louis Armstrong, Vietnam, Vietnam, Vietnam. So long ago. So vivid....

Condolences to the beautiful Sophia.

And I love the image of two male lawyers getting married in 1957!


High Power Rocketry said...

: )

JorgXMcKie said...

Sophia Loren never, ever looked 'fat' to me. In addition to her beauty, though, there is every indication that she is a fine human being. I'm sorry for her loss. Their marriage seems to have been a good one.

the pooka said...

Well before I was born, all that.

But I do like the "electronic snooping" cover.

And to hell with Twiggy. Sophia was (and is) hot.

Meade said...


Doug said...

A lot of people feel compelled to say things like "Jessica Tandy is still beautiful", which I always feel is condescending, but I really think Sophia Loren has retained her hotness like very few people have (right up there with Lena Horne)

I was born a year after these covers, so I know tastes change, but I never found Twiggy to be attractive. Ann Margret looked great on the 1970 cover, though she even looked good as a cartoon character on the Flintstones

Dave said...

Sophia Loren was the spokeswoman for a dot-bomb company I worked at in the late 90s. The CEO, who was only about 10 years old than I, gushed like a giddy schoolgirl upon meeting her.

Odd. I never understood the appeal. Brigitte Bardot, now there's a lady.

Rhea said...

That's what happens when a much older man marries a girl. He dies first. Sophia rocks.
The Boomer Chronicles

Anonymous said...

Well said, Jorgxmckie. Well said!.

mikeski said...

"Odd. I never understood the appeal."

Never understood the appeal?

That is odd.

(Mildly NSFW)

vbspurs said...

And I love the image of two male lawyers getting married in 1957!


That was almost always the case with proxy royal marriages (esp. involving children or adolescent minors separated thru' distance).

The kinsman of the girl-bride in question would 'marry' the kinsman of the boy-groom, in a proxy ceremony.

IIRC, the earliest one on record was Tassilo III, Duke of Bavaria (c. 700).

If that knocks your socks off, try this:

The Father of the Bride leading the bride down the aisle is a relatively modern invention -- like many celebratory events (Christmas), the wedding ceremony's customs were crystallised in Germany*.

Before, the Mother of the Bride was the one who led her daughter, down the aisle.

If you want to see this tradition in action, watch the "Sissi" trilogy, starring the unforgettable Romy Schneider as the Empress Elisabeth.

*It was the Germans who, if not invented, at least cemented the tradition of white wedding gowns, the Wedding March song, cakes, the wearing of the wedding band on both parties (worn, of course, German-style, on the right finger),

Most happily for us, they also made common the sleeping in the same 'marriage bed' amongst well-born couples (the poor always slept together for warmth and lack of room).

All these customs filtered down from the Hannoverians to the British, and thereto, to the Americans who just took marriages to a different level of professionalism with their Jared's and wedding planner hoopla.


Ron said...

Maybe Althouse and Sullivan can reenact the proxy wedding for two libertarians as a 'peace offering.' "I now pronounce you Principle and Abstraction. You may engage in free trade with the bride."

Just make sure it's vblogged!

vbspurs said...

Odd. I never understood the appeal. Brigitte Bardot, now there's a lady.

Holy crapple. Bardot a lady? Puhlease.

Loren is fantastic.

When she moved down to SoFla in the '80s, she decided that though the cost was almost prohibitive, she couldn't sleep on any bed but the antique one once slept in by a Renaissance queen -- on which her two sons were conceived.

And FWIW, the gossip in the party circuit was that Ponti treated Loren like rubbish (I don't just mean his endless, hurtful affairs), and she took it.

I have the deapest respect for this Napolitana wharf rat, who is a true lady.


tiggeril said...

I grew up only knowing Angela Lansbury from Murder, She Wrote, so seeing her in that minidress is pretty mindblowing.

Anonymous said...

Statistically, the man usually dies first, whatever the age gap.

Sigivald said...

Looking over those covers, I see "Growing Alarm of the Responsible Negro Leaders".

It was a different age, wasn't it?

Sigivald said...

(And to clarify, I don't speak of the word "Negro" but of the classification of such presumptive leaders of an ethnic group into "responsible" and (implicitly) "irresponsible".)

Ruth Anne Adams said...

The thing I recall about Sophia and Carlo Ponti was their difficulty in having children. I think she appeared on a Ladies' Home Journal cover after being on bedrest for the entire pregnancy with her son.

The cheekbones are time-defying.

Ann Margrock. Hadn't thought of her for years.

Finn Alexander Kristiansen said...

Sophia is okay, but never struck me that hard. I would even take Claudia Cardinale over Lauren, as Jason Robards, Henry Fonda, and Charles Bronson all tried to do in the brilliant Once Upon A Time in the West.

I was still sperm in 1966 so I don't recall most of that year, too busy jockeying for position.

But all through my early years I got to watch Batman and it remains one of my favorite shows.

vbspurs said...

Ann Margrock. Hadn't thought of her for years.

True! And Gary Granite.

Let's not forget Serena, Samantha Stevens' evil twin cousin or Jeannie's evil twin sister.


vbspurs said...

Sigivald wrote:

It was a different age, wasn't it?

Yes, indeed, it was. Check out Pat and Luci Nugent's wedding photograph.

But also, in the "plus ├ža change" realm, check out the 20-May-1966 cover.

We were worried about Electronic privacy then. And we still are.


stoqboy said...

My wife and I watched Sophia last weekend in "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow." She did a (quite tame) strip tease in the third segment and we both remarked that she would be an unlikely movie star these days because of her size. (My wife, who speaks Italian, also said the English dubbing was awful).

JohnK said...

I don't know who Loren ever looked fat to; perhaps gay fashion designers whose ideal of beauty is a 12 year old boy, but I can't think of anyone else. Of course we don't have pictures of most of the great beauties of history like the Emperess Theordora, but it is hard to imagine a more beautiful woman than Loren, eccept perhaps the Austria Empress Elisabeth.

Smilin' Jack said...

Dave said...
Odd. I never understood the appeal.

Rent "Boy on a Dolphin" and check out the scene where she emerges from the water in nothing but a wet shirt.

If you still don't understand the appeal, well, as Seinfeld would emphasize, there's nothing wrong with that.

JohnK said...

Along a similiar note, another curvey and exotic beauty from the 50s left us today; goodbye Yvonne Decarlo.


She wasn't quite up to Loren's standards, but boy she wasn't bad either.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

John K: Carlo Ponti was a "curvy and exotic beauty"??

Lily Munster died? < sniff > I believe I need more tissue.

Anonymous said...

JohnK: This is the most bizarre and needless piece of gay-bashing I've seen in a while, but, then again, I shouldn't expect anything less than groundbreaking from an Althouse commenter. True, Sophia Loren as she is in those pictures would not be in any fashion ad without some extensive airbrushing--but neither would she be in any other kind of ad you could possibly think of, or any magazine cover, or any sort of promotional photos, or in television or film. Any female celebrity that looks like that now would keep herself covered at all times, unless she wanted to be in the ugly celebrity edition that tabloids sometimes have alongside closeups of famous cellulite and armpit stubble. (Not that I'm condemning that kind of thing; there are few things that I love more than celebrity cellulite.)

And so, surrounded by glamour shots of the unrealistically thin every single day (this is, of course, assuming that you leave your house or turn on the tv at all), you're honestly trying to say that it's a standard of beauty that only gay men have? No matter what you've heard about the homosexual agenda, gay people simply do not have this much power. (Note how they can't get married, how they provoke fundie screeching by simply existing, etc.) In fact, I would dump most of the blame on heterosexual men, as this is the demographic that is generally targeted by advertisements featuring the female figure. If advertisers really wanted to sell to the clearly large and powerful group of gay fashion designers that lust after 12-year-old boys, you would see a lot more small, slim, boyish-looking men eating hamburgers and wearing gratuitous outfits.

By the way, I love the insinuation that gay people are pedophiles; it really added an extra dimension of bigotry. Those gay men are really villainous, huh? As if it wasn't enough to insult beautiful ladies, they also molest children, oh no!!!

Palladian said...

Jesus Christ, lighten up, Susan.

Yes, the Althouse comments section is a den of gay bashers! Why, if there are any gay men around here, watch your back in the Sophia Loren or American Idol threads!

vbspurs said...

Yes, the Althouse comments section is a den of gay bashers!

Forget it. Dem's that want to be outraged, will find any reason to be.

And you know who agrees with John's apposite comment? Karl Lagerfeld himself. He darn near said so, on Charlie Rose.

I've always liked Karl Lagerfeld, because he speaks up when he has to, and keeps quiet when it's sensible to do so (he said he isn't the type to criticise a President in the country he's in, since it's bad manners. Stout fellow).


Anonymous said...

vbspurs: Karl Lagerfeld has said, "I use very thin women as models because I need an outlet for my lust for pre-pubescent boys. Also, you will see similarly thin women in just about every form of media because gay pedophiles rule the world"? Really? And you actually like him for it?

But assuming that he really did say that--why is it relevant? I'm sure that you could find a person that agrees with any offensive opinion. While I commend you for your astute Charlie Rose-watching, that doesn't make the opinion true.

By the way, please don't call me a Dem because I am a staunch moderate. I am anti-war, pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-stem cell research, pro-environment; however, all this is balanced with the fact that I am wildly in favor of charter schools. <3 <3 <3 <3 charter schools!

vbspurs said...


You lost me at "commend".