Swedish film siren Anita Ekberg, famous for her roles in movies like “La Dolce Vita” and “Hollywood or Bust,” died Sunday near Rome, the New York Times reported. She was 83.
Ekberg suffered a long illness -- at least two years -- and died from complications, attorney Patrizia Ubaldi said. "She had many friends who were with her until the end," Ubaldi told Reuters. Her body is to be cremated and her ashes brought back to Sweden.
An international star, Ekberg’s beauty transcended language barriers. One of her most famous scenes came from “La Dolce Vita,” where she and Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni bathe in the Trevi Fountain. "Marcello! Come here. Hurry up," she yells to her onscreen costar.
While the glamorous scene from the 1960 film might be immortalized in people’s minds, it wasn’t much fun to film. "I was freezing to death," Ekberg told a Swedish TV show. "I thought that my legs were becoming icicles. The water in the fountain comes from the mountains and the film was made in January.”
Deviating further from the apparent glamour of her life, Ekberg reportedly died “almost penniless,” the Times reported. She had no family and was getting financial assistance from the Fellini Foundation, which was created by the sister of director Federico Fellini to keep his memory alive, UPI reported in 2011.
However, her lawyer denied she was in extreme financial distress. Ekberg "didn't live in luxury in the last few years, but it would be wrong to say she died in poverty," Ubaldi told Reuters. The former blonde bombshell earned a retirement income and owned a large villa south of Rome.
Ekberg did not have any children. She was married twice and divorced twice. She once claimed Frank Sinatra proposed marriage, but she refused him, Reuters wrote.
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