Italian movie icon Sophia Loren is returning to the big screen for her first starring role in nine years. The 78-year-old actress has reportedly signed on to lead the cast in her son Edoardo Ponti's film The Human Voice, which is based on a one-woman play written by French poet and artist Jean Cocteau.
Ponti's film adaptation will be set in Italy and shooting on the project is expected to begin later this month (Jul13).
Loren, who previously appeared in her son's 2002 feature film debut Between Strangers, has not had a major big screen part since 2004 comedy Too Much Romance... It's Time For Stuffed Peppers, although she went on to land a small role in Rob Marshall's movie musical Nine in 2009 and in biographical TV film My House is Full of Mirrors in 2010.
Ponti is Loren's 40-year-old son with producer Carlo Ponti.
The Italian icon, 76, was the guest of honour at the event, staged by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences bosses, which featured tributes and clips of her most famous roles.
During the evening, Hollywood stars told of their memories of Loren, with Rob Marshall - who directed Loren in movie musical Nine - recalling that working with her was "the most magic I will ever have".
Hanks also took to the stage at the Beverly Hills bash to honour the "timeless, beautiful and authentically real" actress, while Travolta called her the "most delicious" thing to come out of Italy.
Italian actor and director Roberto Benigni surprised Loren by singing to her in a video message.
Her family was also present at the gala, and her son Edoardo Ponti fought back tears as he declared, "We are here because we love you and you deserve every single thing."
Loren, who was the first person to win an acting Oscar for a foreign-language role with the Italian movie Two Women, was overwhelmed by the tribute, saying, "The Academy Award changed my life completely. It helped me to believe in myself and encouraged me to push my own artistic boundaries.
"There are no words to describe my emotions right now. It is hard to imagine that 50 years have passed since I welcomed my Oscar to my home."
Asked by Crystal, the host for the evening, if she's happy with her career to date, Loren replied, "You are never content. You always want to do more and find the right thing at the right time. I like my career, my life, so much. I was born for this. I am sick when I don't work for a year or two."
Rizzoli & Isles star Alexander and her writer/director husband Edoardo Ponti - the son of Italian actress Loren - welcomed their second child, Leonardo Fortunato Ponti, on 20 December (10) in Geneva, Switzerland.
The couple confirmed the news to People.com in a statement: "We are so thrilled to welcome our little Leonardo. He's a wonderful gift and we are all in love - especially the grandmas!"
The new addition joins the couple's daughter Lucia Sofia, four. Loren has one other grandchild, three-year-old Vittorio, born to her son Carlo Ponti, Jr.
Alexander and Ponti wed in August 2007.
Rizzoli & Isles star Alexander and her writer/director husband Edoardo Ponti - the son of Italian actress Loren - are expecting their second child, a spokesperson confirms.
A rep for Alexander tells People.com, "The whole family is incredibly excited."
The new addition will join the couple's daughter Lucia Sofia, four. Loren has one other grandchild, three-year-old Vittorio, born to her son Carlo Ponti Jr.
Sophia Loren's film producer husband, Carlo Ponti, has died after suffering heart complications in Geneva, Switzerland. He was 94.
Ponti was admitted to the hospital late last month where he was treated for a pulmonary complication, but passed away overnight.
The Italian native has produced more than 140 movies, including La Strada, Dr. Zhivago, and 1966s Blowup.
Ponti married Oscar-winner Loren in 1957 when the actress was just 22, but the marriage was annulled in 1962. They remarried in 1966.
He is survived by Loren, 72, and their two sons, Carlo Ponti Jr., and Edoardo Ponti.
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The 59th Venice Film Festival will kick off its venue with the long-awaited Frida, a biopic about the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, starring Salma Hayek and Antonio Banderas. Other films in competition include Steven Soderbergh's newest, Full Frontal, and Sam Mendes' Road to Perdition, starring Tom Hanks, as well as Between Strangers, the directorial debut of Edoardo Ponti, the 29-year-old son of Sophia Loren, who also stars in the film. Those celebrities scheduled to attend include Hayek, Loren, Hanks and Julianne Moore with her film The Hours. The festival runs Aug. 29 to Sept 8.
Not to be outdone by another pop diva, Celine Dion is jumping on the fragrance-line bandwagon. (J.Lo, watch out.) Dion will be creating a perfume with Coty Inc., which also produces Jovan and Stetson fragrances, and the scent should be in stores in early 2003. Jennifer Lopez's fragrance, Glow, is ready to hit the market soon.
Supermodel Naomi Campbell may have to wait until October before learning if she has beaten an appeal by the British tabloid Daily Mirror, which was ordered in March to pay her damages of $5,493 for breach of confidence and invasion of privacy. Why the wait? The Court of Appeal in London is going on a summer break and won't be back until October. Campbell's lawsuit stems from the newspaper reporting that she was attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' 25th annual Kennedy Center Honors will go to an eclectic group that includes Elizabeth Taylor, James Earl Jones, Chita Rivera and musicians Paul McCartney and James Levine. The honorees will be received at the White House Dec. 8 before attending the Honors Gala event at the Kennedy Center. CBS will air the two-hour special later in December.
Director Jon Amiel (Entrapment) is in negotiations to remake the 1966 thriller Seconds, which was directed by the late John Frankenheimer and starred the late Rock Hudson. Variety reports the film centers on a man who trades his life for a new identity and gets more than he bargained for. Sounds thoroughly Twilight Zone-ish.
HBO will be releasing its first feature film in October with Real Women Have Curves, the winner of this year's audience award at the Sundance Film Festival. Based on Josefina Lopez's autobiographical play, the film takes a look at a first-generation Mexican-American woman who lives in East Los Angeles and tries to balance her ambitions and her cultural heritage.
NBC is bringing back the old in a brand-new way. The Rerun Show, which airs this Thursday at 9:30 p.m., has an ensemble cast re-enacting storylines from such sitcoms as Diff'rent Strokes, The Partridge Family, One Day at a Time and Bewitched. The episodes run shortened, yet word-for-word, as the actors impersonate the original sitcom stars--and the absurdity of it all isn't lost. Executive Producer David Salzman told The Associated Press, "If you can do it with Shakespeare, why can't we have fun with these shows?" Why, indeed.