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Anita Ekberg's Death
- Anita Ekberg
- September 29, 1931
- January 11, 2015
- Complications from long, undisclosed illnesses
The life and death of Anita Ekberg:
If there was ever a prototype for a "blonde bombshell", she was it.
Born in Malmo, Sweden and a naturalized Italian, this actress-model-sex symbol graced the movie screen from 1953 to 2002. Her name on her birth certificate was Kerstin Anita Marianne Ekberg, the sixth of eight children and the oldest sister in the family.
Her professional life started in 1950 as a model and her mother urged her to enter the "Miss Sweden" contest, which she won. She then went to the United States in 1951 to compete in the Miss Universe pageant, though she spoke little English at the time.
She didn't win the contest but did get a contract with Universal Studios and received drama, speech, dance and horse-riding lessons.
She appeared in an Abbott & Costello movie in 1953, "Abbott & Costello Go to Mars".
She also was frequently mentioned in gossip magazines because of her statuesque figure and well-publicized romances with A-list stars like Frank Sinatra, Errol Flynn, Tyrone Power and Rod Taylor.
Anita also did a photo spread in Playboy magazine.
Ekberg appeared in several Hollywood films but her most memorable role by far came in Federico Fellini's "La Dolce Vita" in 1960…
…which co-starred Marcello Mastroianni.
She was frequently quoted as saying that it was Fellini, the director of "La Dolce Vita", who owed his success to her, not the other way around.
Ekberg married twice, both ending in divorce: Anthony Steel 1956-1959 and Rik Van Nutter 1963-1974, She had no children and in December 2011, at the age of 80, was reported "destitute" after a three month hospital stay with a broken hip.
She died at a clinic in Castelli Romani Italy at age 83 and was cremated after a funeral service in Rome. Her remains were buried at the Skandor Church cemetery in Sweden.