One could say the classic romance of Ponti and Loren was like a true fairy tale. From the rag Sofia Sciocolone born in poverty to the renowned and dazzling actress, the audience perhaps have known her by many other names throughout her remarkable career, such as Lucia Curcio in It Started in Naples, Cesira in Two Women, Filumena Martuarno in Marriage Italian Style, and Antonietta Taberi in A Special Day, but to Carlo Ponti, the man who took her under his wing and created the name Sophia Loren as we largely know, she was his “wife,” his “soulmate” and his “great love.” Despite their 22-year gap, the denigrations from many naysayers and the struggles they had to overcome for their marriage to be legally recognized, Loren and Ponti would remain together for a lifetime with their 50-year relationship, until Ponti passed away in January 2007 after 10 days fighting for his life in hospital, and Loren, ever the loyal, had never left his side for the entire time.
Let’s take a look back at their great love through these 27 intimate photographs:
Sophia Loren kissing husband Carlo Ponti, 1950s. Photo by Pierluigi Praturlon.
Sophia Loren in a car with husband Carlo Ponti, 1950s. Photo by Pierluigi Praturlon.
Sophia Loren smoking and chatting with her manager Carlo Ponti, 1957. Photo by Loomis Dean for LIFE.
Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti sitting in their living room during the filming of ‘The Key,’ London, December 1957. Photo by Philippe Le Tellier.
Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti reading ‘The Lovers’ Pocketbook’ in their living room during the filming of ‘The Key,’ London, December 1957. Photo by Philippe Le Tellier.