Gina Lollobrigida and the fountain of youth

The septuagenarian Italian film star is set to wed a man 34 years her junior. That's amore!


Nona Willis Aronowitz
October 20, 2006 11:44PM (UTC)

And here we thought Demi Moore had hunk-snagging skills. Seventy-nine-year-old Gina Lollobrigida, the Italian sexpot actress who once gave Sophia Loren a run for her money, has just announced her engagement to Barcelona, Spain, real estate agent Javier Rigau, a man 34 years her junior.

If words like "Anna Nicole Smith" or "gold digger" come to mind, forget about 'em: Seems that young Javier is a millionaire. Plus, Lollobrigida has been dating Rigau for more than 20 years -- they met when the actress was 57 and Rigau just a tender 23. According to the announcement in the Daily Mail, it was as if the couple were "struck by lightning" when they first met in Monte Carlo in 1984. Lollobrigida added that, at first, it was "just passion -- love came later." Much later, if the date of their nuptials is any indication.

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Lollobrigida, who has been called "the most beautiful woman in the world," set the standard for Mediterranean va-va-voom. Besides gracing the silver screen, she has tried her hand at photography, sculpting and even politics. She was previously married to a Yugoslavian doctor for 22 years -- yet still found the time to be courted by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Burt Lancaster, Jerry Lewis and Howard Hughes. And apparently, she still has it.

So, does the engagement add a positive wrinkle to our culture's relentless anti-aging campaign? At a time when nobody blinks an eye at the nubile wives of Michael Douglas and Harrison Ford, nor at the absurd notion that famous cradle robbers Moore and Madonna are poster children for "aging gracefully," I'd say so. Lollobrigida, while always gussied up, does look her age. Although it probably helps that she's a legendary Italian film star, "La Lollo" has nevertheless provided one more "Fuck you" to that pesky "more likely to be killed by a terrorist than marry after 40" statistic.


Nona Willis Aronowitz

Nona Willis Aronowitz is a journalist, Roosevelt Institute Pipeline fellow, and co-founder of Tomorrow magazine.

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