Inside Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti’s Lasting Love: A Marriage That Endured 40 Years


Inside Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti’s Lasting Love: A Marriage That Endured 40 Years


Daniel Stone


Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti’s love story spanned a lifetime, overcoming many challenges. A movie star nearly came between them, but their bond remained unbreakable.

The Beginning of an Unlikely Love

Italian director Carlo Ponti first met Sofia Villani Scicolone when she was just 16. He was captivated by her presence and beauty. Ponti, a well-known director and producer in Italian cinema, decided to transform the young schoolgirl into a Hollywood screen goddess, introducing her to the world as Sophia Loren.

However, Ponti’s decision to marry Sophia was spurred by the arrival of another man in her life. At that time, Ponti was 38, 22 years older than Sophia, and married to Giuliana Fiastri. They had two children, Guendalina and Alex. Despite the unlikely and unsuitable nature of their relationship, the attraction between Ponti and the budding starlet was undeniable.

Fighting the Attraction

Sophia’s attraction to Carlo was reminiscent of her own mother’s life. Her mother, Romilda Villani, was also a beauty and aspiring actress who caught the eye of a wealthy Italian noble. However, he refused to marry her, leaving her to raise their children in poverty. Sophia never forgave her father for this abandonment and was determined not to repeat her mother’s mistakes.

As Sophia worked closely with Ponti, she realized he was her soulmate. He provided her with stability and rootedness amidst the dizzying excitement of her rising career. Ponti, separated from his wife but unable to divorce under Italian law, felt an immediate and undeniable fascination with Sophia.

A Rising Star

Ponti managed Sophia’s career, leading her to mesmerize audiences worldwide in films like “Two Nights with Cleopatra” and “The Gold of Naples.” In 1957, she became an international sex symbol after her performance in “Boy on a Dolphin.”

That same year, Ponti decided to marry Sophia. Although still married to Giuliana, he arranged a proxy marriage in Mexico. This union, however, was not recognized in Italy, effectively making Ponti a bigamist.

The Rival: Cary Grant

Ponti’s sudden decision to marry Sophia was influenced by the appearance of Cary Grant. During the filming of “The Pride and the Passion,” Grant fell in love with Sophia. At 53, Grant was also an older man but unlike Ponti, he was tall, dark, and devastatingly handsome, recently divorced, and free to marry.

Sophia admitted to having a love affair with Grant, who sent her flowers and letters, pleading for a decision. Yet, despite her feelings for Grant, Sophia chose Ponti. She valued the security and stability Ponti provided over the excitement and glamour Grant offered.

Sophia’s Choice

Sophia’s choice to stay with Ponti was surprising but steadfast. From then on, she had eyes for no other man. Even Marlon Brando, another handsome actor, was turned down by Sophia when he made a pass at her during the filming of “A Countess from Hong Kong” in 1967.

Marriage to Carlo Ponti

In 1966, Ponti and Sophia were finally able to marry. They both became French citizens to bypass Italian laws preventing divorce. Ponti divorced Giuliana in France and married Sophia in April 1966. They welcomed their first child, Carlo Ponti Jr., in 1968, and their second son, Edoardo, five years later.


Sophia and Ponti remained inseparable until his death in 2007 at the age of 94. Sophia’s career flourished, and she won an Oscar for Best Actress in 1962 for her role in “Two Women,” becoming the first actress to win the accolade for a foreign-language film.

At 85, Sophia looks back on her life and love story with Ponti with no regrets. She chose the path that led to her happiness and a remarkable personal journey with Carlo Ponti.

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About Daniel Stone

With an impressive 8 years of experience, Daniel Stone has established himself as a prolific writer, captivating readers with his engaging news articles and compelling stories. His unique perspective and dedication to the craft have earned him a loyal following and a reputation for excellence in journalism.