Italian actor Gina Lollobrigida attends the unveiling of her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 1, 2018
ROME, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida, a sultry Mediterranean diva who came to represent Italy's vibrant rebirth after World War Two,
has died aged 95, her former lawyer said on Monday. After a humble upbringing, Lollobrigida played opposite Hollywood stars such as Humphrey Bogart, Rock Hudson, Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis and Frank Sinatra,
becoming one of the most recognizable cinema icons of the 1950s and 60s. But she never clicked with the Hollywood studio system
and her best known films remain those she made with Italian directors before and after her American parenthesis. "La Lollo", as she was affectionately known in Italy,
died in a Rome clinic, her former lawyer, Giulia Citani said. Lollobrigida became a photographer and sculptor after stepping away from the movie world.
Last September, she failed in a bid to win a seat in the Italian parliament for a leftist political party at national elections. A spokesperson for Sophia Loren,
a superstar diva in her own right in Italy's heady post-war years, said Loren, 88, was "very shocked and saddened" by Lollobrigida's death.
"La Loren" and "La Lollo" had an ongoing rivalry in the 1950s and 1960, much of it encouraged, and some say even at least partly invented, by publicity agents.
"Farewell to a diva of the big screen, protagonist of more than half a century of the Italian film history. Her charm will remain immortal. Ciao Lollo,"
Italian culture minister Gennaro Sangiuliano wrote on Twitter. When she stopped making films full-time, Lollobrigida developed new careers as a photographer and sculptor
and was also a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and its Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).