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Anita Ekberg: Life Story and Gorgeous Photos of the Most Beautiful Swedish Actress

Anita Ekberg was a Swedish-born fashion model and actress known for her portrayal of Sylvia in the “La Dolce Vita”. She became an international symbol of lush beauty in the 1960s. She stayed in Italy and made around 20 movies during the next ten years, some roles memorable, some to be forgotten.

Acting Career

Ekberg started her career as a fashion model and was elected Miss Sweden in 1950. She made her film debut with the role of a Venusian guard in “Abbott and Costello Go to Mars” in 1953. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Anita performed a lead role in some of the best movies, including ‘Call Me Bwana (1963)’, ‘Artists and Models (1955)’, ‘Hollywood or bust (1956)’ and many more. She was chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history in 1995. Anita Ekberg retired from acting after fifty years in 2002, her last screen appearance was in Italian drama “Il Bello Dell1950se Donne” in 2001.

Marriages and relationships

Anita was married twice and both were actors. She married actor Anthony Steel in 1956 and the couple divorced after 3 years. After four years of her first divorce, she married actor Rik Van Nutter in 1963 and they divorced in 1975. She also had a romantic relationship with Frank SinatraGary Cooper, Tyrone Power, Rod Taylor, Yul Brynner, and Errol Flynn.

Anita Ekberg’s death

In December 2001, Ekberg spent three months in hospital with a broken thigh. She also applied for help from the Fellini Foundation because her house was robbed while she was in the hospital. Anita Ekberg died at age 83 from complications of an enduring illness on January 11, 2015, in Italy. Her body was cremated and her remains were buried at the cemetery of Skanor Church in Sweden.

Here below are some stunning photos of young Anita Ekberg from her modeling and acting career.

#2 Anita Ekberg poses in a strapless costume with fishnet stockings and a sequined headdress, 1955.

#5 Anita Ekberg wearing a glamorous in a low-cut dress, with flowers covering her cleavage, 1956.

#6 Anita Ekberg and Michael Wilding clinking glasses during a press gala diner at Hamilton Place for Terence Young’s movie ‘Zarak’

#7 Anita Ekberg dancing on a pole during a scene from the movie ‘Zarak’.

#8 Anita Ekberg in a Scene From the Film Back from Eternity, 1956.

#9 Anita Ekberg with Phyllis Kirk on the set of “Back from Eternity” in Los Angeles, 1956.

#10 Anita Ekberg poses next to a full-length poster, 1958.

#12 Anita Ekberg posing for a photoshoot for vogue, 1960.

#14 Anita Ekberg wearing Bulgari ring and earrings. Italy, 1966

#15 Anita Ekberg looking at Italian actor Peppino De Filippo in the episode Le tentazioni del dottor Antonio from the film Boccaccio, 1970.

#16 Miss Sweden Anita Ekberg practicing the nose tilt for “Fish look” that Ford Model Agency head Eileen Ford suggested she must acquire to be a successful model in the US.

#18 Anita Ekberg wearing a hostess hat for Scandinavian Airlines, 1951.

#22 Anita Ekberg holding a Trophy. She was named the International Star of Tomorrow by the Hollywood Foreign Press, 1950.

#23 Actress Anita Ekberg attends a party in Los Angeles, California.

#24 A closed portrait of Swedish actress Anita Ekberg, 1951.

#25 Anita Ekberg at the Bourget airport (France) in 1956.

#26 Anita Ekberg pretending to be a bullfighter, 1951.

#27 Anita Ekberg crossing her eyes in rebellion, 1951.

#28 Anita Ekberg with Marcello Mastroianni on the set of La Dolce Vita, 1954.

#30 Actress Anita Ekberg in scene fr. TV version of Casablanca, 1955.

#32 Anita Ekberg, dressed in costume, looks over her shoulder while smoking a cigarette, 1955.

#33 Anita Ekberg sitting on the trunk of a cream convertible with her feet in its red leather interior, 1955.

#34 Anita Ekberg with Yul Brynner on set of the film ‘Artists And Models’, 1955.

#35 Anita Ekberg with Henry Fonda and Mel Ferrer in a scene from the film ‘War And Peace’, 1955.

#36 Anita Ekberg in the television series ‘Casablanca’, 1955.

#37 Anita Ekberg with Charles McGraw in the television series ‘Casablanca’, 1955.

#38 Anita Ekberg with her first Husband Anthony Steel.

#40 Anita Ekberg walking her dog in the streets of Cinecittà, 1956.

#41 Anita Ekberg boards an American Airlines flagship at New York International Airport, 1955.

#43 Anita Ekberg in pink costume at Hotel Commodore, 1956.

#44 Anita Ekberg with Jeff Richards attend the premier of “Not as a Stranger” in Los Angeles

#45 Anita Ekberg wearing her shoe in the studio, 1956.

#47 Anita Ekberg smiling during her make up session before meeting the press at the Savoy Hotel, London.

#48 Anita Ekberg acting with a cat in her arms in the film La dolce vita. Rome, 1960.

#49 Anita Ekberg dancing barefoot on the terrace of the Parador Hotel, Spanish Morocco.

#50 Anita Ekberg with Marcello Mastroianni in La dolce vita

#51 Anita Ekberg as Rena in ‘Back from Eternity’, 1956.

#52 Anita Ekberg as Helene Kuragina, on the set of the film ‘War and Peace’, 1956.

#53 Anita Ekberg with Robret Ryan in Back from Eternity, 1956.

#55 Anita Ekberg poses for a photo in Palm Springs, California, 1956.

#57 Anita Ekberg with her husband Anthony Steel on a terrace.

#58 Anita Ekberg in Rome, drink at the Fountain of the Turtles, during a break in filming.

#59 Anita Ekberg smoking and relaxing in her home, 1957.

#60 Anita Ekberg at the 10Th Cannes Film Festival, 1957.

#61 Anita Ekberg inside the Bullring in Madrid, circa 1958.

#62 Anita Ekberg walking through the streets in Rome, where she is filming the movie ‘A Sweet Life’. March 31st 1959.

#64 Anita Ekberg plays the glamorous Sylvia in ‘La Dolce Vita’, 1960.

#65 Anita Ekberg in her house on March 23, 1961 in Rome.

#66 Gina Lollobrigida saying hello to Anita Ekberg at a gala diner on July 6, 1961 in Rome, Italy.

#69 Anita Ekberg posed sitting on a chair in London in 1963.

#70 Anita Ekberg in a scene from the movie ‘Blood Alley’, 1950s

Anita Ekberg in a scene from the movie 'Blood Alley', 1950s

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#71 Anita Ekberg, sat down with crossed legs, poses in a photo studio. 1956.

Anita Ekberg, sat down with crossed legs, poses in a photo studio. 1956.

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#72 Anita Ekberg with Bette Davis at the 16Th Cannes Film Festival 1963.

Anita Ekberg with Bette Davis at the 16Th Cannes Film Festival 1963.

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Written by Alicia Linn

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