Anita Ekberg, iconic star of La Dolce Vita and 60s sex symbol, dies aged 83
Anita Ekberg, the striking blonde Swedish actress whose sashay through Rome's Trevi fountain in "La Dolce Vita" made her an icon of cinema, died Sunday at 83 at a clinic near the Italian capital, local media reported.
The Swedish-Italian film icon died in Rocca di Papa, a small town southeast of Rome, due to complications from a longtime illness, the New York Times reported.
Ekberg's busty bombshell Sylvia an actress whose arrival in Rome, and subsequent tour of the Eternal City, captivates a jaded, perpetually prowling glamour photographer (Marcello Mastroianni) is another of Fellini's signposts for decaying civilization and the empty deification of celebrity.
Ekberg went on to star in many more films. She was married twice: to actor Anthony Steel from 1956 to 1959, and Rik Van Nutter from 1963 to 1975.
Ekberg, who was born in Malmo, Sweden, saw her career take shape after she was crowned Miss Sweden in the early 1950s.
Her curvaceous body and glamorous social life made Ekberg a favorite of the tabloid press in the 1950s and 1960s.
(Associated Press). But even as she became one of Sweden's most famous exports, Ekberg maintained a problematic relation with her native country.
(The article features several photographs of Ekberg attempting a fish face, which was then de rigueur among American fashion models.) Two years later, she had attracted enough attention to land her first credited film role, in Abbott and Costello Go to Mars.
In 1951 she won the Miss Sweden competition, after being recommended to enter by organizers who saw her on the street, and went to the United States to compete for the Miss Universe title.
Her performance in War and Peace, alongside Henry Fonda and Audrey Hepburn, would catch the attention of one Fellini and set the ball rolling for that fateful bath in a Roman fountain.