The path to success is often circuitous, filled with detours, wrong turnings, dead ends and log-jammed highways. Perseverance and a great desire to succeed are requisite. Where one starts off is sometimes far removed from where one arrives.
Sophia Loren was a mere fifteen-year-old when she stood in line with the other young girls hoping to win the glittering prize of Miss Italy in Rome 1950. The Miss Italy beauty contest was devised as a “pick-me-up” for the defeated and beleaguered Italian nation after the Second World War in 1946.
Many of those early Miss Italia winners and contestants became well known in Italy and abroad. In 1947 alone there were four contestants who later went on to Italian entertainment fame: Lucia Bose (the winner that year), Gianna Maria Canale (second place), Gina Lollobrigida (third), and Eleonora Rossi Drago (fourth).
In 1950 the competition was broadcast live on radio. This was the year Miss Loren made her appearance under the name Sofia Scicolone. However, the teenage beauty was considered “too provocative” to win the contest and the judging panel awarded Miss Loren the specially devised title of “Miss Eleganza 1950.”
Maria Bugliari won the title of Miss Italy but her success was small potatoes when compared to the long and brilliant career Sophia Loren achieved as an actress from then on.
Via Flashbak and Donna Moderna.