Carlo Ponti born 11th December 1912

On this day in history: Carlo Ponti born

Culture News

Film producer Carlo Ponti married Sophia Loren not once but twice. He produced many iconic Italian films. He was born on 11th December 1912.

On 11th December 1912, Carlo Ponti – film producer and husband of Sophia Loren – was born in Magenta, near Milan.

Ponti studied law at Milan University, later joining his father’s law firm in Milan. He became involved in the film business through negotiating contracts.

First success

Ponti’s production of Mario Soldati’s Piccolo Mondo Antico about the Italian struggle against the Austrian occupation was his first success in 1940. However, he was briefly jailed for allegedly undermining relations with Nazi Germany.

He went on to produce many of the popular and financially successful films of the 1960s and 1970s, such as Vittorio de Sica’s Marriage Italian Style, David Lean’s Doctor Zhivago and Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blowup.

Love for Loren

Alongside his film work, Ponti also became famous for his love affair and two marriages to the film star Sophia Loren.

The two met when he was a judge for a beauty competition in which she was competing. Captivated by her looks, he turned her into a film star and changed her name.

Ponti, however, was already married. As divorce was illegal in Italy at the time, he obtained a Mexican divorce and married Sophia. This marriage was declared illegal and had to be annulled.

Loren and Ponti moved to France and became French citizens so that Ponti could again divorce his first wife. He married Sophia for the second time in France in 1966. They had two sons and four grandchildren and remained together until Ponti’s death in Geneva in 2007.

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