When Sophia Loren starred in Italian filmmaker Carlo Ponti‘s 1951 film Anna, they began a love affair that lasted until Ponti’s death in 2007 at age 94. Despite deep love and passion between the pair, who first met when Ponti, then 37, judged a teen beauty pageant featuring a 15-year-old Loren, Italian law forbid divorce.
Though his first marriage to Giuliana Fiastri had unravelled many years before his affair with Loren began, and although he had sought a divorce in Mexico in 1955, Loren and Ponti’s September 17, 1957 marriage-by-proxy was considered illegal, and they were forced to obtain an annulment in 1962 to avoid bigamy charges. Undeterred, the couple relinquished their Italian citizenship and moved to France, where the law allowed Ponti to divorce his first wife and marry the love of his life.
On Saturday, April 9, 1966, Ponti and Loren were married civilly by Charles Odic, then Mayor of Sèvres, in the French city’s town hall. Afterwards, they toasted their nuptials in front of the press.
Of her struggle to wed, Loren once said, “I was being threatened with excommunication, with the everlasting fire, and for what reason? I had fallen in love with a man whose own marriage had ended long before… I wanted to be his wife and have his children.”
The couple went on to welcome two sons, Carlo, Jr. in 1968 and Eduardo in 1973, and Loren, 82, has four grandchildren. The film star has said she will never remarry, remarking, “It would be impossible to love anyone else.”
Source: Hello Magazine