Anita Ekberg: a cult sex symbol

Anita Ekberg

Kerstin Anita Marianne Ekberg was born on 29th of  September 1931 in Malmö, Skåne, Sweden. She  is a Swedish model, actress and cult sex symbol.

She came from a big family an eldest amongst eight children. During her younger years she work as a fashion model before she finally enter a beauty Malmö competition leading to Ms Sweden which she was force to joined due to her mother that urge her to become a part of it. Luckily she won the Ms. Sweden title and got a chance to represent their country to Ms. Universe that was held in United States although she ain’t a English speaker she became one of the 6th finalist.

Her exposure pave her a way to become a starlet, under the contract of Universal Studios. And finally met the reputable name in film industry Howard Hughes. He wanted to promote her as sellable artist, he then wanted to change her nose, teeth and name.

Hughes said “Ekberg” was too difficult to pronounce.  She refused to change her name, saying that if she became famous, people would learn to pronounce it, and if she didn’t become famous, it would not matter.

Ekberg was pampered by the Universal Studios, she received several lessons in different field to enhance her performance, such as drama, elocution, dancing, horse-back riding and fencing. She later admit that she was being spoiled by the studio system and she became playful instead of pursuing bigger roles.

Because of her endowed sexy physique she became a model of gossip magazine Confidential and men’s magazine that time. Thus, one of the major 1950’s pin-up.

To name some of her following films were she starred are Hollywood or Bust (1956), Artists and Models (1955) co-starring with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, (1953) Abbott and Costello Go to Mars was she played as an Amazonian extraterrestrial.

She earned the Golden Globe award in the Bloody Alley (1955) were she played as a Chinese woman. She got a lead role in Back from Eternity and War and Peace co-starring Audrey Hepburn.

Her greatest role played was the unattainable “dream woman” in La Dolce Vita (1960), opposite Marcello Mastroianni; which become a huge success, then Boccaccio ’70 in 1960, a movie that also featured Sophia Loren.

Anita Ekberg’s uninhibited cavorting in Rome’s Trevi Fountain remains one of the most celebrated images in film history.

Her most remarkable appearances and benchmark

Ekberg once said: “It was I who made Fellini famous, not the other way around.”
Bob Dylan mentions her in the song “I Shall Be Free” from the album The Freewheelin‘ Bob Dylan.
At the 49-minute point in From Russia With Love, the killer Krilencu attempts to escape through a hatch opening from Ekberg’s mouth in a huge movie poster for Call Me Bwana. After his friend shoots the man, James Bond notes that “she should have kept her mouth shut.”
In the first episode of Monty Python’s Fliegender Zirkus, in one sketch a cardboard cutout of Ekberg is presented with a man (Terry Jones) sitting behind it who sings a song about Albrecht Dürer.