Never get stuck in the past

Last weekend, we watched a warm, funny movie starring Gina Lollobrigida and Rock Hudson.
“Come September” is a classic comedy that never gets old. Hudson plays a wealthy tycoon who visits his villa on the Italian Riviera once each year, in September.
But this year, he arrives early and discovers his caretaker has been operating the villa as a hotel.
Among the paying guests are several teenage girls. When teenage boys arrive, Hudson and Lollobrigida get stuck being chaperones. It’s a light upbeat movie that we’ve had in our collection for years.
We decided to watch it now because of a recent newspaper article about the amazing Lollobrigida.
Most of us know Lollobrigida as the fiery Italian screen star. At one time, she was considered the most beautiful woman in the world. Now 75, she’s as gorgeous and vibrant as ever.
Interestingly, it turns out her stellar film career in the ’50s and ’60s was only a tiny segment of a very productive life.
Lollobrigida remembers a difficult childhood during World War II. But after the war, she went to the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome, where she had won a scholarship to study sculpture and painting.
She says, “Since my childhood, I always had a great passion for drawing and for the figurative arts in general.” In fact, at the early age of 10, she had a drawing published in Mickey Mouse magazine.
Her art career was interrupted, however, when an Italian talent scout saw her and persuaded her to become an actress.
She began with Italian movies and later became an international star. During her acting career, Lollobrigida was featured on the covers of Time and Life magazines, and received countless international awards for her performances.
The talented star then retired from acting in her early 40s and reinvented herself.
Instead of being photographed, she became the photographer. She wrote, directed, and produced two documentaries—one on Indira Gandhi and the other on Fidel Castro.
She also became a still photographer, published five books of photographs, and won many prizes. The last book on animals and children took 12 years of work in the darkroom.
In the past 10 years, Lollobrigida returned to her earliest passion—sculpture. She has produced more than 60 works, some of which are in marble.
Much of her work is joyful, but she says life is not all joy and good feelings.
One poignant sculpture is titled, “Love the Children.” This sad group of children was inspired by a trip to Guatemala, Honduras, and San Salvador for UNICEF.
Displaying constant concern for children, Lollobrigida visited Kosovo. Remembering her own war-torn childhood, she told The London Telegraph, “It’s a terrible and frightening situation there.”
As a humanitarian, she turned to politics in 1999 and ran for a seat in the European Union Parliament hoping to help needy children.
Thus, this famous artist, movie star, photographer, sculptor, and humanitarian has reinvented herself over and over again. Leaving behind the past without regret. Pushing on to more important things.
How about you? What can you learn from this remarkable Italian beauty?
Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at or visit

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