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Kerstin Anita Marianne Ekberg (born 29 September 1931) is a Swedish actress, model, and sex symbol. She is best known for her role as Sylvia in the Federico Fellini film La Dolce Vita (The Sweet Life, 1960), which features a scene of her cavorting in Rome's Trevi Fountain alongside Marcello Mastroianni.


Ekberg was born on 29 September 1931, in MalmA?, SkA?ne, the eldest girl and the sixth of eight children. In her teens, she worked as a fashion model. In 1950, Ekberg entered the Miss MalmA? competition at her mother's urging leading to the Miss Sweden contest which she won. She consequently went to the United States to compete for the Miss Universe title despite not speaking English.
Though she did not win Miss Universe, as one of six finalists she did earn a starlet's contract with Universal Studios, as was the rule at the time. In America, Ekberg met Howard Hughes, who at the time was producing films and wanted her 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 did not become famous it would not matter.
As a starlet at Universal, Ekberg received lessons in drama, elocution, dancing, horseriding and fencing. She appeared briefly in the 1953 Universal films, Abbott and Costello Go to Mars and The Golden Blade. Ekberg skipped many of her drama lessons, restricting herself to horseriding in the Hollywood Hills. Ekberg later admitted she was spoiled by the studio system and played instead of pursuing bigger film roles.
The combination of a colourful private life and physique gave her appeal to gossip magazines such as Confidential and to the new type of men's magazine that proliferated in the 1950s. She soon became a major 1950s pin-up. In addition, Ekberg participated in publicity stunts. Famously, she admitted that an incident where her dress burst open in the lobby of London's Berkeley Hotel wa

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Anita Ekberg Latest News

Video Premiere: “Heartbreak Blues” by Holly Macve

As one who has been intrigued by Hollywood icons like Veronica Lake and Anita Ekberg, Macve had the main character of the video embody old Hollywood-style beauty. After a failed search for the perfect dummy, Macve and Kennett found the mannequin named ...
Posted: February 16, 2017, 4:48 pm

Anita Ekberg - obituary

Anita Ekberg, who has died aged 83, was the statuesque former Miss Sweden who became a global film sensation after cavorting in Rome’s Trevi Fountain for Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita (1960). Although demure and innocent by today’s standards, the ...
Posted: January 11, 2015, 12:38 pm

Fendi RTW Fall 2017

The house’s entrenchment in its native city runs deep. Yet there were no obvious displays blasting the connection, no trite pictorial prints of glorious ruins, no Anita Ekberg tresses bouncing with dolce vita glamour. There were red boots worn with ...
Posted: February 24, 2017, 9:38 am
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