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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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The world's most romantic hotels

You may not be allowed to wade barefoot into the Trevi Fountain like Anita Ekberg in La Dolce Vita, but there are any number of other scenic backdrops for dalliance and declarations. And the mild weather also helps to stoke those amorous flames.
Posted: January 13, 2017, 1:00 am

Roma Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review

There is a selection of marvelous moments (the fashion show, for example), but nothing nearly as mesmerizing as Anita Ekberg in the Trevi Fountain in LA DOLCE VITA or the peacock in AMARCORD. The versed audience knows that Fellini is in love with Rome.
Posted: January 20, 2017, 8:30 am

Ten days in Italy

Our first stop is the Trevi Fountain, immortalised by Anita Ekberg's dip in the classic film La Dolce Vita. Thankfully, because it's almost winter, the crowds have thinned and we get the fountain mostly to ourselves. Past the gloriously Baroque Spanish ...
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:44 pm
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