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November 25, 2016 | Indianapolis, IN
MILAN (AP) - Anita Ekberg, the Swedish-born actress and sex-symbol of the 1950s and '60s who was immortalized bathing in the Trevi fountain in "La Dolce Vita," has died. She was 83.
Ekberg's lawyer Patrizia Ubaldi confirmed she died in Rome Sunday morning following a series of illnesses. She had been hospitalized most recently after Christmas.
Ubaldi said that in her last days Ekberg was saddened by the illness and her advancing age.
"She had hoped to get better, something that didn't happen," she said.
Ekberg had long lived in Italy, the country that gave her worldwide fame thanks to the iconic dip opposite Marcello Mastroianni. The scene where the blond bombshell, clad in a black dress, her arms wide open, calls out "Marcello" remains one of the most famous images in film history.
Her curvaceous body and glamorous social life made her a favorite of tabloid press in the 1950s and 1960s. She married twice but never had children - a fact she came to regret later in her life. Some gossip magazines called her "The Iceberg" in a nod to her Scandinavian background.
But even as she became one of Sweden's most famous exports, Ekberg maintained a problematic relation with her native country. She never starred in a Swedish film and was often at odds with Swedish journalists, who criticized her for leaving the country and ridiculed her for adopting an American accent.
Born on Sept. 29, 1931, in the southern city of Malmo, Ekberg grew up with seven siblings.
In 1951 she won the Miss Sweden competition, after being recommended to enter by organizers who saw her on the street, and went to the United States to compete for the Miss Universe title.
She didn't win but became a model in Hollywood and later started taking on small acting roles.
Her role in Federico Fellini's "La Dolce Vita" - where she played a movie star - shot her to stardom. The movie was a colossal success and came to define the wild and carefree days of the early 1960s.
Hosting a Swedish radio program in 2005, Ekberg recalled shooting the scene in the Trevi Fountain in Rome. She said it was shot in February, the water in the fountain was cold and Mastroianni was falling over in the fountain drunk on vodka.
"And there I was. I was freezing," she said. "They had to lift me out of the water because I couldn't feel my legs anymore."
"I have seen that scene a few times. Maybe too many times. I can't stand watching it anymore, but it was beautiful at the time," she said.
Ekberg remained in Italy for years, appearing in scores of movies, many forgettable. She returned in two Fellini movies: "Clowns" and "Intervista."
Ekberg married Briton Anthony Steel in 1956, but divorced him four years later. In 1963 she married again to actor Rik van Nutter, but that marriage also failed.
In an interview with Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet in 2006, Ekberg said her only regret in life was never having children.
"I would have liked to have a child, preferably a son," she was quoted as saying. "It didn't turn out that way. That's life, you just have to accept it."
In the interview, published in connection with Ekberg's 75th birthday, she also said she wasn't afraid of death.
"I'm just angry because I won't get the chance to tell others about death, where the soul goes and if there is a life afterward," she was quoted as saying.
"I don't know if paradise or hell exist, but I'm sure hell is more groovy."
Ubaldi said a ceremony would be held in the coming days at a Lutheran church in Rome, and that Ekberg had specified that her remains be cremated.
COLLEEN BARRY, Associated Press
Copyright © 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
November 25, 2016 | Indianapolis, IN
What a beautiful lady!
god bless you.
September 29, 2016 | MA
She was a unique light, and she'll be shining forever.
January 19, 2016 | Columbus, OH
January 11, 2016
Offering my deepest sympathy to the family of Anita Ekberg. May the peace of a God comfort you and may God grant you strength to endure through this most difficult time.
February 07, 2015
Rest in peace.
January 30, 2015 | Plano, TX
DEAREST MISS EKBERG :
WE WILL MISS YOU. I NEVER SAW ANY OF YOUR MOVIES BUT I KNOW THEY WERE GOOD.
January 24, 2015 | OTTAWA, ON
She was unique and a beauty. I was one of many who would have wished to have her as a friend. Carl Miller, Columbus, Ohio
January 20, 2015
Sadly we say goodbye to Anita Ekberg and a life well lived. No more sickness for you, Anita. Sleep peacefully until you receive the promise of endless life in perfect health surrounded by those who love God and neighbor. (John 6:40) Family members, our heartfelt condolences for your loss, and may the God of all comfort provide you with the support you need to get through this difficult time!
The Carter Family
January 16, 2015 | FL