Junoesque Swedish leading lady Anita Ekberg got her start in the U.S., where she was elected "Miss Sweden" in the Miss Universe pageant. Along with other Miss Universe contestants, Ekberg played an Amazonian extraterrestrial in 1953's Abbott and Costello Go to Mars. She also displayed her obvious attributes in such Technicolor shows as Artists and Models (1956) and Hollywood or Bust (1957), and proved an apt foil for the leering one-liners of Bob "Cherchez la Femme" Hope in Paris Holiday (1957) and Call Me Bwana (1963). Though never taken completely seriously as an actress, Ekberg was given better opportunities to emote in the Italian films of Federico Fellini, notably as the principal "wish dream" in La Dolce Vita (1961). Anita Ekberg would repeat her La Dolce Vita role in Fellini's 1986 filmic autobiography Intervista.
photo credit: Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
by Hal Erickson biography