Kerstin Anita Marianne Ekberg
Kerstin Ekberg is a Swedish-American actress, model and sex symbol. She is best known for her role as Sylvia in the 1960 Federico Fellini film “La Dolce Vita” which features the legendary scene of her cavorting in Trevi Fountain alongside Marcello Mastroianni.
As a starlet at Universal Studios, Ekberg attended lessons in drama, elocution, dancing, horse-riding and fencing.
Kerstin began her career when she was in her teens. After winning the Miss Sweden contest, she got the chance to go to the United States to compete for the Miss Universe title though she did not speak English. Despite the fact that she did not win Miss Universe, as one of six finalists she got a starlet's contract with Universal Studios, as was the rule at the time. In the USA, Ekberg met Howard Hughes, a film producer.
In 1953 she appeared briefly in a couple of Universal films. Ekberg skipped many of her drama lessons, restricting herself to horse-riding in the Hollywood Hills. Ekberg later admitted that she was spoiled by the studio system and that she didn’t look for bigger film roles.
Due to her physique and colourful private life, Kerstin gained popularity among gossip magazines and the new type of men's magazine that proliferated in the 1950s. She soon became a major 1950s pin-up. Apart from that, Ekberg participated in publicity stunts. Paramount cast her in “War and Peace” before she got her first leading role in “Back from Eternity”. In 1958 she appeared in two high-profile films, “Paris Holiday” and “Screaming Mimi”. After 1959 her career began to decline.
In 1960 Federico Fellini gave Ekberg her greatest role in “La Dolce Vita”, where she played the unattainable “dream woman” opposite Marcello Mastroianni. After this, she got a fairly good role in “The Dam of the Yellow River”.
She then appeared in “Boccaccio '70” (1962) and was being considered to play the first Bond girl, but the role went to Ursula Andress. Fellini would call her back for two other films: “I clowns” (1972) and “Intervista” (1987), where she played herself in a reunion scene with Mastroianni.
War and Peace (1956),
Back from Eternity (1956),
Paris Holiday (1958),
The Man Inside (1958),
Screaming Mimi (1958),
Sheba and the Gladiator (1959),
La Dolce Vita (1960),
The Dam of the Yellow River (1960),
Boccaccio '70 (1962),
Call Me Bwana (1963),
4 for Texas (1963),
I clowns (1972),
An Italian film director and scriptwriter who filmed Kerstin Ekberg in several films.