La Dolce Anita Ekberg: The Swedish Siren's Life In Pictures

By | July 14, 2020

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Swedish actress Anita Ekberg sitting by a mirror in a red satin dress and a sequinned devil-horn cap, circa 1956. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Known for cutting a voluptuous figure onscreen, Anita Ekberg is most famous for her role as Sylvia in Federico Fellini’s 1960 film La Dolce Vita, but she was so much more than just an icy Swedish sex pot. Like so many young actresses in the mid 20th century, Ekberg was discovered on the pageant circuit. At the time she could barely speak English and hadn’t even thought of being an actress. This kind of nonchalance towards the cinema is what endeared her to audiences everywhere. Her performances were sensual and real, it felt like when she was onscreen she was onscreen for you. 

Ekberg was a Swedish beauty queen

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source: pinterest

This unquestionable Swedish beauty was born in Malmö, Sweden, on September 29, 1931 into a family with eight children and beauty pageant DNA. Ekberg was persuaded to enter the Miss Malmö pageant in 1950. She easily won the contest and went on to take the competition by storm in the Miss Sweden pageant before competing for the role of Miss Universe in 1951.

At the time, Ekberg didn’t speak very much English but she was still a hit with the judges. She didn’t win the title but she did earn a contract with Universal Studios along with five other contestants. In the span of a year she went from a young model working in Sweden to a real deal Hollywood actress.