Sophia Loren revealed she had two very famous teachers who helped her learn how to speak English when she made her big Hollywood debut – Frank Sinatra and Cary Grant.
The trio appeared in the 1957 action drama “The Pride and the Passion.”
“I told them right away, ‘I don’t speak any English, please help me,’ and they did!” the Italian actress told Closer Weekly Thursday.
The now-83-year-old still has fond memories of her co-stars/English tutors.
“They were beautiful,” she said. “It was my first [American] film and I didn’t speak one word of English, so it was very difficult for me. But they were really there to help, and in a very nice way.”
However, there’s another reason why Loren may have enjoyed working with both Sinatra and Grant.
“Frank Sinatra was very friendly. They became friends and treated her well on the set,” Cindy De La Hoz, Senior Editor of Running Press, told Fox News back in December. “And Cary Grant fell head over heels in love.”
Loren is the subject of a new coffee table book written by the film historian in partnership with Turner Classic Movies, titled “Sophia Loren: Movie Star Italian Style.”
The network provided Loren’s son, Italian film director Edoardo Ponti, a copy of the book, which received his blessing. Loren herself has seen it.
De La Hoz claimed Grant, recognized as one of Hollywood’s most beloved and dashing leading men, was instantly enchanted by Loren’s beauty.
Loren admitted to the affair, which she insisted was unconsummated, in 2014.
“… She was [already] romantically involved with [Italian film producer] Carlo Ponti, but their situation was very, very complicated,” said De La Hoz. “Divorce was illegal in Italy at that time and he was already married… She was very frustrated at the time. So she fell into this romance with Cary Grant.”
Still, Loren’s heart belonged to Ponti, who was more than 20 years her senior. By 1958, the actress reportedly put an end to her romance with Grant.
“Cary was really still very much in love with her,” claimed De La Hoz. “So he was really heartbroken. But she just needed to put an end to it. And it was especially painful because they were then working on a film together called ‘Houseboat’… It was really kind of heartbreaking, although Cary Grant ended up being gracious in the end and understood. But before, he was still reeling in from the loss of that relationship. He wanted to marry her. He actually asked her two-three times.”
Loren and Ponti would wed in 1966 and later welcome two sons. The marriage lasted until Ponti’s death at age 94 in 2007.