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Sophia Loren: Actress 56

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Where are the bombshells of yesteryear? This one is still dynamite. Her latest film, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, directed by Lina Wertmuller, will likely be released in the U.S. this year. Not that she needs to work. Loren and husband Carlo Ponti, who divide their time between Geneva, Rome and a ranch outside Los Angeles, reign over an empire of real estate and art. That’s a long way from the slums of Naples she left at 15 to labor as a movie extra in Rome. “I never really had a childhood where you experience flirts with boys and take nice walks on the beach,” she says. “Only now I’m being young through the eyes of my children. I experience whatever they experience. I just look at them”-Carlo, 22, studying classical piano at Pepperdine University, and Edoardo, 18, a sophomore at USC—”and realize how beautiful it is to flirt and have a first love and really live your age.” But Loren is hardly the wistful type. “I go to bed very early and wake up at 5 in the morning and have coffee and exercise and do things in the house when it’s quiet. It’s heaven,” she says. “When you feel good in your skin, it’s because you lived the life you always wanted to live.” She pauses. “I’m very well in my skin.”