Kerstin Anita Marianne Ekberg was born on September 29, 1931 in Malmo, Sweden. Growing up with seven brothers and sisters was not an adventure, but Anita's adventure began when she was elected Miss Sweden in 1950. She did not win the Miss Universe contest but she got a modeling contract in the United States. She quickly got a film contract with Howard Hughes's RKO that did not lead anywhere (but Anita herself has said that Hughes wanted to marry her). Instead, she started making movies with Universal, small roles that more often than not only required her to look beautiful. After five years in Hollywood, she found herself in Rome, where Federico Fellini's La dolce vita (1960) meant her breakthrough. She stayed in Italy and made around 20 movies during the next ten years, some roles memorable, some to be forgotten. Her two marriages gave her a great deal of attention from the press. During the 1970s, the roles became less frequent, but she made a marvellous comeback with Fellini's Intervista (1987).
Anita Ekberg retired from acting in 2002 after 50 years in the motion picture industry. In December 2011, she was destitute following three months in a hospital with a broken thigh in Rimini, during which her home was robbed of jewelry and furniture, and her villa was badly damaged in a fire. Ekberg applied for help from the Fellini Foundation, which also found itself in difficult financial straits. She died at age 83 from complications of an enduring illness on January 11, 2015 at the clinic San Raffaele in Rocca di Papa, Italy. Anita Ekberg had a new film project with exclusively female Italian producer "Le Bestevem", in which her character, as movie star, should've been recovered again as an icon of the big screen, a project that was interrupted by her death.
Her funeral was held on January 14, 2015, at the Lutheran-Evangelical Christuskirche in Rome, after which her body was cremated and her remains were buried at the cemetery of Skanor Church in Sweden.
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