Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: My Life
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In her first memoir, the Academy Award–winning actress Sophia Loren tells her incredible life story from the struggles of her childhood in war-torn Naples to her life as a screen legend, icon of elegance, and devoted mother.
In her acting career spanning more than six decades, Sophia Loren became known for her striking beauty and dramatic roles with famed costars Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Gregory Peck, Jack Lemmon, and Paul Newman. The luminous Italian movie star was the first artist to win an Oscar for a foreign language performance, after which she continued a vibrant and varied career that took her from Hollywood to Paris to Italy—and back to Hollywood. In Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, Loren shares vivid memories of work, love, and family with winning candor.
Born in 1934 and growing up in World War II Italy, Loren’s life of glamour and success was preceded by years of poverty and hardship, when she lived in her grandparents’ house with her single mother and sister, and endured near starvation. She shares how she blossomed from a toothpick-thin girl into a beautiful woman seemingly overnight, getting her start by winning a beauty pageant; and how her first Hollywood film, The Pride and the Passion, ignited a high-profile romance with Cary Grant, who would vie with her mentor, friend, frequent producer, and lover Carlo Ponti to become her husband. Loren also reveals her long-held desire to become a mother, the disappointments she suffered, the ultimate joy of having two sons, and her happiness as a mother and grandmother.
From trying times to triumphant ones, this scintillating autobiography paints a multi-dimensional portrait of the woman behind the celebrity, beginning each chapter with a letter, photograph, or object that prompts her memories. In Loren’s own words, this is a collection of “unpublished memories, curious anecdotes, tiny secrets told, all of which spring from a box found by chance, a precious treasure trove filled with emotions, experiences, adventures.” Her wise and candid voice speaks from the pages with riveting detail and sharp humor. Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow is as elegant, entrancing, and memorable as Sophia Loren herself.
admired him unrestrainedly, and he always helped me to do my best. And the two of us were soon to be joined by Marcello Mastroianni, thus completing our perfect triangle. The Catholic Cinema Center, also known as the CCC, didn’t like the “Pizze a credito” segment. Too much adultery, too happy, too sensuous. But everyone else did, except for my mother, who peppered everything with her usual dose of pessimism. She’d come with me to see the premiere of the movie—she was always right there beside me
three greatest actresses, Anna Magnani, Gina Lollobrigida, and Silvana Mangano, who’d received the same prize in previous years. It was an important acknowledgment, confirming my growing success. The world was changing, the war was a fading memory, and we were starting to see the first signs of the economic boom. Italian cinema was shedding its more overtly political nature and looking to make box-office hits. Italian comedic movies boasted such experienced actors, screenwriters, and directors,
characters: either I like them, or I don’t, either I feel them, or I don’t. Filumena belonged to me as much as my Pozzuoli accent. Maybe I liked her because she had always abided by her own personal motto: “Don’t be someone who makes people cry (chiagnere), make them laugh instead.” After I’d agreed to play the part, Carlo hadn’t wasted an instant. He’d sounded out Mastroianni’s willingness to be in the movie, and assigned the screenplay to Renato Castellani, Tonino Guerra, Leonardo Benvenuti,
friendship, I feel excited about what I will discover next. A name shows up among the papers, more real, more alive than ever, just as I can hear his words echoing inside me, more real, more alive. “Sophia, the time has come for you to learn to say ‘No.’ ” I read this short note on a piece of paper and I feel bigger, stronger. That’s what happens when you’re lucky enough to be touched by a genius like Charlie Chaplin: the light that resonates from that person’s heartstrings enlightens and
that develops around the embryo of a project that grows bigger and bigger. A discussion filled with digressions, vital and creative ones, that always accompanies the birth of a movie, and kindles the imagination, feelings. Everything inside me had been lit, something that hadn’t happened to me in a long time. I was tempted to go and see the way the many actresses who had done the piece had interpreted it, thinking that it might have given me some ideas. “No, Mamma, you don’t want to be