Screen goddess Sophia Loren, one of the last true stars of the movies, has returned to the screen aged 86 in the Netflix The Life Ahead directed by her son Edoardo Ponti. Dispensing with any pretensions at glamour or likeability, she appears angry, defeated and cynical as Madame Rosa, a former sex worker and Holocaust survivor, who looks after the children of “working women”.
Sophia’s life started in the unlikely beginnings of a Rome home for unmarried mothers. By the time she was eight, she, her mother and sister were starving, hiding from air raids in a rat-infested train tunnel, full of “sickness, laughter, drunkenness, death and childbirth”. Her mother was a beauty and Sophia started on the beauty pageant circuit at 15, moving into bit film parts until eventually she was discovered by Carlo Ponti, twenty years her senior, whom she eventually married, produced two children and stayed with throughout his life.
She says her most important teacher was Vittorio De Sica who directed her breakthrough film, The Gold of Naples in 1954 which started her 13-film collaboration with Marcello Mastroianni and, eventually, a career in Hollywood where she landed speaking no English.
She was born 20 September 1934 2.10pm Rome, Italy and has a far-travelled 9th house Virgo Sun with a lucky, successful Jupiter conjunct her Midheaven in a determined and confident square to a 7th house Pluto. Her screen presence was never less than intense thanks to her Pluto and co-stars like Richard Burton remarked on her intelligence. Her Jupiter opposes a domestically-unsettled 4th house Uranus squaring onto her Pluto – she would be controlling and secretive, but also able to push back boundaries.
She has an Aquarius Moon conjunct Saturn opposition an 8th house Mars in Leo – a hint of her hard beginnings and the lifelong obsession with poverty it left behind. In addition to Mars she also has Venus and Neptune in the 8th, giving her the film-star knack of projecting an aura.
Carlo Ponti, 11 December 1912 1pm Magenta, Italy, also had successful Jupiter on his Midheaven, in his case in Sagittarius with, also like her, a packed 9th house in his chart – good at communication and travel. His Moon Venus in Capricorn would connect with her Virgo Sun. His money-minded Saturn in Taurus was square her Moon which is less than ideal, though her Moon Saturn would be acclimatised to the cool, materialistic and workaholic Saturnine energies. Her Sun fell on his Descendant which is ideal for a relationship with her Jupiter in his 7th as well.
He was more of a behind-the-scenes support for her; though his Pluto in Gemini opposition Jupiter was trine/sextile her Midheaven so he’d be instrumental in making her career a success.
Both children, Carlo a conductor, and Edoardo have prominent Jupiter in their charts making for gilded lives.