Anita Ekberg to spend 80th in Italian hospital

Anita Ekberg to spend 80th in Italian hospital
Swedish actress Anita Ekberg, made world famous through the fountain kiss in the cult film "La Dolce Vita", is going to spend her 80th birthday on Thursday convalescing in an Italian hospital.

“You want to know if I feel lonely? Yes, a bit. But I have no regrets. I have won and I have lost. I have no husband or children,” Ekberg said in an interview with Italian daily Corriere della Sera published on Tuesday.

Ekberg, who is a former Miss Sweden and has starred alongside many of Hollywood’s most prominent stars, was given her greatest role by Italian director Frederico Fellini, in 1960.

The scene where Ekberg is seen frolicking in the Fontana di Trevi alongside Italian heartthrob Marcello Mastroianni is to date one of the most celebrated images of cinematic history.

The actress was once told by American film producer Howard Hughes that she ought to change her name, as it was almost impossible to pronounce.

Ekberg refused however, saying that if she made it in Hollywood people would learn to pronounce it, and if she didn’t make it, it wouldn’t matter anyway.

Asked about her star role in La Dolce Vita, Ekberg said it was “not a great film” but had earned its enduring fame thanks to her iconic kiss in the Trevi Fountain.

The actress was admitted to hospital in 2009 after being taken ill at her villa in Genzano, a small town 30 kilometres southeast of Rome.

“A year ago, I broke my left femur. Then in mid-August my right one cracked. The operation went well. They’re trying to put me back on my feet now. And when I think that Fellini used to love the way I walked…” she said.

For her birthday, which she will be spending in the hospital, the former actress said the staff is organising “a nice dinner” for her.

Despite this, she is not relishing her time convalescing there with little to keep her occupied.

“The days are infinitely long” in hospital, complained the actress, who is recovering from a broken femur.

“I don’t like television. It’s monotonous. Always talking about your pig of a prime minister (Silvio Berlusconi),” she said.

Ekberg, who has been married twice, has lived in Italy for decades and always maintained she will only return to her native Sweden when she is buried there.

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