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Classic Film Star Gina Lollobrigida Remembers What Hollywood Was Really Like In Tell-All Interview

New York Sunday News / Soyons Suave

After we lost so many brilliant stars last year, it's nice to remember the icons from the past who are still here to celebrate.

At 90 years young, the talented actress Gina Lollobrigida is still with us, and sharing new, exciting stories about her experiences in Hollywood's "Golden Age."

Lollobrigida, known to her fans simply as "La Lollo," is one of the few actresses who made the jump from stardom in Italy to success here in America. She had leading parts in hit films like Come September, starring Rock Hudson, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame

That was thanks to Howard Hughes, the billionaire tycoon and film director who, according to the actress herself, was a little obsessed with Lollobrigida.

"It was he who brought me to America," she said in a new interview about her career, "but I don’t care about money. I care about my work and the ability to express myself. He wanted to marry me and he didn’t stop courting me for 12 years. "

"I think he was in love with me," she remembers, "because I was different from the other stars.”

Lollobrigida and Rock Hudson in 'Come September.'Universal Pictures

And those differences made her a hit with American audiences, who often ranked her among Hollywood's most beautiful actresses.

Even her thick Italian accent turned out to be an asset in her acting career, as her costar Humphrey Bogart once told the actress.

“Don’t study so much English!" he warned. "If you lose your accent, it will be a pity.”

Of course, she still has it decades later, as the star remembers intimate details about life - and her love life - among Hollywood's biggest names.

And that includes personal details about Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy Onassis.

As she unveiled her new star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Lollobrigida sat down with Fox News for a look back on her extensive career.

The star reflected on her friendship with another glamorous movie star: Marilyn Monroe.

“I met Marilyn and we became good friends in Hollywood," Lollobrigida said. "She was so modest and sweet as a person. But she was not so strong, like I was."

"But poor Marilyn — she tried to have a decent life. It’s not easy when you’re so popular," she explained. "Being popular can bring satisfaction, but at the same time, too much popularity can bring jealousy, especially from men.”

And Lollobrigida knows firsthand how complicated relationships can be in Hollywood.

She was romantically linked to stars like Jerry Lewis, Frank Sinatra, Burt Lancaster, and Orson Welles. Even Bogart famously said she "made Marilyn Monroe look like Shirley Temple."

Lollobrigida in 2016.AP

One of the more complicated relationships Lollobrigida touched on was former First Lady Jackie Kennedy's second marriage, to Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis.

“When Onassis went away [from opera singer Maria Callas,] not because he was really in love with Jacqueline Kennedy, but because he made a bet with another rich Greek friend. That was the reason, believe it or not. Terrible.”

Looking back on her time in the spotlight, Lollobrigida says continuing to work and express herself through art is what kept her feeling young.

“And even now where there aren’t so many good situations in the world, I just feel that as long as I work, I’m alive.”

Do you remember her classic films?