Anita Ekberg, the striking blonde Swedish actress whose sashay through Rome’s Trevi fountain in “La Dolce Vita” made her an icon of cinema, died Sunday at 83 at a clinic near the Italian capital, local media reported.
After an illness and recent financial struggles, Ekberg died in the San Raffaele di Rocca di Papa clinic, Ansa newswire and other Italian media reported. No cause of death was given.
Ekberg was born in Malmo, Sweden in 1931. Her career began after she was crowned Miss Sweden in the early 1950s and she shot to global fame after playing the capricious actress Sylvia opposite Marcello Mastroianni in Federico Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita” (The Sweet Life), about decadent high society in Rome, in 1960.
The scene of her wading into the late baroque Trevi fountain in a strapless velvet black dress, calling to Mastroianni in English, “Marcello! Come here. Hurry up,” is one of the most famous in the history of cinema.
Ekberg was courted by eccentric tycoon and filmmaker Howard Hughes and subsequently married two actors from whom she later divorced.