Rome: Anita Ekberg, the Swedish blond who famously cavorted in Rome`s Trevi Fountain in the 1960 Federico Fellini classic ‘La Dolce Vita’, is destitute and asking for help.
Ekberg, 80, has been living in a care home near Rome for the past three months after she broke her thighbone in a fall. She hasn`t returned to her apartment which was robbed of furniture and jewellery. A fire has rendered it unfit for habitation, according to accountant Massimo Morais who was appointed to help manage her affairs.
Morais has written to the Fellini Foundation of Rimini appealing for financial help and posted on the Foundation`s Facebook page.
"We ask the Foundation to help share with other benefactors that possibility, however modest, to help a good actress," Morais said in the letter. "A small present is always a big gift."
Ekberg`s iconic role saw her act opposite Italian Marcello Mastroianni. Playing dreamy American movie star with only the first name Sylvia, donning an elegant evening dress she calls out "Marcello, come here. Hurry up", beckoning Mastroianni`s philandering character Marcello Rubini to join her in the 17th century Baroque fountain.
Starring in more than 20 movies, including "Abbott and Costello Go to Mars", 1953 and "War and Peace" 1956, she was married twice and romantically linked to Mastroianni, Frank Sinatra and Gary Cooper.
Prior to film stardom, curvy Ekberg was a popular pinup girl and won the Miss Sweden contest in 1950.
"She would dearly love to go home but the fact is she can`t as she does not have the money to restore the house where she lives which was damaged in the fire," Morais said.
"She also has no family to help look after her and lives on her own. That`s why she is asking the Foundation for help."
The Rimini, Italy-based Fellini Foundation, founded in 1995, said it plans to hold an event for Ekberg but has not yet worked out the details.
"I feel a bit alone," Ekberg told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera in a September interview to commemorate her 80th birthday. "But I have no regrets. I`ve loved, cried, been crazy with happiness."
Speaking of the movie that launched her into the pantheon of screen icons, she said, "It was 1960. A lifetime ago."