Entertainment

Gina Lollobrigida’s feud with Frank Sinatra on set with Steve McQueen

Gina Lollobrigida, once called “the most beautiful woman in the world,” co-starred with some of the biggest male leads from Hollywood’s Golden Age. From Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis in Trapeze, to Humphrey Bogart in Beat the Devil and Yul Brynner in Solomon and Sheba, the Italian sex symbol claimed she could instantly tell that closeted Rock Hudson was gay, because that she didn’t instantly fall in love with him. hers. However, the star didn’t get along with all of them, with reported tantrums on the set of her last major film King, Queen, Knave with David Niven. Then there was Frank Sinatra, who she didn’t mince words about.

In 1959, Lollobrigida co-starred with Sinatra in Never So Few, a film based on a World War II true story about an actual incident by OSS Detachment 101 in Burma. The film, which featured future Star Trek legend George Takei in an uncredited role, was originally going to cast the protagonist’s Rat Pack partner Sammy Davis Jr as Corporal Bill Ringo. However, when the latter criticized Sinatra in a radio interview, the singer cut him out of the role and rising star Steve McQueen was cast instead. This was something the star would repeat when Peter Lawford failed to arrange for his brother-in-law, President John F. Kennedy, to stay at the Sinatra home. As punishment, his role in Robin and the 7 Hoods went to Bing Crosby and she never spoke to Lawford again. Lollobrigida herself shared before she died how difficult Sinatra was on the set of Never So Few.

Speaking to Variety in 2018, Lollobrigida said: “Sinatra would start work at noon, because he liked to party at night; he would drink a lot. One day he showed up at 1 pm and as I like to joke I said, ‘Frank, next time you’re late call me so I can go back to bed too.’ He got really picky about it! Sinatra was so sensitive! I have to tell you. Zero sense of humor.”

Meanwhile, in 1953’s Beat the Devil, he found similar bad behavior from Bogart.

READ MORE: Dirty Harry: Scandalous Reasons Why Frank Sinatra and John Wayne Passed Away

Lollobrigida recalled: “That was my first film in English…we were on the Amalfi Coast…I was very excited to work with John Huston. Houston and Bogart were throwing things at each other at the dinner table. Bogart would make fun of my English and talk harshly to me, even though he actually said very sweet things. We had a crazy good time!”

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