(Vanessa Thorpe’s article appeared in The Observer, 10/18.)
When the young Sophia Loren dances a sultry flamenco in the role of Juana in the 1957 film The Pride and the Passion, the onlooking crowd of peasants appear spellbound, not least among them Cary Grant, who plays the English hero. Now the public are to learn what the film star was really thinking as he watched Loren stamp her feet and swirl her skirt.
The Italian screen goddess, who turned 80 last month, was drawn into a torrid love affair with Grant during the making of the film in Spain and her memoirs, to be published in a few weeks, will reveal the intimate details of the matinee idol’s determined pursuit of her on set, despite the fact he was 30 years older than her and married to his third wife.
In her first volume of autobiography, prompted by the discovery of a cache of letters and souvenirs in her Swiss home, Loren recalls that Grant urged they pray together for guidance about whether to leave their partners.