No one set the standard for platinum blonde quite like Anita Ekberg.
Having played bit parts in America in the 1950s, Ekberg met Fellini on the set of War and Peace in Italy. The rest is history. Passing off extremely well as a Marilyn Monroe-pastiche in Fellini's La Dolce Vita (1960), Ekberg was rocketed to fame as the Trevi fountain sex kitten named Sylvia.
Ekberg often played the mesmerizing female object because of La dolce vita. On screen (and also in real life) no other woman could counter the gravitational pull she had on men. It was a given that if she appeared in a film, she would have top (read, upper body) billing. Famous for her ample curves, sultry glances, and that squeaky-smokey voice, her breasts were often given their own shot in a film.
Although her body speaks for itself, her 50-year acting career is quite impressive. She averaged a project or two every couple of years and never stopped. Although appearing mostly in Italian films, she was known to make the jump to English-speaking films as well. Here's a bit scene of hers from Back From Eternity (1956), in one of her few English speaking films.
As you can see, she never really left the fountain.
I will leave you with one of my favorite Ekberg characters, Sister Gertrude from Killer Nun (1978). Not only is this a bizarre lesbian horror film, but it is also one of her last great performances in my opinion. A must see if you like giallo films.
Goodbye Anita! Italian cinema will never be the same without you.