Claudia Cardinale

Claudia Cardinale

1957: At the Italian Embassy in Tunis, she was voted the most beautiful Italian girl in Tunisia. Her prize was a trip to Venice during the Venice Film Festival. After the festival, she was offered movie roles, however she initially refused them and returned to Tunis. Six months later, a producer sold her on a career in movies, and she went to Rome with her parents, two brothers and sister, taking a home in Castel Giubileo, a small town outside the city.

1965: Told a reporter she liked a dry martini before dinner, caviar for hors d'oeuvres, lobsters or oysters for seafood, or a steak alla Fiorentina. When it came to wine, her preference was for a rich, red wine.

Although one of the great sex sirens of her time, she never appeared in a nude or fully topless scene.

As she had a deep voice and spoke Italian with a heavy French accent, her voice was dubbed in her early movies. The Pink Panther (1963) was meant to be her first English-speaking role; however, her voice wound up being dubbed.

Good friends with Brigitte Bardot.

Has been UNESCO good will Ambassador for the Defense of Women's Rights since 1999.

Has lived together with Pasquale Squitieri since 1975.

Her father was an Italian railroad worker. Despite having an Italian father, she grew up speaking French after her French mother.

Her mentor was her late husband Franco Cristaldi.

Long considered one of the world's great beauties, she has appeared on more than 900 magazine covers in over 25 countries.

Measurements: 37C-23-37 (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)

Member of jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1993

Originally intended to become a teacher in Tunis, North Africa.

Preferred to be called by her initials: CC.

She has two children: Patrizio, who was born out of wedlock (tjh father was a mysterious Frenchman) when she was 17 and later adopted by her former husband Franco Cristaldi; and Claudia, whose biological father is her longtime companion Pasquale Squitieri.

She signed a contract forbidding her to cut her hair, marry or gain weight. Due to this contract, she told everyone that her new born son (out of wedlock) was her baby brother. She did not reveal to the child that he was her son, until he was 19 years old.

Speaks French, Italian, English, Spanish and Arabic (from having been raised in Tunisia).

Vital statistics in August 1976: 38-24-37.

While her longtime companion lives in Rome, she calls Paris her home due to her popularity in France.