Anita Ekberg, Swimsuit and Longbow - Framed Picture - 12" x 16"
Kerstin Anita Marianne Ekberg was a Swedish actress in American and European films. She is best known for her role as Sylvia in the Federico Fellini film La Dolce Vita.
In her teens, Ekberg entered the Miss Malmö competition in 1950 at her mother's urging. This led to the Miss Sweden contest which she won. She consequently went to the United States to compete for the 1951 Miss Universe title (an unofficial pageant at that time, the pageant became official in 1952), despite speaking very little English.
Although Ekberg did not win the Miss Universe pageant, as one of six finalists she did earn a starlet's contract with Universal Studios, as was the practice at the time.
As a starlet at Universal, she received lessons in drama, elocution, dancing, horseback riding, and fencing. She appeared briefly in the 1953 Universal films Abbott and Costello Go to Mars and The Golden Blade. Ekberg skipped many of her drama lessons, restricting herself to riding horses in the Hollywood Hills.
The combination of Ekberg's voluptuous physique and colorful private life (such as her well-publicized romances with Hollywood's leading men like Frank Sinatra, Tyrone Power, Yul Brynner, Rod Taylor, and Errol Flynn) appealed to the gossip magazines, like Confidential, and she soon became a major 1950s pin-up, appearing in men's magazines like Playboy.
Additionally, Ekberg participated in publicity stunts. She once admitted that an incident in which her dress burst open in the lobby of London's Berkeley Hotel was prearranged with a photographer.