Anita Ekberg has died. The Swedish actress and sex-symbol of the 1950s and '60s, who was immortalized bathing in the Fontana di Trevi fountain in Fellini’s "La Dolce Vita," was 83.
Ekberg's lawyer Patrizia Ubaldi confirmed she died in Rome on January 11 after a series of illnesses. Ubaldi said that in her last days Ekberg was saddened by her illness and advancing age.
Born on Sept. 29, 1931, in Malmö, Ekberg grew up with seven siblings. In 1950 she won the Miss Sweden competition after being recommended to enter by organizers who saw her on the street, and went to the United States to compete for the Miss Universe title. She didn't win but became a model in Hollywood and later started taking on small acting roles.
Her role in Federico Fellini's "La Dolce Vita" — where she played a movie star — shot her to stardom. The movie was a colossal success and came to define the wild and carefree days of the early 1960s.
Hosting the Swedish radio series "Sommar" in 2005, Ekberg recalled shooting the scene in the Trevi Fountain in Rome. She said it was shot in February, the water in the fountain was cold and Mastroianni was falling over in the fountain drunk on vodka.
"And there I was. I was freezing," she said. "They had to lift me out of the water because I couldn't feel my legs anymore."
"I have seen that scene a few times. Maybe too many times. I can't stand watching it anymore, but it was beautiful at the time," she said.
Ekberg lived in Italy, the country that gave her worldwide fame thanks to the iconic dip opposite Mastroianni. The blond bombshell, clad in a black dress, throws her arms wide open, calls out "Marcello" — one of the most famous images in film history.
Ubaldi said a ceremony would be held at a Lutheran church in Rome, and that the actress had specified that her remains be cremated.