ROME (January 10, 2007) — Carlo Ponti, the Italian producer and husband of Sophia Loren, died overnight in a hospital in Switzerland, his family said Wednesday. He was 94.
Ponti had been hospitalized about 10 days ago in Geneva for pulmonary complications, the family said in a statement. The cause of death was not immediately known.
Ponti worked with well-known directors, including Federico Fellini, Jean-Luc Godard and David Lean.
Born near Milan in 1913, Ponti studied law and worked as a lawyer before making his move into film production.
He was nominated for an Oscar as producer of “Doctor Zhivago” in 1965. Other well-known films produced by Ponti included “Blow-Up,” “The Cassandra Crossing,” “The Verdict” and “The Squeeze.”
Ponti was married to his first wife, Giuliana, when he met Loren, who was almost 25 years younger than he, in about 1950.
They tried to keep their relationship a secret in spite of huge media interest, while Ponti’s lawyers went to Mexico to obtain a divorce.
Ponti and Loren were married by proxy in Mexico in 1957 — two male attorneys took their place. The couple only found out about their marriage when the news was broken by a society columnist.