Anita Ekberg died this week. She was 83. Sylvia in La Dolce Vita she romped with Marcello Mastroianni in the Trivi Fountain. It put her in the lime-light.
She was a sex goddess, but cold. She could never overtake Marilyn Monroe, who would have been 87 had she lived
Marilyn’s star flickered, a great comic actress. She had a sexuality charged with charm that quietly melted everything in sight.
She caught Joe DiMaggio and cast Arthur Miller as a husband and mentor. She played a wonderful game with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemon and she purred “Happy Birthday” to President Kennedy and caused the mass erection of the American male in fantasyland.
She toyed with her sex appeal like a kitten with a ball of yarn. And raised the temperature of Hollywood at least five degrees.
Did she know as she slipped into death with an empty bottle of barbiturates beside her that she would still be a star, an icon, after all these years? A sex symbol, a template for the blonde bombshell.
A blonded long-time friend with large curls around her face and I were riding on the 49 bus in the back. A middle-aged man came over to her:
“I’ve never done this before but I have to tell you You are a beautiful woman. You look just like Marilyn Monroe. You’ve made my day.”
She quietly turned away, after nodding, She looked out the window, smiled, felt warmer and younger. It might have added years to her life.