She was The cause was complications of a long illness, her lawyer, Patrizia Ubaldi, said. Ekberg had kept a low public profile in recent years. In December it was reported that she was almost penniless, had no family to help her and was seeking financial assistance from the Fellini Foundation while living at a nursing home in Italy, her adopted country.
Ethel Merman dubbed the well-endowed Ekberg measurements "the thinking man's dunce cap: two of them. That tour led her to a contract with John Wayne's Batjac Productions. Although many of her films are largely forgotten now, she appeared in several notable features: the low-budget Screaming Mimi directed by Gert Oswald who already used her the previous year opposite Sterling Hayden in Valerie ; War and Peace where she played Henry Fonda's unfaithful wife, Princess Elena. In Back from Eternity , she was cast as Robert Ryan's leading lady. However it was Federico Fellini who gave Ekberg her greatest role in La Dolce Vita in , in which she played the unattainable "dream woman" opposite Marcello Mastroianni; then Boccaccio '70 in , a movie that also featured Sophia Loren.
Aging blonde-bombshell Anita Ekberg La Dolce Vita , Pick-up Alley gives a full-bodied performance as a sex-crazed sister with some seriously bad habits in the lurid cult classic Killer Nun. One of the most notorious nunsploitation films, Killer Nun tells the sordid story of Sister Gertrude, a disturbed woman of the cloth who degenerates into a perverse mire of drug taking, sexual perversion, sadistic torture and murder. Boasting an incongruously classy score by legendary composer Alessandro Alessandroni Women's Camp and stylishly rendered scenes of sex and murder, Killer Nun takes the viewer on a hair-raising journey from the heights of religious ecstasy to the depths of devilish degeneracy. Now Giulio Berruti s sleazy classic is presented in a stunning new 2K restoration with a liturgy of new extras, ready to be preyed upon.