Sophia Loren, the Academy Award winning actress, turned 76-years-old on Monday, and was given the news that she would be receiving a prestigious Japanese award for her life's work in film, reports the New York Times. Along with the sculptor Rebecca Horn, artist Maurizio Pollini, architect Toyo Ito, and painter Enrico Castellani, Loren will receive the 2010 'Praemium Imperiale' award - a much celebrated prize which carries with it a cash sum of $169,000.
Loren achieved a highly successful career as an actress, and she first became an international star after signing a five-picture contract with Paramount Pictures in 1958. Among the films she made shortly after was 'Houseboat', a romantic comedy co-starring Cary Grant. Loren went on to star in a series of major motion pictures, and the American Film Institute named her as one of the top 25 screen actresses of all time. In 1960, she won the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in the Italian film 'Two Women', making her the first foreign language-speaking person to win a best acting award. Other notable roles have included appearing alongside Charlton Heston in the 1961 film 'Le Cid', and she portrayed 'Mamma' in the 2009 hit 'Nine'.
The Japan Art Association will present Loren with the 'Praemium Imperiale' award at a ceremony held in Tokyo on October 13, 2010.