Anita Ekberg has died at the age of 83
Anita Ekberg has died at the age of 83Wikicommons

Swedish actress Anita Ekberg, who starred in Federico Fellini's 1960 film La Dolce Vita, died on Sunday near Rome, at the age of 83.

The film star, a long-time resident of Italy, died in a hospital outside the Italian capital, according to the website of the daily La Repubblica.

The star had been in a clinic San Raffaele in Rocca di Papa, for some time, La Stampa reported.

A former Miss Sweden, Eckberg also appeared in films such as Blood Alley and War and Peace, alongside Audrey Hepburn and Henry Fonda.

La Dolce Vita revolved around a series of stories following a week in the life of a paparazzi journalist living in Rome.

Ekberg was born on 29 September 1931, in Malmö, Skåne, the eldest girl and the sixth of eight children. In her teens, she worked as a fashion model. In 1950, Ekberg entered the Miss Malmö competition at her mother's encouragement, leading to the Miss Sweden contest which she won.

She won a contract with Universal Studios and while in the US Ekberg met Howard Hughes, who was producing films. He wanted her to change her nose, teeth and name, as he said "Ekberg" was too difficult to pronounce. She refused to change her name, saying that if she became famous people would learn to pronounce it.

In December 2011, it was reported that Ekberg was "destitute" following three months in a hospital with a broken thigh in Rimini, during which time her home was robbed and badly damaged in a fire.