Sophia Loren (September 30, 1934)
This is going to seem weird: I watched an episode of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” a couple of days ago from 1962, which featured Vic Damone. The ‘reason’ he was going to be the star of The Alan Brady Show was that they had lost Sophia Loren, the scheduled star. “How can you lose Sophia Loren?”
Well, as sometimes happens, that reference to her stuck in my brain, and last night I was pondering her beauty while I was falling asleep. Then, this morning, I thought about “El Cid”.
This movie was the followup role for Charlton Heston after winning the Oscar for “Ben-Hur”. It was also the second one starring him that I saw as a pre-teen in the early 1960s. My love for all things medieval stems from his portrayal of the Cid. And gave me my first indication of what love would look like in the time and setting. It stuck with me for 60 years.
Normally, I feature the individual’s birth chart, but this time I will not. Sophia is still alive and well (at 87), so I don’t want to cause her any unintended upset. Today will be an homage to her role as the Cid’s wife, Ximena (sometimes written as Jimena).
I have a thing for hay, and rolling in it. Probably this image was the basis for that. This was their last night before the big battle in the movie. The Cid had been exiled by the King of Castile, but comes back to save Valencia from the Moors. The love story has a sad ending, but the hero became a legend anyway.
Doña Jimena Díaz (also spelled Ximena) (before July 1046–c.1116) was the wife of El Cid, whom she married between July 1074 and 12 May 1076, and her husband’s successor as ruler of Valencia from 1099 to 1102. The spelling Jimena is a modern Spanish one. In the documents of her time, her name was spelled Ximena and it was then pronounced like “Shimena.”Wikipedia
The South of France, Catalonia, has a special place in my heart. No doubt I’ve lived there and died there.
But Spain takes a close second, and this story and their love live on inside me, too.