She has two children: Patrizio, who was born out of wedlock (the father was a mysterious Frenchman) when she was 17 and later adopted by her former husband Franco Cristaldi; and Claudia, whose biological father is her longtime companion Pasquale Squitieri.
At the Italian Embassy in Tunis, she was voted the most beautiful Italian girl in Tunisia. Her prize was a trip to Venice during the Venice Film Festival. After the festival she was offered movie roles, but refused them and returned to Tunis. However, six months later, a producer sold her on a career in movies, and she went to Rome with her parents, two brothers and a sister, taking a home in Castel Giubileo, a small town outside the city (1957).
She signed a contract forbidding her to cut her hair, marry or gain weight. Because of this, she told everyone that her newborn son (out of wedlock) was her baby brother. She did not reveal to the child that he was her son until he was 19 years old.
Was a member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1993.
Has resided with Pasquale Squitieri since 1975.
While her longtime companion resides in Rome, she calls Paris her home due to her popularity in France.
Has been UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for the Defense of Women's Rights since 1999.
As she had a deep voice and spoke Italian with a heavy French accent, her voice was dubbed in her early movies. The Pink Panther (1963) was meant to be her first English-speaking role; however, her voice wound up being dubbed.
Told a reporter she liked a dry martini before dinner, caviar for hors d'oeuvres, lobsters or oysters for seafood, or a steak alla Fiorentina. When it came to wine, her preference was for a rich, red wine (1965).
Preferred to be called by her initials: CC.
Originally intended to become a teacher in Tunis, North Africa.
Her father was an Italian railroad worker. Despite having an Italian father, she grew up speaking French after her French mother.
Her mentor was her late husband Franco Cristaldi.
Speaks French, Italian, English, Spanish and Arabic (from having been raised in Tunisia).
Long considered one of the world's great beauties, she has appeared on more than 900 magazine covers in over 25 countries.
Although one of the great sex sirens of her time, she never appeared in a nude or fully topless scene.
Famed cinematographer Conrad L. Hall called her "a cameraman's dream - a perfect piece of nature - there is not much you can do wrong in photographing her".
Her impressive filmography includes roles in some of the greatest films from some of the greatest directors of all time such as 8½ (1963) by Federico Fellini, The Leopard (1963) and Rocco and His Brothers (1960) by Luchino Visconti, Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) by Sergio Leone, and Fitzcarraldo (1982) by Werner Herzog.
Her first starring role was playing the wife of Marcello Mastroianni in Bell' Antonio (1960). The following year, Luchino Visconti chose her for Rocco and His Brothers (1960), and by the early 1960s she was one of the busiest actresses.
Has appeared in five films with Marcello Mastroianni: Big Deal on Madonna Street (1958), Bell' Antonio (1960), 8½ (1963), The Skin (1981) and Henry IV (1984).
Good friends with fellow sex siren Brigitte Bardot; they appeared together in The Legend of Frenchie King (1971).