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Renée Zellweger and Charlize Theron might pile on 20 pounds for a choice role and some Oscar buzz, but most of Hollywood’s female leads look like broomsticks. Born in 1934 to a single mother, Sophia Loren was herself a waif until her teenage years, when she blossomed into the Botticelliesque bombshell who took second place in the 1950 Miss Rome contest. One of the judges, future husband and film producer Carlo Ponti, suggested that Loren “fix” her long nose and wide hips, but she adamantly refused. A wise choice: Her unique look launched not only an Italian movie career (including 15 movies with Marcello Mastroianni), but also roles in American film. In 1962, she became the first actress to win an Academy Award for a foreign-language film for her role as a wartime rape victim in 1960’s Two Women. When asked about her success, La Loren famously quipped, “Everything I have, I owe to spaghetti.” Mangia, mangia, Nicole Kidman! Georgetown University Associate Professor of Italian culture Laura Benedetti presents “The Great Sophia Loren: A Career Retrospective” at 7 p.m. at the S. Dillon Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Drive SW. $20. (202) 357-3030. (Jason Powell)