Carlo Ponti was born and raised in Italy. Educated as a lawyer, Ponti began producing Italian films in the early 1940s where he supervised the films of Comencini, Lattuada, and Zampa. In the early 1950s, he teamed up with Dino De Laurentis and together the two produced some of the most prestigious and influential films in Italian cinema. They worked together from 1950-57 before Ponti began working as producer and co-producer in France, England, and the US. It was in that year that he married Sophia Loren in Mexico. The marriage caused him many problems in Italy, as the government did not recognize the validity of a previous divorce. Ponti and Loren were never considered legally married until he obtained French citizenship in 1964; despite his change of countries, Ponti continued to make films in Italy in addition to France, England, and the US. Ponti's troubles with the Italian government continued in 1979 when he was sentenced in absentia by the Italian court to four-years in prison, plus a $25 million fine for sneaking money and valuable art abroad, but because he was no longer an Italian citizen, the government had no authority to extradite him.
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