Legendary actress Sophia Loren is a staunch believer in the values of marriage - because her parents had such turbulent relationships.

Sophia married Doctor Zhivago director Carlo Ponti in 1957, and insists that her husband still makes her happy - even if, at 92, he is 20 years her senior.

The screen gem says, "The family for me is everything. My father was never with us and he never married my mother, so what I was aiming for in my life was to have a family. When I got that I said, 'Well, that's my life and I'm going to stick to it.'

"We live in a world where people separate too easily and that's too bad. So many times things go wrong but do you want to destroy a family? You have to keep quiet and you have to swallow so many things sometimes."

23/06/2003 21:09