Italian movie icon Sophia Loren is to be honoured by Oscars bosses in Hollywood on Wednesday (04May11).
The actress has flown in from her home in Switzerland for a sold out tribute staged by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and hosted by one of her biggest fans, Billy Crystal.
Loren tells the Los Angeles Times newspaper the gala came as a surprise: "I didn't expect it, really. It's wonderful, because I belong to Italian movies and, generally, we Italians, we don't get these wonderful, great, great honours, even though we deserve it sometimes!
"But America has always accepted me, even in the beginning when I came here for the first time. I was very young and they gave me a wonderful cocktail party. Louella Parsons and Elsa Maxwell and Jayne Mansfield were there. I will never forget those days.
"For me, Hollywood was a fairytale, coming from where I came from, a little town. It was something that I never expected."