Last Updated: May 30, 2023
Richest CelebritiesActors
Net Worth:
$100 Thousand
Date of Birth:
Sep 29, 1931 - Jan 11, 2015 (83 years old)
Place of Birth:
Malmö Municipality
5 ft 6 in (1.69 m)
Model, Actor, Fashion Model
💰 Compare Anita Ekberg's Net Worth

What was Anita Ekberg's Net Worth?

Anita Ekberg was a Swedish actress and model who had a net worth of $100 thousand at the time of her death. Anita Ekberg died on January 11, 2015 at the age of 83. One of the biggest sex symbols of the 1950s and 60s, unfortunately towards the end of her life Anita Ekberg experienced a number of financial problems. In 2011 she was reportedly "penniless" and living in an assisted living center after an injury. Her difficult circumstances were exasperated after burglars broke into her home in Rome, Italy, while she was at the facility, and stole all of her furniture and jewelry.

In 1950, Ekberg competed the Miss Universe pageant. She did not win but as one of the six finalists she was awarded a contract with Universal Studios. She appeared in the 1953 film "Abbott and Costello Go to Mars". Ekberg would eventually become an international star and worked with stars such as John Wayne, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Mel Ferrer, Audrey Hepburn, Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra. Ekberg was frequently compared to Marilyn Monroe. She appeared in "War and Peace" (1956), "Back From Eternity" (1956), "Paris Holiday" (1958), "Boccaccio '70" (1962), "4 for Texas" (1963), and "Intervista" (1987). She is probably best remembered for her role in the 1960 film "La Dolce Vida."

Ekberg was married to actor Anthony Steel—best known for his role in the 1950 British war film "The Wooden Horse"—from 1956 to 1959. She was married to Rik Van Nutter—best known for his portrayal of James Bond character Felix Leiter in the 1965 film "Thunderball"—from 1963 to 1975. Ekberg retired from acting in 2002 after a career lasting more than 50 years.

Early Life

Kerstin Anita Marianne Ekberg was born on September 29, 1931 in Malmo, Sweden. She was the sixth of eight children. As a teenager, she began working as a fashion model. In 1950, she entered the Miss Malmo competition at her mother's request. She won and went on to win the Miss Sweden competition. Though she spoke very little English, she went to the United States to compete in the 1951 Miss Universe competition.


Though she did not win the Miss Universe competition, she was one of the six finalists and ultimately earned a contract with Universal Studios. She received lessons in drama, elocution, dancing, horseback riding, and fencing as a starlet at Universal. She appeared briefly in "The Mississippi Gambler" in 1953 as well as other films like "Abbott and Costello Go to Mars," "Take Me to Town," and "The Golden Blade." However, none of the roles were very prominent and Ekberg later admitted to often skipping her acting lessons in order to ride horses in the Hollywood hills. After six months, Universal Studios dropped her from the contract.

However, she remained very active in Hollywood and the public eye, especially given she was often involved in well-publicized romances with Hollywood's leading men like Frank Sinatra, Tyrone Power, Yul Brynner, Rod Taylor, and Errol Flynn. Her romances appealed to gossip magazines like "Confidential" and she soon became a major 1950s pin-up, appearing in men's magazines like "Playboy."

Anita Ekberg in 'Zarak', 1956. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

She also toured Greenland with the entertainer Bob Hope. Hope spoke of her beauty to John Wayne, who then signed her to a contract with his Batjac Productions. In 1955, she appeared in the series "Casablanca" and "Private Secretary." She also had a small part in the film "Blood Alley," her first speaking role in a feature. The same year, she also appeared in "Artists and Models.

In 1956, she was cast in "War and Peace" which was shot in Rome and directed by King Vidor. She also appeared in the films "Man in the Vault," "Back from Eternity," "Zarak," and "Hollywood or Bust." In 1957, she appeared in "Valerie" followed by "Paris Holiday" in 1958. In 1959, she went to Italy to star in "Sheba and the Gladiator." She stayed in Rome to film "La Dolce Vita" in 1960. She played the character of Sylvia Rank, the dream woman of the film's main character. The film became an international sensation and Ekberg decided to stay in Rome. She landed the lead in an Italian-French co-production of "Last Train to Shanghai" and also appeared in "Le tre eccetera del colonnelo," "The Call Girl Business," "Behind Closed Doors," and "The Mongols."

Throughout the rest of the 1960s, she appeared in movies like "How I Learned to Love Women," "Way…Way Out," "Pardon, Are You For or Against?" "The Cobra," "Woman Times Seven," and "Death Knocks Twice," among others.

Throughout her later career, she continued appearing in films and television shows. She appeared in "Count Max," "Ambrogio," "Cattive ragazze," "Witness Run," "Bambola," and Le nain rouge," among others. In 2001, she guest-starred in the Italian television series "Il bello delle donne."

After Ekberg had died, the actress Monica Bellucci co-produced and starred in a mockumentary dedicated to Ekberg called "The Girl in the Fountain" which was presented at the 2021 Torino Film Festival.

Anita Ekberg net worth

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Personal Life and Death

Ekberg was married twice in her life. In 1956, she married actor Anthony Steel. They divorced in 1959. In 1963, she married Rik Van Nutter. They remained married until their divorce in 1975. She also had a years-long romance with Gianni Agnelli, the Italian industrialist and owner of the luxury car brand, Fiat. They were lovers despite the fact that Agnelli was married. Ekberg never had children in her life. She stated in an interview in 2006 that she wished she had had a child though stated the opposite in a different interview a few months later.

Ekberg never moved back to Sweden after leaving the country in the early 1950s. However, she did often invite Swedish journalists to her home in Italy, where she became a permanent resident in 1964. In July of 2009, Ekberg was admitted to the San Giovanni Hospital in Rome after she fell ill at her home in Genzano. In December of 2011, it was reported that Ekberg was destitute after spending three more months in a hospital. While in the facility, her home was robbed of jewelry and furniture and badly damaged by fire.

On January 11, 2015, Ekberg died at the age of 83 at the clinic San Raffaele in Rocca di Papa, Roman Castles, from complications of several chronic illnesses. Her funeral was held a few days later at a Lutheran-Evangelical Church in Rome. Her body was then cremated and her remains buried at a cemetery in Sweden in accordance with her wishes.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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