The Day Anita Ekberg Snapped

November 3, 2023 | Dancy Mason

The Day Anita Ekberg Snapped

If you want a true femme fatale, look no further than the infamous run-in starlet Anita Ekberg had with the paparazzi one October night in 1960. What started as routine harassment nearly turned deadly.

The Sweet Life?

Ekberg was a Swedish bombshell who starred most famously in Federico Fellini's 1960 film La Dolce Vita, where she played an actress hounded by photographers. Ironically, the success of the film quickly made Ekberg herself a heatscore for publications around the world—but she had one nemesis in particular.

Photographer Felice Quinto had also been in La Dolce Vita, albeit as an extra, and his merciless pursuit of celebrity subjects in his day-to-day job had even reportedly inspired one of Dolce's paparazzo characters. In the end, though, what happened between Ekberg and Quinto was stranger than fiction.

Anita Ekberg, Warrior Woman

In the wee hours of October 20, 1960, Quinto caught Ekberg flouncing around Rome with a married producer, and ended up snapping them locked in an embrace. Ekberg, furious at the compromising position she was in, soon went back to her villa and cloistered herself inside. 

Undeterred, Quinto and some of his colleagues followed her back and waited outside her house. But they had no idea what they were in for. An enraged—and barefoot—Ekberg suddenly burst out of the house, wielding a functional bow and several arrows she had taken from the set of her latest film, all while yelling “Give me those pictures!"

Anita Ekberg

X Marks The Spot

The gathered photographers probably thought Ekberg just wanted to scare them away, and one even managed to take an iconic photograph of the star aiming the weapon at him. But this was no empty threat: The actress fired. More than that, she hit her marks, injuring Quinto in his forearm and letting fly more shots into the backs of the other paparazzi present. 

Justified? Maybe not, but it probably felt good at the time. Then again, it did give us another very compromising photo.

More from Factinate

Featured Article

My mom never told me how her best friend died. Years later, I was using her phone when I made an utterly chilling discovery.

Dark Family Secrets

Dark Family Secrets Exposed

Nothing stays hidden forever—and these dark family secrets are proof that when the truth comes out, it can range from devastating to utterly chilling.
April 8, 2020 Samantha Henman

Featured Article

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.

Madame de Pompadour Facts

Entrancing Facts About Madame de Pompadour, France's Most Powerful Mistress

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.
December 7, 2018 Kyle Climans

More from Factinate

Featured Article

I tried to get my ex-wife served with divorce papers. I knew that she was going to take it badly, but I had no idea about the insane lengths she would go to just to get revenge and mess with my life.

These People Got Genius Revenges

When someone really pushes our buttons, we'd like to think that we'd hold our head high and turn the other cheek, but revenge is so, so sweet.
April 22, 2020 Scott Mazza

Featured Article

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but few people know her even darker history.

Catherine of Aragon Facts

Tragic Facts About Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s First Wife

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but very few people know her even darker history.
June 7, 2018 Christine Tran

Dear reader,

Want to tell us to write facts on a topic? We’re always looking for your input! Please reach out to us to let us know what you’re interested in reading. Your suggestions can be as general or specific as you like, from “Life” to “Compact Cars and Trucks” to “A Subspecies of Capybara Called Hydrochoerus Isthmius.” We’ll get our writers on it because we want to create articles on the topics you’re interested in. Please submit feedback to Thanks for your time!

Do you question the accuracy of a fact you just read? At Factinate, we’re dedicated to getting things right. Our credibility is the turbo-charged engine of our success. We want our readers to trust us. Our editors are instructed to fact check thoroughly, including finding at least three references for each fact. However, despite our best efforts, we sometimes miss the mark. When we do, we depend on our loyal, helpful readers to point out how we can do better. Please let us know if a fact we’ve published is inaccurate (or even if you just suspect it’s inaccurate) by reaching out to us at Thanks for your help!

Warmest regards,

The Factinate team

Want to learn something new every day?

Join thousands of others and start your morning with our Fact Of The Day newsletter.

Thank you!

Error, please try again.