Sophia Loren gets emotional discussing her difficult childhood

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Sophia Loren Gets Emotional Talking About Her Past

Screen legend Sophia Loren's first autobiography is out, and she's giving rare insight into her iconic career. ABC got an on-camera sit down with the star, and she got emotional while discussing her childhood.

"It was very difficult because ... sorry. I went through a lot with my family, of course."

Loren, 80, grew up in Italy, living in war and poverty. Her aristocratic dad ignored her family, and sometimes, they had to beg for food.

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Sophia Loren gets emotional discussing her difficult childhood
13th April 1957, USA, American actress Jayne Mansfield and Sophia Loren seen together at a party in Hollywood held in honour of Sophia who was making her first American film (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - 12th April 1957: Photo of Jayne Mansfield & Sophia Loren (Photo by Earl Leaf/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Sofia Loren. La Donna Del Fiume. 1955. (Photo by: TCI/EyeOn/UIG via Getty Images)
Undated image taken in the early 1960s as Italian actress Sofia Loren (maiden name Sofia Scicolone) shares a tender moment hugging two models of a childrens' fashion show as a girl kisses Mrs. Loren on the cheek. (AP Photo)
Prince Juan Carlos of Spain and his wife, the former Princess Sophia of Greece, visit the set of the historical epic 'The Fall of the Roman Empire' in Las Matas, Spain, 8th July 1963. From left to right, actor Stephen Boyd, Prince Juan Carlos, Princess Sophia, actress Sophia Loren and actor Christopher Plummer. (Photo by Ken Danvers/Keystone/Getty Images)
Sofia Loren in all black in a scene from the film 'El Cid', 1961. (Photo by Allied Artists Pictures/Getty Images)
1960: Italian actress Sophia Loren, born Sofia Scicolone, in a publicity still for the 1960 film 'Heller In Pink Tights'. (Photo via John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images)
Italian editor of the magazine 'Grazia' Alessandro Porro interviewing Italian actress Sophia Loren (Sofia Scicolone). 1960s (Photo by Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE: Photo taken in the 1960's of Italian actress Sophia Loren. Sophia Loren, originally Sofia Scicolone, was born 20 September 1934 in Rome, and was discovered at the age of 15 by movie producer Carlo Ponti, who later became her husband. She received the Cannes Festival Best actress prize for the film La Ciociara. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
Portrait of Italian actress Sophia Loren (Sofia Scicolone). Madrid, 1960s (Photo by Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
Italian actress Sophia Loren (Sofia Scicolone) crying during a party in her honour. Italian fashion designer Emilio Schuberth is among guests. 1960s (Photo by Angelo Cozzi/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
Double page spread from the Weekender, March 1966 issue with famous Hollywood actresses of that time
Italian actress Sofia Loren (maiden name Sofia Scicolone), with her husband Carlo Ponti, center, and Cary Grant holding the award "David di Donatello" he received for his role in the Alfred Hitchcock production 'North by Northwest'. Loren was awarded for her role in the movie 'That Kind Of Woman' by Sidney Lumet, at the Italian FilmFest in Taormina, August 1, 1960. (AP Photo/Str) ---- Die italienische Schauspielerin Sofia Loren, (eigentl. Sofia Scicolone) bei der Verleihung des "David di Donatello" beim Filmfestival in Taormina, Italien, fuer die Hauptrolle in dem Film "So etwas von Frau" (That Kind of Woman) von Sidney Lumet. Links neben ihr: Produzent und Ehemann, Carlo Ponti, und Cary Grant mit dem Filmpreis fuer die Rolle in dem Film von Alfred Hitchcock "Der unsichtbare Dritte" (North by Northwest), am 1. August 1960. (AP Photo/Str)
the millionairess, sophia loren, 1960
Italian actress Sophia Loren (Sofia Scicolone) toying with her hair. Madrid, 1960 (Photo by Angelo Cozzi/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
Italian actress Sophia Loren (Sofia Scicolone) smoking a cigarette in a flat. Madrid, 1960 (Photo by Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
The British actor Peter Sellers (Richard Henry Sellers) and the Italian actress Sophia Loren (Sofia Villani Scicolone) acting in 'The millionairess'. Great Britain, 1960 (Photo by Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
Jayne Mansfield makes an appearance at Sophia Loren's table during a promotional party for Loren, Los Angeles, California, April 12, 1957. (Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images)
Portrait of Italian actress Sophia Loren (Sofia Scicolone) toughtful. Madrid, 1960 (Photo by Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
Portrait of Italian actress Sophia Loren (Sofia Scicolone) smiling. Madrid, 1960 (Photo by Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
Italian actress Sophia Loren (Sofia Scicolone) toying with her hair. Madrid, 1960 (Photo by Angelo Cozzi/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
Italian actress Sophia Loren (Sofia Villani Scicolone) acting in the film Two Women. 1960 (Photo by Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
Italian actress Sophia Loren (Sofia Villani Scicolone) screming in despair in the film Two Women. 1960 (Photo by Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
Italian actress Sophia Loren (Sofia Villani Scicolone) and French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo in Two Women looking into each other eyes in the film Two Women. 1960 (Photo by Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
Italian actress Sophia Loren (Sofia Scicolone) hugging a puppy on a terrace. Madrid, 1960 (Photo by Angelo Cozzi/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
Actress Sophia Loren leaves her New York apartment on the arm of producer Joseph E. Levine, en route to a police station, Oct. 10, 1970. Police said she reported she was robbed of jewelry worth more than $500,000 by four gunmen who hit her secretary and yanked the Italian actress' long hair to convince her they meant business after forcing their way into her apartment. (AP Photo/John Lent)
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1980: Sofia Loren (Photo by Team/Alinari/Alinari Archives/Alinari via Getty Images)
Italian actress Sofia Loren (Sofia Villani Scicolone) hugging Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni (Marcello Vincenzo Domenico Mastroianni) during the Telegatto prize-giving night. Milan, 1995. (Photo by Rino Petrosino/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 26: Actress Sofia Loren, 1934. Sofia Loren, now filming La Troisieme Dimension. (Photo by Manchester Daily Express/SSPL/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 26: Actress Sofia Loren, 1934. Sophia Loren has her second film role in English in the Pride and the Passion (Photo by Manchester Daily Express/SSPL/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 26: Actress Sofia Loren, 1934. Sophia Loren, her fight for recognition as an actress is over. (Photo by Manchester Daily Express/SSPL/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 26: Actress Sofia Loren, 1934. (Photo by Manchester Daily Express/SSPL/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 26: Actress Sofia Loren, 1934. Sophia Loren appearing in Manchester at a book store in the town; stopped the traffic as she drew the shoppers in hundreds. (Photo by Manchester Daily Express/SSPL/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 26: Actress Sofia Loren, 1934. Actress Sophia Loren is being summoned to return to Italy from America to answer questions about her links with a top Mafia boss. (Photo by Manchester Daily Express/SSPL/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 26: Actress Sofia Loren, 1934. Sophia Loren; Sweet Bird of Paradise (Photo by Manchester Daily Express/SSPL/Getty Images)
Vittorio De Sica and Sophia Loren are shonw in this undated photo. (AP Photo) -
Italian actress Sofia Loren holds her newborn son Carlo in her arms, January 4, 1969. (AP Photo)
Portrait of Italian actress Sofia Loren as she poses on a balcony of the "Four Seasons Hotel" in Hamburg, Germany, May 22, 1962. (AP Photo/Str) --- Portraet der italienischen Schauspielerin Sofia Loren (eigentl. Sofia Scicolone) auf einem Balkon des Hotels "Vier Jahreszeiten" in Hamburg am 22. Mai, 1962. (AP Photo/Str)
Rossano Brazzi has a chat with Italian actress Sophia Loren during a pause in the shooting of the film "The Legend Of The Lost" in Tripoli, Libya, February 24, 1957. (AP Photo/Stf)
Italian actress Sophia Loren boards the Sante Fe Super Chief, Aug. 1957, in Los Angeles, where she will tour the U.S., with stops at Albuquerque, Kansas City, and Chicago. (AP Photo)
Italian actress Sophia Loren gets some attention from costume designer Edith Head on the set of "Houseboat," in Hollywood, Sept. 27, 1957. (AP Photo)
West German actor Curd Juergens, right, holds the hands of Italian actress Sofia Loren (maiden name Sofia Scicolone) with a cigarette tucked between the fingers of his left hand, during the filmball of the International Film Festival "Berlinale" in West Berlin, West Germany, April 9, 1963. (AP Photo)
Placido Domingo, opera tenor and Grand Marshal of New York's Hispanic Day parade, greets Sophia Loren, scheduled to be Grand Marshal of the Columbus Day parade which has been canceled because of the death of Cardinal Terence Cooke in New York, Oct. 6, 1983. They appeared on WNBC-TV’s "Live At Five." (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Relaxing in New York, USA, Italian actress Sophia Loren fondly teases British actor Peter Ustinov about his beard at a charity function for the "Foundation for the People of the South Pacific" April 1966. The foundation is a newly formed charity to aid the impoverished citizens in the South Pacific area. (AP Photo/Stf)
Italian actors Sophia Loren, right, and Marcello Mastroianni chat during a break in the shooting of "Marriage, Italian Style," in which they co-star, in Naples, April 1964. (AP Photo)
Italian actors Sophia Loren, right, and Marcello Mastroianni do the "Twist" in a scene from "Ieri, Oggi, Domani," (Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow) which is being filmed in a tenement building in Rome's famed Piazza Navona, Aug. 1963. (AP Photo)
Italian actress Sophia Loren goes for a stroll on the streets of Zliten, Libya with an Arab woman, Feb. 1957. She is in Libya filming "Legend of the Lost." (AP Photo/Mario Torrisi)
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Those difficult years are the focus of much of the book, but she also discusses her love life, including her relationship with Cary Grant.

The iconic actor, who was 30 years her senior, proposed, but Loren didn't think he was her perfect match. Loren told The Telegraph, "Cary belonged to another world in America. I felt that I would never fit in there. I would never have a future there because of my nationality."

That's a sentiment she also echoed in an interview with ABC: "I wanted a family, I wanted children. I wanted to be in my country."

As The Daily Mail notes, the book includes love letters from Grant. Loren would go on to marry film producer Carlo Ponti, a fellow Italian.

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