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IT'S JUST A JOB

Italian film star Sophia Loren quietly turned 65 on Monday, declaring that being a diva was a job just like any other and giving no hint of retirement.

Loren, a living symbol of modern Italian culture, has outlived many of Italy's postwar film personalities, among them directors Federico Fellini and Vittorio De Sica and actor Marcello Mastroianni, who was her leading man in many movies.

"Being a diva is a job like any other," she was quoted as saying in Monday's La Repubblica newspaper. "When you go home, it's like leaving (the job) at the office."

La Repubblica put Loren's birthday on its front page, as if to reassure Italians that there are still some staples of the sweet life to savor in their national identity as governments, budgets and crime waves come and go.

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