The 86-year-old, who has starred opposite Marlon Brando, Cary Grant and Frank Sinatra, tells today’s Desert Island Discs that she used to cheat to win. And this incurred the wrath of Welsh actor Richard, who she starred with in The Voyage and a TV remake of Brief Encounter in 1974. Sophia was asked by host Lauren Laverne about always winning Scrabble games and she mischievously said: “Because I was cheating. I liked to cheat because I had fun, it was funny.”
Asked if this ever got her into trouble, she replied: “Yes, Richard Burton. I was beating him a lot and when he found out I was cheating he said, ‘I am not going to play with you again’.”
Sophia recalled how working with Charlie Chaplin was “one of the greatest” times in her life. She experienced his unique style of directing, opposite Marlon Brando, in A Countess From Hong Kong in 1967.
Sophia said: “When he did not think you were doing it right, he would act the scene and say ‘Look carefully and just do what I do’.” But Brando was reportedly outraged by this and threatened to quit.
Sophia also told the Radio 4 show how she turned down a marriage proposal from Cary Grant as she was engaged to Italian film producer Carlo Ponti at the time and also wanted to avoid on-set flings.
For her key record, the star chose Caruso sung by Lucio Dalla, while her luxury item was a pizza oven.
• Desert Island Discs, BBC Radio 4, 11am