Sophia Loren says Richard Burton refused to play her at Scrabble after he caught her cheating.

Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren

The 86-year-old actress and late screen icon - who died in August 1984 at the age of 58 - starred together in two projects in the 1970s, Vittorio De Sica's 1974 film 'The Voyage' and television movie 'Brief Encounter', and they become friends on set with Burton indulging the Italian star's passion for the word-based board game.

However, the 'Hamlet' star swore off 'Scrabble' matches against Loren after he discovered she was bending the rules for her own gain.

Reminiscing about Richard and her 'Scrabble' games with her various co-stars on BBC Radio 4 show 'Desert Island Discs' , host Lauren Laverne enquired: "Sophia, I know that you were also an incredible 'Scrabble' player and would often play on set with your co-stars. I think you beat everyone that I heard about."

Prompting Sophia to honestly interject by saying: "Because I was cheating, yes, I liked to cheat because I had fun!"

Lauren then asked: "Who did you play, who gave you the most trouble?"

To which Sophia replied: "Richard Burton ... I was cheating him a lot and then when he found out he said, 'I'm not going to play with you again.'"

During her 'Desert Island Discs' appearance, Loren also opened up about what it was like to work with Frank Sinatra on the hit 1957 movie 'The Pride and the Passion', in which the two pair portrayed lovers on the opposing sides of the Napoleonic war.

Sinatra played Miguel, a battalion soldier from the British Royal Navy sent to Spain to bring back a siege cannon, while the Oscar-winning actress was Spanish native Juana, the romantic interest of Miguel and Captain Anthony Trumbull, brought to life by Cary Grant.

Loren and Sinatra - who died in May 1998 at the age of 82 - became close friends but she admits he was quite withdrawn on set and never shared his singing talent with the cast or crew.

'The Life Ahead' star remembered: "He used to stay in his trailer very often.

“He never sang on the set because [there were] many people."

When Lauren, 42, asked, "Not even for you?” Sophia answered: "No, no! [He would say], ‘We are shooting, we are shooting.’ OK, OK, ciao.”