|Anneka di Lorenzo 1952 - 2011|
|Bob met with Anneka in Los Angeles in 1973, and he agreed to make her the Pet of the Month for that September. She flew to New York, and then to London, England, where she was photographed by Bob for her debut Penthouse photo shoot.
While in London Anneka told Bob she wanted to be an actress, and Bob promised to use his personal contacts to assist her. In June 1973 Anneka signed a management contract with Penthouse. Penthouse became her power of attorney, and promised to use everything in its power to make her a star.
In September 1973 Anneka was the Penthouse Pet of the Month! She was naturally a brunette, but in her '73 photos (Taken by Bob Guccione!) she is a beautiful redhead! In the write-up for the pictorial Anneka confessed "Girls are interesting. Haven't really made my mind up about them yet, but I think if I found the right girl, I could get into her sexually.....but I would be the one who dominates." Anneka also appeared on the cover of the Dec 1973 issue of "Viva".
Anneka took acting classes in 1974, and urged Bob to get her career going. In 1974 she acted in 3 films; she was "Pam" in The Centerfold Girls (AKA Girl Hunter), "Chris" in The Rape Squad (AKA Act of Vengence & Violator), and "Charity" in Mamma's Dirty Girls. In these B-Movies, and Anneka was either nude or topless. Bob promised to make her Pet of the year for 1975, and in the spring of that year she moved into his home in New York.
In the October 1975 issue of Penthouse, Anneka was declared the Penthouse Pet of the Year for 1975, at the age of 23. She won over $50,000 in cash and gifts, including a 1975 Jensen-Interceptor sports coupe (as well as a new Reel-to-Reel recorder and a turntable!). She was also on the cover of the magazine, and got a new photo shoot to celebrate. These new photos were shot by Bob, and featured the redheaded Anneka in top form!
At winning her prizes Anneka said, "I'll do just what I'm doing now-realizing girlhood dreams about being famous, making films, and being rich!"
|It comes with a heavy heart that we report the death of our dear Anneka. For all the details of her passing, this LINK HERE will answer most of your questions. It's from the San Diego News, Oct 22nd 2011.
As for her page here, I simply want to say that she passed away on or about January 4th 2011 on the beach in San Diego County. This page now more than ever a tribute to her life, and the great achievements she did make as an actress and a doting mother.
On the direct left is a Christmas card Anneka produced for the holiday season in 1993. I'm guessing that her daughter Jessica looks about 4. The original card I have in my possession was sent to Franco Rossellini, it's obvious she was still on good terms with her Italian Caligula producer.
On the lower left is Anneka with artist H.R. Giger in April 1980, a close-up of her quite happy and the full original photo. This was taken in New York at an art exhibit opening of Giger's. Anneka was 28.
On the lower far left, Anneka & Bob Guccione at a party for Viva Magazine in September 1973. On the right of that picture is Anneka's official Penthouse professional glossy is from 1976 (or later).
Anneka was quoted as saying, "How famous do I want to be? Let's just say that I'm going to be the sexiest woman in the world."
Years later in an e-mail Anneka wrote to me in the third person, saying "Anneka had everything it took to realize her dream of becoming a legendary American movie star. She had phenomenal beauty, brains galore, generosity, and an exquisite sense of style and acting talent."
This is her story.........
|Temple of Isis Gallery HERE!|
|Messalina! Messalina! HERE|
|Lori Wagner's personal site HERE!|
|See Lori's page on this site HERE|
|NEW YORK-Anneka di Lorenzo, who stars in "Caligula", a new film produced by Penthouse Magazine Magnate Bob Guccione, relaxes in New York recently. Anneka says that "Caligula" is "the most bizzare film I have ever seen". She adds, "It's not a porno film, it's an entertaining film, sometimes sad, about the abuses of power. Nobody leaves the theatre without being touched by it". Some "Vital Statistics" about Anneka: Her name is Norwegian-Italian and means "Little Annie". She's 5' 6", 110 Pounds, has red hair, blue eyes, and is 27. For hobbies, the list is "collecting lingerie". Anneka reigned for a year as the Penthouse Pet of the Year in 1975. Credit-United Press International, February 15th 1980. (Thanks to Rasputin for this great pic & info)|
|Anneka de Lorenzo was born as Marjorie Lee Thoreson in St. Paul, Minnesota, on September 6th 1952, the 2nd eldest daughter (of four) born to Leroy and Patricia Thoreson. Marjorie did well in school until her parents divorced, and that turned her world upside down. It was at this point that she quit school in 1967 at the age of 14 and headed to California with dreams of fame.
It seemed in Los Angeles she could accomplish anything she put her mind to. She worked as a receptionist, a cocktail waitress, and a dancer. She had some minor brushes with the law. Somewhere along the line, Marjorie Thoreson became Anneka di Lorenzo. She studied acting, and entered beauty contests, winning four in a two year period. She acted in bit parts in films and television. She lost all of her old inhibitions, and gained a new found confidence in herself. It was here that she danced nude in her mid-teens at "The Ball" and other similiar clubs in L.A.
It was probably on August 25th 1972 when she saw Bob Guccione on the Merv Griffin Show. Bob was talking to Merv about what he thought beauty really was. Bob did not view nudity as pornography. As well, Bob also mentioned that he was a film-maker and was always looking for new talent. It was because of these two points that Anneka contacted the man. She wanted to be discovered and become a big star. Anneka figured that Penthouse was the way to go about doing it. She sent her test photos to Bob in the fall of 1972 at the age of 20.
|According to Valerie Rae Clark, Anneka was a very cool person who played "den mother" to all the other Penthouse girls on the set of Caligula. Valerie said that Guccione persuaded Anneka to get a 'boob job' before the filming of Caligula in August 1976. It was said that she was very proud of her new breasts, and she took Rome by storm. The grandson of Benito Mussilini apparently had a crush on Anneka. At the time, she told the other Pets that Caligula was a "priviledge and a fantastic opportunity". Many of the pets, like Valerie, admired Anneka. Valerie says Anneka was "fun and generous, without any girlish cattiness".
Unfortunately Caligula (and Penthouse) killed her legitimate film career. In February of 1980, Anneka was still very supportive of the film, and was doing promotion work for it. It wasn't until the backlash started that she got a little bitter. Her last film had been playing a nurse in the 1980 thriller, "Dressed to Kill". She spelt her last name as 'De Lorenzo' for the credits in that film.
|After the Pet of the Year issue appeared, Anneka did a coast-to-coast promotional tour of the US, visiting War Veteran Hospitals in October 1975. This was followed by an international U.S.O. tour for the U.S. Dept. of Defense from Dec 1975 to Jan 1976. Christopher Bruno was an escort for Anneka and Sheryl Lee Ralph, and met them at the start of the tour in Adana, Turkey. During the tour both women sang thier own sets while being backed by a Puerto Rican band called 'Requiem.' Sheryl also danced during her set. Anneka spent New Years's 1976 in Izmir, Turkey. She almost caused a riot in a small Turkish town when she strolled around in her red fox coat. A group of boys began to follow her and some older men chased them away. Christopher got her safely back in the car. During the tour she bragged she was about to appear in a 'Upscale Erotic Film.' After the Turkish tour ended, it moved on to Germany and Spain. Both Anneka and Sheryl invited Christopher to hang out with them for the duration of the tour, and so he took his vacation, and spent it with them. After the tour ended in Spain, Requiem returned home and Anneka and Sheryl carried onto London. They spent several fun days in London shopping and hanging out at the Penthouse Club. Then Christopher returned to Turkey, and the girls returned to New York. At Bob's house Anneka learned more about the film, Caligula. Bob led her to beleive she'd get the role of Caesonia. To prepare herself for the role, and at the suggestion of Bob, she had her breasts enlarged in February 1976. While she was recovering from the operation in the spring of 1976 Anneka heard that the role of Caesonia had gone to Helen Mirren. Anneka's role in Caligula was reduced to the non-speaking one of Messalina. Unknown to Anneka, the same thing had happened to Lori Wagner, Bob had also promised her a speaking role in the film, which she did not get.
In September 1976, Anneka finally flew to Rome for the film. She and Lori were quite visable in the original version of Caligula, the one originally shot by Tinto Brass. As it was, she and Lori were still predominant and were in many scenes that featured lead actors like Malcolm, Helen and Teresa. There was also the Temple of Isis scene, one of the few original sex scenes that Tinto shot that actually stayed in the movie! However, Lori and Anneka definately got a bigger part when Bob invited them into the extra footage shoot in January 1977. Anneka said later in court that she was reluctant to perform oral sex on a man with another woman, as well as having sex with another woman. Bob convinced her it would further her career.
After Caligula, Anneka and Lori were the stars of "Messalina! Messalina!", a movie shot at Dear Studios using the Caligula sets. For the first time in her career, Anneka Di Lorenzo was the STAR! That film was released in August 1977, and she was recruited for the part by Frederico Rossellini, who met her on the set of Caligula. Anneka did four weeks of promotional work for the film, then moved to Florida in September of 1977. She returned back to NYC at the end of 1978.
|Then, finally after three years in post-production, Caligula was released in Feb of 1980, and Anneka kept very busy doing promotional work for the film. It came out in England in October 1980. Bob asked Anneka to fly to Japan to promote Caligula there, and she finally refused and put her foot down, enough was enough. She was tired of using her body for his gain. She stood her ground, and was fired at the end of 1980.
It was at this point that Anneka realized that she had gotten lost during her eight years with Penthouse. She had lowered herself into a world of slime and completely absorbed it. It was time for a change, for it was obvious Bob was not helping her acting career at all.
She went into hiding, becoming a recluse, which was common for many of the background actors featured in Caligula. It killed a lot of careers. She moved out west, dyed her hair blonde and wore it in a ponytail. In the late eighties she became a mother for the first time, giving birth to Jessica in Los Angeles, CA. This gave her a renewed strength, and maybe even for her daughter's sake, Anneka decided to strike back at Guccione and the Penthouse empire. She took them to court in March-May 1989 in New York City to recover losses due to the sexual harrasment caused to her.
On October 23rd 1990 the Supreme Court of New York City awarded Anneka $60,000 in compensatory damages, and $4,000,000 in punitive damages.
Anneka never saw any of that money though. Bob appealled the decision and won, and as well he fought back doublely by reprinting the lesbian pictures from Caligula in a 1991 issue of Penthouse.
|The picture on the left was taken during the court proceedings, and was the last known photo of hers for years. By now she had reverted back to her maiden name of Thoreson. The photo on the left was taken in 1989. She was 36 years old.
From here Anneka moved with her daughter to West Palm Beach, Florida, where she met and married to Philip F. Vasta on June 21st 2001. She and Philip ran and operated The Forever Young Experience, a health and beauty clinic.
|Unfortunately this venture and others like it were not successful, and later on she and Philip divorced. Jessica stayed in Florida for college, while Anneka headed back to California to live near her sister Susan Marie Thoreson. Anneka's other two sisters, Barbara Zezza and Jodi Servin both lived in Las Vegas, NV. She must have returned to school to become a nursing assistant, which was her occupation at the time of her death.
We'll miss you Anneka, take care of yourself in heaven. We'll find out how you left us eventually. It wasn't by your own will, we know that.
|The photo on the left is signed Anneka Vasta, so it was taken between 2001 and about 2009, approximately 53 years of age. The photo on the right was a recent one of her, probably aged 58.|
|Other Anneka related links on this website|