Anita Ekberg

  1. Irish McCalla, Sheena: Queen of the Jungle, TV, 1955-1956.  “I couldn’t act, but I could swing through the trees,” admitted the generously built (39x24x38) Iowa pin-up (for Alberto Vargas, etc), before taking over the female Tarzan spurned  by Ekberg and Debra Paget. This was McCalll’s ’s best-known of her nine screen roles. But she has a Hollywood Walk of Fame star at 1722 Vine Street. Irish (not a nickname) beat a brain tumour (twice) and became a painter of more than a thousand canvasses – seascapes and  works with Western or Native American motifs.

  2. Goldie Hawn, Viaggio con Anita, Italy-France, 1978.   “Hello,” said Sophia Loren on the phone to Federico Fellini, “it’s Anita.”  Not! Anita’s voyage grew from a (long) stanza in La dolce vita – with Marcello Mastroianni and his lover, taking a (longer) Cadillac trip to his father’s deathbed. Fellini wanted Sophia – representing Nature opposite Marcello (or Gregory Peck) as Culture.  Producer Carlo Ponti (aka Mr Loren after a sudden, 1957 Mexican proxy marriage), didn’t want his old partner/enemy, producer Dino De Laurentiis,  messing with his lady, and priced her put of contention.  End of project, as Fellini refused any other Anita (even his beloved “Anitona”; Mastroianni compared her to Wehrmacht soldier).  And the excellent script, or rather the bare bones of it, wound up also being known  by the Woody Allenish title,  Lovers and Liars.  And flopped. Naturalmente.  Ekberg had been signed up by John Wayne’s Batjac… for $100,000 a year after the company shelled out $72,186 on her teeth, clothes and publicity. The breasts were her own. A rarity in LA.

 Birth year: 1931Death year: 2015Other name: Casting Calls:  2