Anya Major

Anya Major Apple 1984 Commercial - Remember Apple Macintosh's 1984 Super Bowl commercial, the one with the gorgeous, sledgehammer-hurling woman dressed in red track shorts and white tank-top? The 60-second piece, which aired as a commercial only once, basically launched Apple's Macintosh computer.

Yes, but....

Who is Anya Major?

Anya Major is the woman in white tank-top and red shorts who hammer-throws the sledgehammer into the screen of Big Brother in Apple's famous 1984 Macintosh commercial. The commercial, which won the Grand Prix at the International Advertising Film Festival in Cannes that year, launched Apple and...OK, right, but what about the woman in the red shorts?

Anya Major was a discus thrower. Director Ridley Scott (yes, of Alien fame) had tried other women for the role, but after several sledgehammers flew out of control (one nearly killing an old lady walking down a path in Hyde Park), casting finally found a "professional," a discus-throwing athlete named Anya Major. Anya Major proved capable of spinning and accurately throwing the sledgehammer with ease.

The rest is history. But what happened to Anya Major? Where did she end up?

Major portrayed "Nikita" in the Elton John 1986 music video of the same name. As a spin-off, she released a single named Moscow Nights using the name Anya.

Although Andy Hertzfeld of the Macintosh development team stated that Major died of breast cancer in 2000, she is alive and well, living in England with her husband Kim Rajah and their three children. Anya Major is an alumna of the United World College of South East Asia and attended the 30th anniversary reunion in December 2005.

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Apple's 1984 Commercial with Anya Major

Owen Linzmayer's book, The Mac Bathroom Reader, offers an enticing account of the behind-the-scenes story. Curt's Media has an excerpt. Very interesting reading. And read the excerpt on Curt's site or this ode: Here's to Anya Major, who almost didn't happen!

Books for Further Reading

The Apple Way
The Mac Bathroom Reader

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