The Shocking Story Of Anneka Di Lorenzo! This Penthouse Pet Was Part Of The Wild “Caligula”Controversy!

“How famous do I want to be? Let’s just say that I’m going to be the sexiest woman in the world.”

Who can argue with that?

This publicity photo of Anneka Di Lorenzo suggests she could have been just that – you will see images that show her to be one of the sexiest women in the world without a doubt – but instead she had a controversial end to her career and a shocking death!

The Mystery Surrounding Anneka Di Lorenzo…

This is a troubling story to be sure.

Anneka Di Lorenzo was born Marjorie Lee Thoreson in September 6, 1952 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Anneka dropped out of high school and moved to Los Angeles, California after her parents divorced in 1967. 

Di Lorenzo worked as a receptionist, a cocktail waitress, and a topless dancer as well as studied acting and participated in several beauty contests prior to becoming the Penthouse Pet of the Month in the September, 1973 issue of “Penthouse.” 

She was, without a doubt, stunningly beautiful.

Di Lorenzo was named Penthouse Pet of the Year in the October, 1975 issue of “Penthouse” – as you can see, she was stunningly beautiful…

After winning this hone, she became a hugely popular Model and embarked on a nationwide promotional tour – visiting veterans hospitals to meet wounded soldiers…

You can only imagine how popular she was – she also embarked on an international USO tour for the US Department of Defense at the end of 1975.

Anneka then embarked on her acting career, appearing in the classic 70’s drive-in exploitation film “The Centerfold Girls!” 

Tiffany Bolling starred in this one, and she had quite the cult film career as well – you can see more about this film, and Tiffany, by clicking on my story here:

She also appeared in “Mama’s Dirty Girls” – I shared a story about these “dirty” movies, see it here:

It was her role in the infamous “Caligula” that turned into a controversial end to her career.

She portrayed the depraved Messalina in both the notorious “Caligula” and the cheesy Italian soft-core comedy cash-in “Messalina! Messalina!” that followed – with graphic sex scenes shot after the A-list cast like Helen Mirren and Malcolm McDowell had left!

Photos from her steamy lesbian love scene in “Caligula” with fellow “Penthouse” Pet Lori Wagner were published in the June, 1980 issue of “Penthouse” to promote the release of the film.

These scenes were added to the film after stars Helen Mirren and Malcolm McDowell had finished filming…turning what was already an X-rated epic into a film with full penetration and oral sex!

Here’s more about the film – and the terrific box set that dives deep into all aspects of the film!

Anneka also had a small role in the 1980 thriller “Dressed To Kill”, but that was it for her acting career, which she felt was a result of the controversy over “Caligula.”

Anneka’s Penthouse Lawsuit!

In 1988, Anneka filed a lawsuit against “Penthouse” Publisher Bob Guccione on charges of sexual harassment. 

While she won her case, the jury shocked her by only awarding Anneka $4.06 in damages!

Guccione struck back at her by reprinting the photos of Di Lorenzo and Wagner’s lesbian love scene in the February, 1991 issue of “Penthouse.” From that point, Di Lorenzo was out of the entertainment industry.

A Stunning Beauty’s Shocking Death!

Twenty years after this controversial lawsuit, a shocking event occurred.

Di Lorenzo’s dead body was discovered near the shoreline of the Pacific Ocean by joggers in Camp Pendleton, California on January 4, 2011; she was only 58 years old!

Here’s where the mystery deepens – according to reports:

“Her neck and back were broken and the cause of death was drowning. Her car was found at the Camp Pendleton rest area off of Interstate 5 about 60 feet from the beach. She was still in such good physical shape that the Marine Corps military police who first arrived at the scene thought that they were looking at the remains of a teenager. Naval authorities, investigating because of the location where the body was found, still do not know whether there was foul play or if her death was accidental.”

It was ultimately ruled an accidental death, but no one knows why she was there, how she got there, or what caused her death…a sad and shocking end to her life.

It reminds me of another Sex Kitten who died mysteriously along the Pacific Ocean coastline:

Carol Wayne was a regular on “The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson” and posed for Playboy – so why did she end up dead on a beach in Mexico?

Here’s the mysterious story:

Anneka’s “Caligula” star Lori Wagner not only survived that film fiasco, but she took part in an interview about her role in the notorious film!

Here’s more of Lori’s wild story as well!

I also profiled another of the Penthouse Pets who were not only used in the filming of the movie, but who were featured in the extra material added later:

Susanne Saxon was in “Caligula” and she did so much more as well – you can see her story by clicking here:

The “Caligula” connections are really something, like this Actress, who also had a connection to the film:

You can see her full story by clicking here:

And believe it or not, here’s ANOTHER one!

Teresa Ann Savoy worked with “Caligula” Director Tinto Brass on more than one occasion – click here for her wild story:

If you like these stories, and don’t want to miss any of my “2023 Sex Kitten Countdown” as well, then go to my website’s front page and sign on to follow me – there are NO ads at all, just lots of stories to come about the wild world of exploitation and cult films!

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Categories: 70's Films, Artsploitation, Books / Media, Camp Cult Classics, Cult Classics, Euro-Sleaze, Exploitation Films, Extreme Cinema, Grindhouse, JRsploitation, Nudity, sex kittens, Sexploitation Films, Talent / Celebrites

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5 replies

  1. Another beauty that i, unfortunately, had forgotten about. Thanks again John for taking us down memory lane.


  2. I can never forget her sexy scenes in Caligula. And it was so nice to see a redhead glamour model in a world that seemed to be full of blondes. Her death sounds very suspicious to me, John.
    Best wishes,, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Okay I don’t understand how the controversy over Caligula led to the end of her career.


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