Anya Major (born 1966, in the United Kingdom) is an athlete and actress who starred in Apple Computer's "1984" commercial, and who appeared as Nikita in the video to Elton John's song of the same name.
In 1983, the Chiat/Day advertising agency held a casting call in London, on behalf of their client, Apple Computer, for what would prove to be a landmark television commercial. The vision of the agency and director Ridley Scott stipulated an actress capable of running up to a large video screen, swinging a sledgehammer in a wide spin, and releasing it at the video screen. Most of the models and actresses tested could not wield the clumsy hammer, much less throw it; in fact, one errant throw nearly struck a passerby at the Hyde Park casting call. The petite Major, an experienced discus thrower who had been discovered at a local health club, won the role with her ability to handle the hammer convincingly.
The commercial officially aired only twice on American television, just after half-time of Super Bowl XVIII on January 22, 1984. as well as a local airing in the wee hours of the morning in Idaho the previous month to qualify for awards only given to ads aired in 1983. Even with this limited appearance, the ad created such a media frenzy that it gained many subsequent free TV airings and print mentions as it was discussed in the media.
In 2006, Andy Hertzfeld of the Macintosh development team incorrectly stated that Major had died of breast cancer in 2000. As of 2009, she lives in England with her husband Kim Rajah and their three children.
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