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Anya Major (born 1966, in the United Kingdom) is an English athlete, actress, model and singer who starred in Apple Computer's "1984" commercial, and in 1985 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. It was first screened in December 1983, right before the 1:00 am sign-off on KMVT in Twin Falls, Idaho, so that the advertisement could be submitted to award ceremonies for that year. In addition, starting on January 17, 1984 it was screened prior to previews in movie theaters for a few weeks. Its best-known appearance was just after half-time of Super Bowl XVIII on 22 January 1984. Even with these limited appearances, 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.
Major later portrayed "Nikita" in the Elton John 1985 music video of the same name. As a spin-off, she released a single named Moscow Nights using the name Anya, and with that name, in 1987, she released another song named One Word.
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.
- Linzmayer, Owen (July 1994). The Mac Bathroom Reader (reproduction of chapter from book). San Francisco: Sybex Inc. ISBN 978-0-7821-1531-4. Archived from the original on 29 March 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-02.
- Hertzfeld, Andy. "1984". Archived from the original on 5 April 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-02.
- "1984 Apple Commercial: The making of a legend". The Mac Bathroom Reader. Archived from the original on 5 July 2008. Retrieved 7 July 2008.
- Pogue, David; Joseph Schorr (1993). Macworld Macintosh SECRETS. San Mateo, California: IDG Books Worldwide. p. 251. ISBN 1-56884-025-X.
- "Anya (2) Discography". Discogs. Retrieved 2014-07-26.
- Hertzfeld, Andy (speaker) (2006-03-15). Andy Hertzfeld at Google New York. Google. Retrieved 2007-04-02.
- Crump, Steve (27 January 2009). "How KMVT launched Apple's Macintosh". Times-News. Twin Falls, Idaho. Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
The 42-year-old British mother of three still gets fan mail...