San Diego police are investigating the death of 58-year-old Anneka Di Lorenzo (a.k.a. Anneka Vasta). The Caligula actress’ body was found Jan. 4 by joggers on a military training beach in San Diego County. Di Lorenzo appeared in a handful of “exploitation” movies of the 1970s, most notably as Roman Empress Messalina in both Tinto Brass’ Caligula and Bruno Corbucci’s Messalina, Empress of Rome.
Investigators are trying to figure out how Di Lorenzo/Vasta, a resident of the Los Angeles suburb of Sherman Oaks, ended up in the water. Her car and belongings were found atop a bluff; had she jumped, investigators say that her body wouldn’t have landed in the water because the tide doesn’t come up that far.
In Caligula, the beautiful, sculptural Di Lorenzo was featured in a memorable lesbian sex scene with Lori Wagner. Other credits, film and otherwise, include (with her last name spelled in various forms) John Peyser’s The Centerfold Girls, with Aldo Ray; John Hayes’ Mama’s Dirty Girls, with Oscar winner Gloria Grahame; Bob Kelljan’s Act of Vengeance; a bit as a nurse in Brian De Palma’s Dressed to Kill; and 1975 Penthouse Pet of the Year.
In 1990, a New York judge awarded Vasta more than $4 million, according to The Huffington Post. She had sued Penthouse’s Bob Guccione, alleging that he had pressured her into having sex with his business associates. Gucionne died Oct. 20, 2010, at the age of 79.