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Ahna Capri

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Born:  Budapest, Hungary
Birthname:  Anna Marie Nanasi

Biography
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Filmography
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Biography:  Beautiful, blonde bombshell Ahna Capri certainly earned her success, and has one of the coolest names ever!  Born in Hungary, she could have easily taken on Zza Zza/Eva Gabor-type broken English roles.   What she ended up doing was so far removed from them that it's hard for us to think of her as Hungarian at all.  Her filmed roles began as a child actress in 1956, and she had a handful before really hitting her stride in 1957 with the Western film "Outlaw's Son".  In this movie, credited as Ann Marie Nanasi, she played the child version of Amy Wentworth.  Until 1962, a lot of her work was in the Western genre, especially on television.  She had roles in legendary series like "Sugarfoot", "Wanted: Dead or Alive", "Maverick", and "Cheyenne".  There were a few departures from cowboy shows at this time, most notably roles in "Make Room For Daddy", "Circus Boy", and "The George Burns & Gracie Allen Show".  These three shows were all so different from each other that it helped prove the diversity of roles she could play.  In 1961, she started being credited as Anna Capri.

    In 1962, Anna started making the move from child actor to the more mature, sexy parts.  She managed to work herself out of almost-strictly Western roles into the more fun adventure and teenage romantic comedy roles.  The popular detective series "77 Sunset Strip" was a good move, as was hip teenage comedy "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis".

    It was in 1965 with the beach comedy "The Girls on the Beach" that Anna Capri was really introduced to us as a sex symbol.  She might have had those qualities before this point, but this was the first time that a strong sexiness was really spelled out.  The film, itself, was great exposure for Ms. Capri, and starred just about every major beach movie actor at the time including:  Gail Gilmore, Aron Kincaid, Mary Mitchel (sometimes spelled Mitchell), Lori Saunders, Martin West, Lana Wood, and others.  The funny sexiness continued with appearances in TVs "I Spy", "The Wild Wild West", "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.", and many others.  I think it was only the growing, more brooding mood of the late 1960s that moved Anna from the funny sexy parts to the more serious sexy parts.  No matter what, though, there was always a witty charm to her characters.

    Capri had already done a number of dramatic shows, but in 1969 she started doing the strong, suspense thrillers with Roger Corman's film "Target: Harry".  This was the beginning of the third phase of Anna's acting career, and it was the era that left the biggest impression on her fans.  "I played a real heavy in the film Darker Than Amber (1970)," comments Ahna.  "In that movie, I was a cohort of William Smith.  Later on, in the movie Piranha (1972), William Smith was the killer and I was the one running away!"  She pretty much stuck to the Ahna Capri spelling of her name from 1971-on.  Along with intense, psychological thrillers, Ahna did a lot of cop/crime shows, including "The F.B.I.", "Ironside", "Mannix", "Banacek", and "The Mod Squad".

    1973 was a landmark year for Ms. Capri.  "My all-time favorite role was in the movie Payday (1973), opposite Rip Torn.  It was a great role, great movie, and Rip Torn is a great actor."  Shortly after this film, Ahna met with her most popular role as Tania, the blonde madame in Bruce Lee's legendary martial arts epic, "Enter the Dragon" (1973).  "Bruce was the most fun to work with," says Ahna.  "He was shy at first with everyone, but once he got to know you he'd joke around...even do little pranks."

    Tania was a very well-received character, and proved to be a tough act to follow.  The trend of doing cop shows continued for Ahna Capri for the remainder of her career.  After "Enter the Dragon", she did TV series like "Cannon", "Police Story", "Kojak", "Baretta", and "Mrs. Columbo" with very few roles outside the genre.  Two other very interesting parts DID come out during this period, though, including that of a prostitute in the odd little film, "The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings" (1976) and the superhero series "Man From Atlantis" in 1977.

    After a successful run, Ahna Capri left acting in 1979.  She has some great memories and loves her fans.  "I always know when Enter the Dragon (1973) is being shown somewhere on television.  That's when fan letters and autograph requests start coming in.  I've even done some of the martial arts film conventions.  I'm happy to be so fondly remembered."

Filmography: In progress.

Photos: In progress.