Moana Pozzi, often called simply Moana, complete name was Anna Moana Rosa Pozzi (27 April 1961 – 15 September 1994) was an Italian pornographic actress. She was sometimes credited in the early films as Linda Heveret.
Moana Pozzi was born in Genoa, Liguria. Her parents chose her name from a geographic map of Hawaii: it means "where the sea is deepest". Her father was a nuclear engineer and he moved around the world with his family for work. As a teen, Moana lived with her family in Canada, then in Brazil. At 13 years old, in 1974, Moana moved back to Italy with her family, where she finished high school. When the family had to move again to Lyon, France, she decided to start living independently in Rome around 1980, when she was 19 years old.
In Rome, Pozzi started working as a model and studied acting. Sometimes she performed in TV commercials or as a walk-on in comedy movies. She was very ambitious, and in Rome she became the lover of many famous people. Her most famous secret lover was Bettino Craxi, Prime Minister of Italy from 1983 to 1987. Through his intervention, she got a job at Rai Television on a children's entertainment program. The same year (1981) she performed her first hardcore movie, Valentina, ragazza in calore ("Valentina, Girl in Heat"), without being credited. A minor scandal ensued since, at the same time the movie was in theatres, she was still working on children's TV. She denied being the same person, but she was suspended from TV anyway. This gave her her first popularity in newspapers and magazines. In 1985 Federico Fellini wanted her to perform in his movie Ginger and Fred.
In 1986, Pozzi met Riccardo Schicchi, manager of Diva Futura, the agency of the most famous porn stars like Cicciolina. Her first A-movie in hard core was Fantastica Moana, where she used her real name for the first time. She also took part in the famous Curve Deliziose (Delicious curves) next to Cicciolina others, the first live show in Italy where naked models would masturbate onstage. This caused scandal and accusations of outrageous obscenity. She became huge in the hardcore business and soon eclipsed the popularity of Cicciolina in Italy. (At the same time Cicciolina stopped doing porn to pursue a political career in Italian Parliament.) Pozzi's appearances on TV also caused scandal. In the show Matrjoska by Antonio Ricci (producer), she used to appear on stage completely naked or just wrapped in a transparent plastic veil. Magazines and newspapers were more and more interested in her and she was often featured on covers. She was also appreciated for her distinctive intelligence, defying the cliché of the brainless pinup. She cultivated intellectuals, writers, and artists such as Mario Schifano or Dario Bellezza. This was the first time a porn-star became so popular in everyday life. She was the first to show that porn does not always involve shame and repentance.
Pozzi was conscious of her role in show business. In interviews she always spoke of what she wanted to be for public opinion: sexy, sophisticated, intelligent, open-minded, worldly.
In 1991, Pozzi published her first book Moana's philosophy where she listed, with marks from 4 to 9.5, twenty famous celebrities who had been her lovers. The list included actors like Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Roberto Benigni and Massimo Troisi, soccer players like Paulo Roberto Falcão and Marco Tardelli, writers like Luciano De Crescenzo. The name of the most famous one, the actual prime minister Bettino Craxi, who was her lover in 1981, was hidden as "the politician".
In 1992, Pozzi co-founded, with Hungarian Cicciolina Ilona Staller, the Love Party of Italy, whose political program included legalization of brothels, better sex education and the creation of "love parks". No one was elected, but her popularity reached its pinnacle and the best Italian TV anchors wanted to interview her. Stylist Karl Lagerfeld wanted her on the catwalk in 1993. Moana Pozzi became so popular that she was a protagonist for an animated cartoon created by the famous Italian cartoonist Mario Verger, with herself co-directing. This film, entitled Moanaland (1994), aired frequently on Italian television in Blob, and in telecasts dedicated to the actress. Again Verger, by himself, dedicated to Moana Pozzi another cartoon, I Remember Moana, 1995, that gained praise by film critics Marco Giusti and Enrico Ghezzi, and was transmitted in Fuori Orario. It also won a Special Mention at the Erotic Film Festival in the USA.
Her sister Mima became a porn actress, as well, with the stage name of Baby Pozzi.
Death and controversy
In the summer of 1994, Pozzi suddenly started feeling sick, unable to eat without vomiting, and increasingly losing weight. She took time off and traveled to India with her secret husband Antonio Di Ciesco. She returned looking very ill and entered a clinic in Lyon, France, just outside of Italy and its attendant publicity, but near her family. She died suddenly on September 15, 1994, at the age of 33. Most reports say that she died of liver cancer; some tabloid reports claim that she died of AIDS, but that rumor was ultimately unsubstantiated. News of her death broke on 17 September 1994. (It is unusual for a person to die suddenly of liver cancer: usually a person has suffered for years from cirrhosis of the liver, after decades of alcoholism; or the patient has suffered a bout of hepatitis B or C and then suffered for months with the cancer. It is possible that Pozzi had contracted hepatitis via her varied sexual contacts, but she was not known to be an alcoholic. Only her family and some close colleagues knew about her illness, and on TV she was still shown healthy and smiling in programs recorded before the end of the summer. No funeral ceremony took place and no obituary was published.
Rumours about her still living in the USA or in India began circulating immediately. Her family's silence gave more impulse to that. Her death in a foreign country also made it harder to check the death certificate.
On the 10th anniversary of her death (2004), new rumors about her sudden disappearance resurfaced. The court of justice of Rome opened a new file to find out whether she was alive or dead. In December 2005, the Italian TV show Chi l'ha visto? presented for the first time the official death certificate of a Lyon cemetery, recording the exact day of the actress's death. Interviews with the family finally confirmed the circumstances. Her husband Antonio di Ciesco was also interviewed for the first time in 1995. Also shown was the unmarked grave in the "Pozzi" burial plot in Lerma, near Alessandria in Piedmont, northern Italy.
Her brother Simone, whom she was especially close to, revealed in February 2006 on the same TV programme that he was actually her son and not her brother. Moana's mother confirmed this some time ago. He wrote a book (in Italian) telling his story, which was published in 2006. The book reveals for the first time Moana's personality, her differing relations with the other members of her family (especially with her sister Mima), and the course of her illness and death.
On 2 April 2007, Pozzi's husband Antonio Di Ciesco told the newspaper "Il Messaggero" that during her final days, Moana had asked him to speed her death. He claims that he euthanized her by letting air enter her IV, causing an air embolism.
Moana Pozzi performed in about 100 porn movies, mostly in Italy, but also some in Los Angeles with Gerard Damiano as director. She sold about 1 million videotapes. She graced the covers of 50 major magazines, not including pictorials in porn magazines. She was reportedly worth more than 50 billion 1990 Italian liras, about 40 million Euros. Some of her profits were donated posthumously to funding medical research on tumors.