Kerstin Anita Marianne Ekberg was born on September 29, 1931 in Malmö, Sweden. She was the sixth of eight children and worked as a fashion model. In 1950 at her mother’s urging Kerstin entered a local beauty contest and became Miss Malmö, Miss Sweden and then went to the U.S.A. to compete in the Miss Universe competition. Although she did not win Miss Universe she did sign a movie contract with Universal Studios where she appeared in 1953's "Abbott and Costello Go to Mars" and was taken under the wing of Howard Hughes. Now known as Anita Ekberg she skipped most of her acting lessons to go horseback riding in the Hollywood Hills. She became a pin-up girl in the 1950s and she was offered films from other studios including Paramount where she was cast in "Artists and Models" (1955) "Hollywood or Bust" (1956) both starring Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. She toured with Bob Hope to entertain American troops stationed overseas which led to a contract with John Wayne’s Batjac Productions. Wayne cast her in "Blood Alley" (1955). In 1956 she went to Rome and appeared in "War and Peace". In 1960 Ekberg had her biggest role in Federico Fellini’s "La Dolce Vita", then "Boccaccio ‘70". Now at the height of her career she was married to British actor Anthony Steel from 1956-1959 then married actor Rik Van Nutter (1963-1975). Anita appeared in two Euro-westerns, "Deadly Trackers" (1972) with Richard Harrison, and also "Valley of the Dancing Widows" (1975) but her scenes were deleted from this films final cut.. Ekberg is now retired and living in Rome she appeared on an Italian radio show called Sommar in 2005. Today we celebrate Anita Ekberg’s 80th birthday.