Her parents chose her name - Moana - from a map of Hawaii. Her father was a nuclear engineer and lived around the world; Moana grew up in Canada and Brazil before returning to Italy when she was 13 to finish school. Her family moved again when she was 19 but Moana remained in Rome.
In Rome she studied acting and also worked as a model. During this time she had an affair with Bettino Craxi who got her work on Rai television as a presenter on children's television. At the same time she got an uncredited role in her first hardcore film, Valentina, ragazza in calore (Valentina, Girl on Heat) at the behest of her boyfriend. This led to a scandal when it was revealed she was a children's tv presenter. She subsequently lost her job but at the same time achieved notoriety so much so that Fellini approached her to be in Ginger and Fred.
In 1986 she met Riccardo Schicchi who managed stars such as Cicciolina and began acting in hardcore features. Her popularity soared and she appeared regularly on television. During this time she began to gain an extensive following whilst at the same time cultivating a public image of both sexuality and intelligence.
In 1991 she published her first book, Moana's Philosophy, where she named and rated 20 famous lovers she had slept with. She also worked extensively in the USA.
The following year with Cicciolina she founded the politcal party, Partito dell'Amore which advocated brothels, sex education and suchlike. Although immensely popular the party failed to gain any seats in the election.
In 1994 she began feeling ill and was unable to eat, vomiting continuously and suffering from liver cancer. She died suddenly in hospital in France amid many rumours of AIDS. She was apparantly buried in an unmarked grave in Piedmont in the family tomb although other reports suggest her ashes were scattered in the Mediterranean.
At the time of her death she was reportedly worth about 40 million euro; since then some of the profits still made on her work has been donated to research on tumours.
In 2004 rumours abounded that she was still alive, so much so that prosecutor, Attilio Pisani, opened an enquiry to deal with the many inconsistencies of her death (the lack of a post mortem, no body being seen or registered, etc).
She was married to Antonio Di Ciesco at the time of her death.
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