Anja Šovagović Despot was born in 1963 in Zagreb where she finished her schooling. She graduated from the Classic gymnasium, as well as the music high-school, where she played the cello. She won many awards at various musical contests.
In 1985 she graduated acting from the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb in the class of professor Tomislav Durbešić with the role of Laura Lenbach in Miroslav Krleža's play ''In Agony''.
She began her professional work in the theatre in the ''Histrions Acting Troupe''. Later, with her coleagues from the Academy she founded the acting group ''Lift''. She is a regular at Dubrovnik Summer Festival, Split Summer Festival and the Actors' Meetings in Zagvozd.
She played in about 40 leading roles in the theatre, in the productions directed by top Croatian and European directors such as: Kosta Spaić, Petar Veček, Joško Juvančić, Krešimir Dolenčić, Zlatko Vitez, Miro Međimorec, Tomislav Radić, Marin Carić, Paolo Magelli, Roberto Ciulli, Eduard Miller, Nenni Delmestre…
More significant roles:
MIRANDA - W. Shakespeare "Oluja"
KORDELIJA - W. Shakespeare "Kralj Lear"
TITANIJA - W. Shakespeare "San ljetne noći"
ANTIGONA - M. Gavran "Kreontova Antigona"
SUZANNE - Beumarchais "Figaro se ženi"
SUZANNE - O. von Horvath "Figaro se rastaje"
POLIKSENA - M. Držić "Hekuba"
MELITA - M. Krleža "Leda"
POLLY - B. Brecht "Opera za tri groša"
KASANDRA - Eshil "Agamemnon"
MARTA DI SPELTTA - E. De Filippo "Velika Magija"
PERINA ŠTRAMBERA - I. Tijardović "Spliski akvarel"
IDA SMRTULJAK - D. Jovanović "Viktor ili dan Mladosti"
GLORIJA - R. Marinković "Glorija"
MAGGIE - T. Williams "Mačka na vrućem limenom krovu"
JULIE - G. Buchner "Dantonova smrt"
MARIJA ANDREJEVNA - Gogolj "Revizor"
GIACINTA - C.Goldoni "Trilogija o ljetovanju"
ENTELA VETURA - I. Aralica "Propast Magnuma"
JELENA ANDREJEVNA - A. P. Čehov "Ujak Vanja"
MAŠA - A. P. Čehov "Tri sestre"
LJUBOV ANDREJEVNA - A. P. Čehov "Višnjik"
NATALIJA PETROVNA - I. S. Turgenjev "Mjesec dana na selu"
BOBOČKA - M. Krleža - Z. Vitez "Latinović"
ELEONORA - S. Mrožek "Tango"
ŽENA - L. Kaštelan "Prije sna"
CVIJETA ZUZORIĆ - M. Sršen "Cvijeta"
She works with many theatres in Croatia. She is a guest star on stages in the CNT in Zagreb and Split, ZYT, ''Pozdravi'' acting troupe and she is a full-time member of Gavella Drama Theatre ensemble in Zagreb.
She made ten movies among whom we single out the roles in the following movies:
SAN O RUŽI
ŠTO JE IVA SNIMILA
She performed in several TV dramas, films and series.
Frequently works with the drama programme of the Croatian radio.
She made a music CD where she covers Slavonian folk songs; it's title is ''Ko Ce Mi Zabranit''.
The third edition of her first book ''Divlja Sloboda'' (Wild Freedom) recently came out of print. It is a collection of theatre essays. The publisher is ''Mozaik-knjiga'' from Zagreb.
She is a full-time associate of the magazine ''The Theatre'' where she has her own column called ''Vox histrionis''.
She is the winner of many theatre and film awards and recognitions among whom are:
"Seven Ministers of SKOJ-a" award (SKOJ = Comunist Youth Union of Yugoslavia)
Best young actress award at the Mess Festival in Sarajevo
Best young actress at Gavella Evenings
''The Grand Charter'' at the Festival of Yugoslav film in Niš for the role of Stela in the movie ''Stela''
''Pazinka Rose'' for the role of Stela in the movie ''Stela''
''Večernjak's Rose'' for the most popular actress in 1997
''The Golden Laugh'' for the leading role of Giacarta in Goldoni's ''Summer Trilogy'' at the Days of Satire Festival
''The Golden Laugh'' for the leading role of Natalija Petrovna in ''A Month in the Country'' at the Days of Satire Festival"
"Fabijan Šovagović" award for the leading role in the play ''Before Sleep'' at the Actor's Festival in Vinkovci
''The Golden Arena'' for best actress in the movie ''What Iva Made"
She has received the Danica Hrvatske Order of merit, which has Marko Marulić engraved on it.
She is also the National Gratitude testimonial holder
She is a member of the Croatian Drama Artists' Society
She is a member of the programme board of the Croatian Radio-television