Anita is the wife of Roger Radcliffe and the owner of Perdita. The first film establishes that she and Cruella De Vil had gone to school together as children and were apparently friends at one points, although by the time of their adulthood (at least after Anita had married Roger), Anita appears to have grown weary of their meetings and admits to Roger at one point that she does consider Cruella to be eccentric.
In the animated film, Anita is spotted by Pongo, while out on a walk with her Dalmatian, Perdita. Pongo, who is looking for potential mates for both him and Roger, attempts to bring the two owners together. Pongo tricks Roger into going to the park and pursues Anita. Eventually, Anita and Roger are both tangled up in Pongo's leash, resulting in the two of them falling into a pond. Anita frets at first, as she was wearing a new suit and hat, but she and Roger begin laughing together.
A time skip shows that Anita marries Roger, and she and Perdita move into a small home with Roger and Pongo. It is also revealed that Pongo and Perdita are expecting puppies. Anita is shown trying to get Roger, who is busy composing, to come down for tea. When he finally does, she playfully teases him on the song that he is writing. Their tea is interrupted by the impromptu visit of Anita's former schoolmate, Cruella De Vil. The name inspires lyrics for the song Roger is writing, and he begins singing a somewhat mocking tone. Anita tries to shush him, but Roger goes upstairs to work on the song, leaving Anita to entertain her friend.
Cruella walks in, and Anita notes Cruella's new fur coat. Cruella responds with a comment about her love for fur. Cruella then gets down to business and asks where the puppies are. Anita tells Cruella that the puppies are not expected for a few more weeks and that these things cannot be rushed. However, Cruella is now looking at a picture of Pongo and Perdita, murmuring about their coats. Anita invites Cruella for tea, but Cruella cannot stay. Cruella leaves just as quickly as she came, noting that she will be back in three weeks when the puppies are born.
Three weeks later, Perdita gives birth, and Anita, along with Nanny, assist. Anita is shown calling out puppy numbers, as the litter increases from 8 to 11 to 14 to a total of 15. However, one of the puppies apparently dies. However, Roger is able to revive the puppy, much to Anita's relief. Cruella soon comes in, as she had promised. However, Cruella is shown to be disappointed and angry that the puppies are all white. Anita notes that the spots come in a few weeks after the puppies are born. Cruella is relieved and quickly offers to buy the puppies, noting that Anita and Roger cannot possibly afford to keep them all. Anita notes that they couldn't sell the puppies, as Perdita would be heartbroken, and that she and Roger could find a way to get along. Cruella laughs at the idea of Roger's songs supporting the family. This incites Roger to step in; Roger sternly tells Cruella that they have no intention of selling the puppies. Cruella is angered to the point that she ends her friendship with Anita, and storms out vowing revenge. Anita applauds Roger on his bravery.
One night, when the puppies are older, Anita and Roger take Pongo and Perdita to the park. They return to find that the puppies have been stolen. Soon after, Cruella calls, expressing shock over the theft. Roger is shown to believe that Cruella was behind the theft, but Anita isn't convinced only because of her former friendship with Cruella. She admits that Cruella is eccentric, but that she couldn't be a thief. Anita also notes that Cruella's home had been searched, but no evidence had turned up. However, unknown to her, Cruella had hired two henchmen, Jasper and Horace Badun, to steal the puppies, with the intention of turning them into fur coats and hid them in another deserted house.
Anita is not shown again until around Christmastime. She is shown decorating a tree, while Roger is listening to the radio, which is playing the song he wrote. Anita notes that the song was Roger's first hit and that it has brought in a substantial amount of money. Roger agrees but notes that he can't believe that Pongo and Perdita ran away. (Unknown to either of them, Pongo and Perdita had gone to rescue the puppies from Cruella.) Suddenly, a group of "Labradors" bound in through the door. Anita cleans the face of one of the adults and discovers that it is actually Perdita. Anita and Roger notice that the puppies with them are much greater in number than the original 15. Anita, along with Nanny, counts the puppies, while Roger adds up the totals, finding out that there are 101 Dalmatians in total. Anita asks Roger what they should do with the other puppies. Roger decides to keep them, which leads Anita to point out that they have a small house. Roger responds that they can use the money from his song to buy a country home large enough for them all.
Since the DVD commentary and sequel confirms that Cruella was arrested for the theft of the puppies after her failure to ram the truck apart; it is presumed that Anita finally accepted the idea of Cruella being a thief and possibly pressed charges against her.
Anita returns for the sequel, and is shown, alongside Roger, are shown to be preparing for the move to a country home they have bought. A while after they move, the adults learn of Patch being left behind in London, they frantically travel back in their car to find him, arriving in time to retrieve not just Patch, but the rest of his siblings who had also been kidnapped from the farm while they were gone. Jasper and Horace confess her it was Cruella who was behind the dognapping. As they find the puppies they also adopt, Thunderbolt.
In the live-action remake, Anita is the human deuteragonist. Her maiden name is Campbell-Green (which is changed to Dearly after marrying Roger). She works as a fashion designer for Cruella in the House of De Vil. As she works for the House Of De Vil, Cruella catches her drawing a sketch with a Dalmatian-spotted coat for fun (which inspires Cruella). When Cruella states her fears about Anita going to work somewhere else, Anita claims she'll only retire if she met someone and working clashed with their plans.
She later meets Roger in St. James Park when she hits him with her purse after a misunderstanding of her thinking Roger was abducting Perdita (as Roger mistook Perdita for Pongo). After Roger apologizes for the mistake, he asks her what she has in her purse, thinking its rocks. She replies that they're bricks; she's been repaving her garden, and whenever she sees a discarded brick, she picks it up (and also revealed she had collected three on that specific day). Roger remarks "Oh, that's what I would've guessed".
After she crashes her bike into the pond because of Perdita, Roger rescues her and tries to give her mouth-to-mouth, but wasn't able to do it well, since Anita's arms were around his neck. Anita apologizes for that later, and Roger accepts. She and Roger later marry and move into their own house, where her old Nanny from her childhood comes back to work for them. Nanny realizes, whilst diagnosing Perdita to be expecting, that Anita is pregnant too.
Cruella comes to visit and feels that Anita just sending the sketches of her designs because she is on leave from work isn't the same as the interaction they had together. She mocks Roger for his job and for starting a family which makes his respect for her, turn to hatred. When she hears that Perdita is having puppies as well, she tells them to let her know when the event will take place.
After the fifteen puppies are born, Cruella comes barging in, wanting to buy them in advance when they get their spots and are ready to leave their mother. Roger angrily tells her that they are not selling them at any price. Anita tries to keep her relationship with Cruella by claiming that they do not mean immediately to sell them, and is suspicious as to why Cruella would want to adopt the puppies at all. But after Cruella frightens her when she doesn't take the check she writes out, Anita ultimately gains the courage to stand up against her and agree with Roger that they are not for sale. A furious Cruella then fires Anita from her job and leaves vowing revenge.
When the puppies have their spots grown, she and Roger go out for a walk in the park taking Pongo and Perdita with them. Two bandits named Jasper and Horace break in and lock Nanny in the closet before stealing the puppies. They return home, hearing the barking of the Pensioner's bulldog (who had been barking angrily at Jasper and Horace and is the witness). Realizing what she and Roger had done - leaving the puppies unprotected - Anita and Roger call the police.
When Pongo and Perdita run off to rescue the Puppies right in front of their eyes, Nanny notes that the Dalmatians just went to go find the puppies. After she also notes that they were also able to sense ill-intentions in Cruella, Anita asks Nanny where his portfolio is. After opening it, Anita looks at the Dalmation Fur Coat she made for fun back when she was working for Cruella, making her realize that Cruella is behind the dog-napping and what she plans to do. Anita takes the drawing back to Roger and Nanny and tells them "She did steal the puppies and this is why." After showing them the drawing, Anita tells the pair that Cruella's going to kill the puppies so she can use their fur to make it. The trio then calls the police and tell them Anita's suspicions.
When she and Roger go to Cruella's London residence with the police, they find the pelt of the missing Siberian tiger. Anita and Roger sadly hug each other, feeling regretful for going out for a walk to the park instead of staying home and protecting the puppies. The Constable in charge tells Anita that her suspicions about Cruella were justified as they found evidence that proves her to be the mastermind behind not only the dognapping but also other animal-related crimes that they were never able to solve. He also informs them that Cruella left for a residence she has in Suffolk and that he's already alerted the police there.
When the Dalmatians are returned, Roger convinces her to keep the other puppies, but she cautions Perdita that she won't have the pups chewing up the carpets and barking into the night.
After Roger's new video game starring the puppies as the main characters and Cruella as the villain becomes a worldwide success, they become billionaires and they buy a huge mansion on the outskirts of London. Anita has her baby; a girl and it is implied that she is pregnant once again.
Anita appears in this movie, showing how she met Cruella back in the 70s.
While set Sixty years after the Original, both Anita's Spring Hat and Reading Glasses can be seen in certain episodes of "101 Dalmatian Street". In "London, We Have a Problem", Anita appears in a photo, with Roger, Pongo & Perdita, when Doug grabs a vial containing a sample of Cruella's Hair.
She appears in the episode "Mickey vs. Shelby" in the audience with her husband.
The first film establishes that she was a schoolmate to Cruella De Vil, and the two apparently shared a friendship at one point. By adulthood, Anita seems to be exhausted after Cruella's meetings and admits at one point that she finds Cruella to be eccentric.
- Anita's last name, Radcliffe, is changed to Dearly for the live-action remake of the film. This was the last name she and Roger had in the original book.
- In the animated movies, it's never revealed what Anita's maiden name is (her last name before she married Roger and took his last name). However, in the 1996 remake, her last name was originally Campbell-Green before she met and married Roger.
- There has been some debate over whether Anita's hair color is red or brown. In the films and television series, it appears to be an orange-red hue, but in related books, it appears to have a brown hue.
- Anita’s original voice actress, Lisa Davis, was originally brought in by Walt Disney, to audition for Cruella. However she felt that she was wrong for the role. She expressed this to Walt and was cast as Anita.
- Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel in The Little Mermaid, voices Anita in the film's sequel.
- In the TV series, it is revealed that Anita has a niece named Amber, who bears an uncanny resemblance to her.
- Anita's name is slightly similar in sound to Perdita.
- Although she and Roger both told Cruella in the 1996 remake that the puppies weren't for sale this was most likely a lie for some reason since it is implied that they did sell Dipstick to Chloe Simon