Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Spotlight on "Aunt Peg" Juliet Anderson (1938-2010)
Juliet Anderson is one of the most ferociously seductive temptresses to have entranced golden age audiences. Anderson moved swiftly up the echelon of adult performers in her fortieth year after accepting the role of a housekeeper in Alex de Renzy’s Pretty Peaches (1978). With the subsequent unveiling of her alter ego, the insatiable, shoot-from-the-hip, “Aunt Peg” Norton, Juliet became an instant sensation and recurring screen character following a scene whereby Anderson instructed her virginal “niece” (Sharon Kane) on the finer points of sexual gratification during a ménage à trois with John C. Holmes.
The eldest of two daughters, Juliet Anderson was born Judy Carr. Raised in Burbank, California by a Big Band trumpeter and his wife, money was scarce for the small family, but love and affection was bountiful. Juliet spoke with humor and awe when recounting her parents’ uninhibited sexual compatibility vividly recalling how they would often sneak away and make love. She credited her mother and father for instilling in her a carefree and healthy attitude about her own sexuality.
Contrary to her later years as an indomitable blonde Cougar, Juliet’s childhood was often lonely and isolated after she was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. The illness produced debilitating symptoms that sent her to hospitals and prevented her from participating in regular girlhood activities. Vowing to not allow the condition to consume her, Juliet eventually studied art and English in college, and taught conversational English abroad to foreign students for several years before settling in San Francisco. There, she proceeded to hook up with a friend for some casual sex and the encounter became the impetus for her job search. Shortly after answering an advertisement in a newspaper seeking to hire nude performers, Anderson made the acquaintance of director Alex de Renzy and her fate was sealed.
‘“[de Renzy] said, “You’re definitely hired for the show, and by the way, I’m shooting a film and there’s a part that hasn’t been cast yet,” which was true, he wasn’t making it up. He told me, “I was wondering if you might like to be in it. It’s not difficult or anything. It’ll only take a short time and it’s just for one day, but I’ll give you two hundred dollars.” Now, see that was a lot of money. Nowadays, ladies get eight hundred dollars for a fourteen-hour day. I’m talking about the girls who are no one―just starting out. Then the stars, they get thousands, you know. Apart from that, I know nothing about it. I don’t keep track of anyone and I know zero.
Anyway, [de Renzy] said, “Well, I’ve got to make a couple of calls, but here’s the script. Your part would be that of the maid. It’s near the beginning.” Up to that point, I’d never been with a woman. I read that part, I screamed and Alex covered his mouthpiece of the phone and said, “I’ll be right with you.”
My heart was pounding and I said to him, “Oh, my god! What is this? I’ve never done—do you mean to tell me there are movies like this?” I’d never heard of the X-rated film business in my whole life. I’d been living abroad. He was very patient and he explained. He said, “This is the X-rated movie business,” but he said, “Look, you don’t have to do it if you don’t want to. You’ll still have the job here.”
I said, “Well, I believe I was given this opportunity for a reason and it would be really foolish of me to pass it up because I like to learn new things.”
John Leslie was my first man I worked with and throughout my entire career; he was my favorite. We had the most incredible chemistry. We absolutely had a ball. I went on to make dozens of films and I was in the industry for six and a half years, but John Leslie was my very favorite. He was intelligent and funny, a good actor, and we just had so much fun; it was extremely obvious on screen.’
‘I told my parents how it happened and that it completely surprised me. I didn’t even know that the adult industry existed because I’d been out of the country for so long. They looked at each other and looked back at me – I can see it right now – with big smiles on their faces. They said, “We know it already.” Somebody they knew came to them and told them. They had actually gone to a theater. In those days, you had to go to a movie theater. It was before video. My parents told me that some friends of some people they knew went and saw me. I said, “Oh no! I’m sorry.” They just started laughing. They said, “Don’t worry about it. You’re a grown-up gal and if you can’t take care of yourself at this point then it’s too late.”’
‘I was my own manager and I booked myself all over the country. I would create characters like “Carol the Cook,” “Elaine the Engineer,” “Helen the Housewife,” “Nurse Naughty,” and my favorite, “Elaine the Executive”. These were parodies to dispel the myth that there was any separation between being sexy, and intelligent, and funny, and older. That’s what I did in the films – dispel those myths and that’s what I did with this show. I had fun creating these characters. I created these great shows. I was my own agent and booked myself in, and I had them find me a hotel room.’
‘If women let themselves be exploited, I imagine they were. I can’t really speak for the other women; I just know that I never was. I never allowed myself to be. The directors who wanted to do that didn’t hire me because I had a reputation for being independent and not putting up with nonsense. I did a very good job when I was in front of the camera and I made it easy for everybody because my scenes could often be done in just one take.’
‘I had a positive attitude, but I also saw it as corporate America. The big boys were making lots of money and we working folk were not. That went for the directors and the crew as well as the cast. The rumor is that I made three producers millionaires. That’s just a rumor, but I certainly lined the coffers of the corporate people who financed these productions. It’s big business.’