|Photo by Kenneth Brewster|
Delighted when she accepted my request for an interview (I have to thank Seka again for being instrumental in this process as she alerted the "Club 90" girls about my intentions for the book), we set a date to talk on the phone while Gloria was still living in Florida.
In June 2012, I, along with two friends, had the opportunity to spend time with Gloria in New York during a private gathering with friends on a boat. It was a wonderful, memorable afternoon. Gloria was lively, hilariously funny, and full of great stories. She looked beautiful. Three months after the book was published, Gloria sent me a touching note. In January 2013, she wrote:
Working in the adult industry has given me an opportunity to meet people that I would otherwise never have met. It's given me an opportunity to travel to places that otherwise I might never have had the opportunity to visit. It has given me a platform from which to espouse my political views. Bearing in mind that here I was raising a child single-handedly without the benefit of child support or anything else -- working my tail off to put a roof over our heads and food on the table -- this was before the term 'Women's Lib' ever existed, I was doing this.
I actually discussed my decision to work in adult films with my daughter prior to doing it. I explained that just the way there are movies with comedy, and with action, and horror movies, there are also movies with sex. I told her that I was contemplating performing in one and she was very supportive and encouraging. Occasionally, a few years down the line there would be somebody at school who would make some sort of an unpleasant comment to her, but she was tough, she let it roll.
Jamie [Gillis] inducted me into the Las Vegas "Legends Hall of Fame." He stood behind my chair, and of course, predictably, extolled my virtues, but the thing that he said which actually brought me to sobbing tears is this: "Babe Ruth was not just a baseball player, Frank Sinatra was not just a singer, and Gloria Leonard is not just a porn star." That, for me, is my Kodak moment. It was very, very touching.
Golden Goddesses: 25 Legendary Women of Classic Erotic Cinema,1968-1985 © 2012 Jill C. Nelson