"Golden Goddesses: 25 Legendary Women of Classic Erotic Cinema, 1968-1985" by Jill C. Nelson, provides intimate portraits of 25 women who were involved in the adult movie industry during its golden age. The book features performers, directors, costumers and screenwriters. Presented in an oral history format, "Goddesses" also includes film highlights, photos, and Honorable Mentions. Published by BearManor Media, Golden Goddesses is now available through all major online book retailers.
Jo Petty might not quite have achieved the status of elite female performer as
some of her contemporaries like Seka and Ginger Lynn, but she has clearly
etched out a place as one of the sexiest and most provocative "B"
female actors of the Golden Era. Her fan base continues to mushroom.
In recent years, since I first interviewed
Rhonda for Golden Goddesses, Rhonda has been actively rebuilding her life. Due
to positive influences and care from her children, family members, friends, and
her beloved rescue dogs, Rhonda is stronger than ever and has never been
better. I am proud to call her a friend. In honor of Rhonda Jo Petty’s 59th
birthday today, I would like to re-share excerpts from her chapter in the book,
titled Rhonda Jo Petty, Roller Girl.
**A Chatsworth, California native, Rhonda Jo gained notoriety as a Farrah
Fawcett clone during the promotion of her first starring role in Disco
Lady (1978) because of the remarkable resemblance she bore to her Hollywood
counterpart. Petty quickly magnetized a cult fan base who appreciated her
inclination for some of her raunchier onscreen activities that became
synonymous with her name after her second adult feature Little Orphan Dusty
(1978). Petty has wrestled with her share of demons, and in recent years, she
has worked on making peace with her past as she still feels the lingering
effects of a traumatic childhood. Petty is proud of her reputation as a pioneer
and she remains one of the industry’s most noteworthy and personable feature
female stars.Although it was difficult at times for Rhonda
to share certain painful memories during our interview, her candor is palpable
first time I was busted in junior high, I had taken some downers and I ended up
passing out in class. When I woke up, everybody was gone except for the teacher
sitting at her desk. She said, ‘Rhonda?’ I said, ‘Oh shit.’ I took off running
into my locker – I don’t know why but I was really messed up, and had taken too
many downers. Next thing I know, the principal is in my face, the teacher is
there, and there’s security. They dragged me into the office and they called my
mother. They called the police and I’ll never forget the principal sitting
there with a pencil telling me to follow the pencil with my eyes. My mom picked
me up and brought me home. It was my father’s birthday. She paced back and
forth in the living room and kept saying, ‘Your father’s going to kill you.’ It
was at that point that I couldn’t take it anymore. This was going to be a
really big beating. I thought, ‘I don’t care anymore. ‘That was the day that I
disconnected -- I cut my head off from my body. I mentally just disconnected. It’s
funny down the road when I did films I was able to do that."
know, I always felt when I was working that a lot of the girls were there to
prove their sexuality. It would just be the biggest turn-off to me. I couldn’t
stand it. Some of them were really screwed up. They just couldn’t wait to work
and they loved it, and they were just idiots in my eyes. I saw it as a job and
you were there to work. I always had a good reputation for showing up on time.
I was always a good worker and there was never a problem. I did pride myself on
that fact -- I always suited up and showed up. My dad instilled really good
work ethics in me.
"I view myself as a person who
has her own opinion, and who has had her own experiences. This is who I am. I
took a serious approach to the business and I liked the money. I think another
reason that I got into the business is because of my attitude. My parents were
not there for me at all. I feel like I got dropped off at the end of the world.
By the time I left the house, they didn’t give a shit if I went to college.
There were no offers like, ‘Oh, Rhonda, what are you going to do with your
life?’ I thought to myself,‘Fuck my dad. I’ll show him. I can take care of
“My mom is the sweetest thing in the
world. She has never judged me; she is very religious. She’s always been
supportive of me and had an open door. My dad was angry in the beginning, of
course, but nowadays he’ll make comments that surprise me. One time he said,
“Oh, Rhonda, me and Uncle Bobby were on the internet and I told Bobby you were
in Debbie Does Dallas (1978). Weren’t you in that movie?” It blew me
away because it has been something we don’t discuss. Here he was coming off as
if he was a little bit proud of me. He knows that I made it big in the industry
and he’s made a couple of comments here and there to let me know.”
"I’ve had to deal with the bad
side of it and the good side of it. But I’m fine with it, today. I did make a
name for myself, and I have a real good reputation in the business. They
finally put me in the Hall of Fame."
"Today I'm very moralistic. It's funny because I shock my psyhologist. He said, 'I can't believe that someone like you, who did what you did, would become as moralistic as what you are, Rhonda.'
I don't worry about people judging me. If I did, it would drive me crazy. I've always been very private, and have been very careful about who I have around me. If people show up and I'm not comfortable with them - you're not coming in my house. I don't need to be judged because I know what I did. I've had to deal with the bad side of it and the good side of it, but I'm fine with it today. I wouldn't change it for the world because it's a part of who I am. It's made me who I am.