Golden Goddesses

Golden Goddesses
Front Cover: Serena

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Spotlight on Gloria Leonard

Gloria Leonard is considered by her contemporaries as the highly esteemed “Grand Dame” of the Golden Era of pornographic movies.  Now in her 71st year, Gloria still possesses razor sharp wit, intimidating intelligence, beauty and savvy.  As a fiercely independent woman who entered adult films at the ripe age of 35, Leonard's verbal dissertation about her life, career, and the world around her, is delivered with delicious deprecating humor that would make her teenage mentor, Lenny Bruce smile in his grave...

'Contrary to the stereotypical perceptions out there, nobody was every drugged and dragged off of the streets.  The only person whom I ever hated was Linda Lovelace because, even in her book [Ordeal] and when she spoke publicly, she would always bring up the fact that a gun was held to her head when they were making Deep Throat (1972).  But what she would neglect to include was that the gun was not held by anybody involved with the actual production, rather than by her boyfriend [Chuck Traynor], a lousy choice in men that she made.  That always pissed me off that she wasn’t totally forthcoming about the circumstances.  Marilyn Chambers was a very honest gal, whereas Linda adopted this kind of ‘I’m a victim’ and ‘poor me’ attitude and wound up having all of these hardcore, humorless feminists supporting her.'

'I earned quite a good living, by the way, specifically in the ‘80s, literally speaking at dozens of colleges and universities, very often debating the so-called, "feminists".  My thinking was, if the bottom line of the feminist movement is for women to be able to choose whatever they want to do without any repercussions, well, shit, that’s what I’m doing.  You should be cheering me on, not wagging your fingers at me.'

'I am somebody who was at the forefront of what was considered as a rebellious and radical industry, that is now qite commonplace. I feel we championed free speech a nd freedom for people to do what they want and to watch what they want.'

'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 rof over our heads and fod on the table -- this was before the term "Women's Lib" ever existed, I was doing this.'

'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.'

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