Remembering Linda Lovelace, the Deepthroat Star Who Became a Housewife in Denver

Which film starring a Colorado-bound actress still holds the record for highest-grossing film of all time? It would be Deep Throat, the first adult film to debut in mainstream cinema, helping to bring the sexual revolution to the middle class and breaking box office records when it was released in June 1972, exactly fifty years ago. Star Linda Lovelace lived the last years of his life quietly in the Denver metro, dying in a car accident in 2002 at the age of 53.

A “global cinematic experience” will mark the film’s fiftieth anniversary, according to Damiano Films, including screenings of the new 4K restoration of Deep Throat, featuring in-person Q&A sessions with filmmakers in locations including “Berlin, Bologna, Seattle, Los Angeles, Kreuzberg, Miami, Chicago, Montreal, Amsterdam, Rome, London, Tokyo, Paris, Pittsburgh and more. ‘others”. The anniversary celebration is “about addressing the conversations that began 50 years ago with the original film as we watch individual rights and freedoms under attack by an extremist return to restrictions on our bodies and freedom of expression “, said the film company in a press release. .

Damiano Films is now managed by Deep Throat director Gerard DamienThe children of Gerard Damiano Jr. and Christal Damiano, who strive to preserve and promote their father’s legacy in the porn industry. Damiano was the author of other films on the adults-only spectrum, from the almost equally famous The Devil in Miss Jones to the dubious making of what Damiano Films calls a “cult classic” called let my puppets comeit is exactly what it sounds like: muppet porn.

The festivities will begin on June 10 in New York at Roxy Cinema Tribeca with a 16 mm projection and a round table between porn stars and historians of the 1970s. Deep Throat will also be featured in a month-long exhibition at the Museum of Sex in New York titled From Porn Chic to Sex Positivity: Erotic Content and the Mainstream, 1960–Present.

Even if Lovelace were alive, she’s unlikely to join in the celebration, given the arc of her short life, in which she went from porn star to porn advocate to anti-porn activist. to attend porn conventions and sign autographs, a journey recorded in her own words in four separate autobiographies from 1974, 1980, and 1986. Her porn career spanned just six movies in as many years, from 1969 to 1975. And in 1986, Lovelace testified before the Meese Commission on Pornography, when she said, “When you see the movie Deep Throatyou watch me get raped.

therapist and author Judith Hermannbest known for her book Trauma and recovery, says that much of the behavior Lovelace exhibited later in life suggests she suffered from PTSD. But it’s unclear whether this condition was caused by his parents, experiences with pornography and prostitution in his young adulthood, or both.

Born Linda Susan Boreman in the Bronx in 1949, Lovelace had a religious upbringing that included Catholic schools and the nickname “Miss Holy Holy” due to her youthful aversion to sex and even physical contact. Her father was a largely absent New York policeman, her mother an aloof and overbearing waitress; When her father retired from the force in 1965, the family moved to Florida, where a few years later the unmarried Lovelace gave birth to a baby. Lovelace put this child up for adoption, but wrote years later that his mother had tricked her into giving up her rights on papers she did not read.

Click to enlarge Lovelace at the time of the Catholic school.  - YOUTUBE

Lovelace at the time of the Catholic school.

It was after abandoning the baby and the first of two catastrophic car accidents (the second would eventually cost her her life) that she met the man who would be her first husband, as well as her manager and pimp: Chuck Traynor. With her violent coercion, Lovelace moved to New York City in 1969, where she began doing hardcore “loops” for coin-operated peep shows and prostituting herself. That’s where the sexual wear began, Lovelace later recalled, which led to his starring role in Deep Throat, followed by the fantastic success of the film, which touched the general public zeitgeist; Lovelace even put her hand and footprints on the sidewalk outside the Hollywood Pussycat Theater.

But this is where it gets tricky: Until the end of her life, Lovelace never really shied away from claiming that she was forced to do everything she did in the porn industry, and everything that goes with it. His films after Deep Throat played its fame from that first film, never reaching the level of success of the original – and certainly not its level of cultural acceptance. Lovelace’s contemporaries report having no idea that Lovelace was being forced into anything, although some agree that Traynor was abusive behind closed doors. The attitude of many was summed up by another 70s porn star and later porn advocate Gloria Leonardwho said that “she was a woman who never took responsibility for her own choices, but instead blamed everything that happened in her life on porn”.

In her two 1974 autobiographies, Lovelace defends porn and the right to sexual expression, portraying herself as a champion of free speech and free love. By 1976, she had survived heavy drug use and was born again; she had to be replaced on the film Forever Emmanuelle because she would have refused to do nude scenes.

Click to enlarge Lovelace in its heyday.  - YOUTUBE

Lovelace in its heyday.

Lovelace divorced Traynor in 1975 and married a blue-collar cable installer named Larry Marchiano in 1976. They had two children – the first in 1977, the second in 1980. This was the year his third autobiography. This one, titled torture, was a 180-degree turn from her early pro-porn years, and Lovelace detailed how much of what she did was metaphorically or literally at gunpoint: porn, rape, prostitution, everything. For most of the early 1980s, she teamed up with several feminist activists linked to Women Against Pornography (WAP), including Gloria Steinem. She would later disavow her relationship with WAP, saying that once again she was being used by others for their own agendas.

It was in 1990 that Lovelace moved to Denver with her husband and two children when Marchiano’s drywall business failed. The couple divorced in 1996, but the two remained in contact until Lovelace’s death six years later; the family still resides in the Denver area today.

After her second divorce, and likely at least partly for financial reasons, Lovelace was back on the porn convention circuit, signing autographs and meeting fans to make ends meet. But for the past few years, she seemed content with everything she had been through and how she had managed to come out on the other side. In a 1997 interview on entertainment tonight, she summed it all up: “I look in the mirror and I look the happiest I have ever looked in my entire life. I’m not ashamed of my past or sad about it. And what people might think of me, well, that’s not real. I look in the mirror and I know I survived.

America never knew the real Linda; we only knew the character, the performer. But perhaps the fiftieth anniversary of Deep Throat will finally show him some respect.

And not just give another example of Linda Lovelace being used for someone else’s gratification.