Linda Lovelace - World's First Porn Star (1949 - 2002)

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Linda Lovelace is a pornographic actress who rose to prominence after appearing in the 1972 film 'Deep Throat.'

 

Who Was Linda Lovelace?

Linda Lovelace became a household name in the 1970s as the star of one of the first full-length pornographic films, Deep Throat. However, there was a dark story behind her celebrity, according to reports. Her mother abused her as a child, and her first husband forced her to watch porn. Lovelace, once the industry's biggest star, later spoke out against porn, testifying before Congress about its dangers. She died in Denver, Colorado, on April 22, 2002.

 

Early Life

Linda Lovelace was born Linda Susan Boreman on January 10, 1949 in New York City. Lovelace rose to prominence in the 1970s as the star of the first full-length pornographic film, Deep Throat. However, there was a dark story behind her celebrity; according to a Boston Globe article, she was frequently abused by her mother as a child.

Lovelace began dating Chuck Traynor in her early twenties. She married him to get away from her family, but she ended up in an even worse situation. Traynor allegedly forced her to engage in pornography. She later claimed that he had complete control over her life and threatened her with physical harm if she did not perform or tried to leave him. Traynor denied the charges against her.

 

'Deep Throat'

Deep Throat, her most well-known film, was released in 1972 and swept the country. Lovelace co-starred with seasoned porn actor Harry Reems. The thin plot revolved around a woman who visits a doctor to resolve her sexual angst. Unlike other pornographic films of the time, it attempted to incorporate humor alongside the film's sexual aspects. Despite its triple X rating, it became popular with mainstream audiences and earned approximately $600 million. Not bad for a film that only cost $25,000 to produce. Lovelace, on the other hand, reportedly saw no money from Deep Throat and claimed that her husband received around $1,250 for the project.

 

Controversy

Deep Throat sparked a national debate on obscenity with its numerous graphic sex scenes. Several groups protested the film and the porn industry, including the Nixon administration, Christian leaders, and feminist activists. Police raided movie theaters across the country, and the film's print was frequently seized by authorities. Fines were also imposed on some projectionists. While Lovelace faced no legal challenges, she was called to testify in one of many court cases in 1973 regarding its "obscene" content. A Supreme Court ruling that same year resulted in a crackdown on extreme pornography, but the uproar over Deep Throat only increased interest in the film and boosted ticket sales.

Lovelace left Traynor not long after Deep Throat and attempted to launch a career as an actress. However, her celebrity did not translate into any significant legitimate roles. Deep Throat Part II (1974), an R-rated sequel, and Linda Lovelace for President (1975), an X-rated film, were both box office flops.

 

Personal Life

While Lovelace was professionally frustrated, she found some personal happiness around this time. She married Larry Marchiano, who was by her side when she told her story in Ordeal (1980), which detailed her abusive relationship with Traynor. Lovelace claimed in the book that Traynor kept her as a prisoner and forced her to perform obscene sex acts by pointing a gun at her as a form of intimidation. According to her book, he also forced her to have sex with other men for money.

Lovelace, once the porn industry's biggest star, spoke out against pornography, testifying about its dangers before Congress and other bodies. She also discussed her heinous experiences in a variety of forums, including the book Out of Bondage (1986). But she and her young family struggled financially. Marchiano had been unemployed for some time and had worked in a variety of low-paying jobs. Her health suffered as well. According to a Los Angeles Times article, Lovelace required a new liver after hers was damaged by hepatitis contracted from a blood transfusion in 1970. In 1987, she received a kidney transplant.

Lovelace and her family relocated to Denver, Colorado, in 1990. The couple divorced in 1996, but she remained in the area and worked. According to The New York Times, she also began appearing at memorabilia shows, where she was greeted warmly by fans. Lovelace died on April 22, 2002, in Denver, Colorado, of injuries sustained in a car accident on April 3, that year. Her ex-husband and their two children were present when she was removed from life support.

 

Legacy

Many consider Lovelace to be pornography's most famous star, as well as one of the industry's most respected performers. Lovelace, a film about Lovelace's life and career starring Amanda Seyfried as the famous porn star, was released in 2013. The film, directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, is based on Andy Bellin's screenplay and follows Lovelace from the age of 20 to 32.

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