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February 28, 2017

Classic Adult Stars Reveal Their Deepest Secrets In Final Golden Age Show

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif.—In what several observers called "the best show yet," on Sunday evening five retired adult stars entertained what is likely the largest crowd the Cupcake Theatre has seen in quite a while, with both humor and deep revelations about their lives, during the final show of David Bertolino's Golden Age of Adult Cinema series. The show kicked off shortly after 6 p.m. with actor Tom Byron filling in for the absent Paul Thomas to introduce the show's moderator, actor/comedian Nick Santa Maria—and getting in a little dig at his old pal Ron Jeremy seated at the corner of the stage, saying, "I don't know if you recognize me; I've done a couple of movies. I've actually done more than Ron Jeremy, who unfortunately passed away earlier." "Tonight you're going to get to know some of your lady heroes from days past," Santa Maria began. "Not too far past, but enough that you may want to say hello to them once more and get the stories behind the stories." With that, "Nate" in the control booth projected some classic clips of the evening's first guest, Rhonda Jo Petty, whom Santa Maria described as "the Farrah Fawcett of the adult cinema world"—and with good reason, since Petty became best known for her resemblance to Fawcett in 1978's Little Orphan Dusty. Petty attributed her Fawcett look in the movie to producer Jake Jacoby—and noted that Fawcett, who then was enjoying fame as a "Charlie's Angel," "wasn't very happy about it." Petty, it turns out, was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, which was largely farmland in her youth, but thanks to her construction worker dad, she came in close contact with plenty of Hollywood luminaries—she noted a long friendship with Max Baer Jr. (Jethro of The Beverly Hillbillies)—and motocross racers, of which her dad was also one. But Petty's childhood wasn't a particularly happy one. "Back in the '50s, the way I was raised, my grandmother was like Leave It To Beaver," she began. "Everybody wore the white aprons, the helmet hair, and if you got hit, you had to go home and nobody said nothing. My grandmother would always say, 'Go home; don't say anything.' We didn't talk about it, a lot of abuse." "My grandmother was wonderful, even though she was very high-strung," Petty later added. "The white kitchen, the white apron, the wig—and she would scrub everything. Oh, and the wooden spoon! But my grandmother had three boys, so I was the first granddaughter, so she absolutely fell in love with me." Petty's father died two years ago, but Petty said she'd forgiven him—in part for having been a sort of drug-abuser role model. "Growing up with him was a hell of a ride," she said. "My dad, back then, of course there was meth, which at that time was double-cross Bennies, so he'd always be going to work with a big jar of double-cross Bennies because he was the foreman of a construction company and they had to get the job done. It was just a normal thing. My dad was very speeded out. We had motorcycles in the garage. I lived my life as a child rebuilding bikes, and my dad was involved with some Hell's Angels, in that they would bring bikes in, rub numbers off, resell them. My dad was doing drugs, trafficking drugs—my dad was a character. Even though he was very abusive, it was just that day and age, and my dad liked to play the system, and there was a lot of drugs around. Like everybody thinks there's so much meth around and heroin around now? It was just as much back then. I started doing drugs when I was 12." Her drugs of choice at that time were "downers—the F40s, the F80s, the Pink Ladies"—and LSD—"Ohmigod, acid!" she exclaimed—and she spoke of partying with Cheech Marin (of Cheech & Chong fame). "There was always mescaline in the punch, and we'd go down and smoke pot with him and his dog with the bandana on him," she recalled. "I mean, the valley was just full of it, and we had really, really, really good acid!" But perhaps most intriguing was Petty's connection to cult leader Charlie Manson. "Where I lived in Chatsworth, we had horses, so me and my girlfriends, after school, we'd always ride our horses, and one place to hang out was Spahn's Ranch," she said, referring to the remote Chatsworth ranch near the soon-to-be-built 118 freeway where Manson and his acolytes had set up camp. "Spahn's Ranch was only a mile up the road, and he rented horses out, so it was a place for me and my girlfriends to go hang out and help rent out the horses. It was a good hang-out place for us, but then Charlie moved in. He scared the shit out of me. He had very dark eyes, and a lot of my friends that were in Chatsworth High School had older sisters and brothers that were 16 and 17 that were hanging out with him. For some reason, Charlie did not come near the 13-year-olds ... but as time went on and we hung out there, there were more and more people congregating there and running around naked and doing acid, and my mom kind of found out and she said, 'You're not going up there no more.'" And in a strange twist of fate, Petty revealed that after her mother became a Mormon, her mom's church bought the Spahn Ranch! Petty also admitted that she's bipolar, stating, "I think I tend to be very high-strung, very manic ... and maybe that's one reason I can do this business. I don't know if it's from the trauma in my life as a child and all the abuse. They have diagnosed me as bipolar; I just couldn't sleep and was very high-strung. I mean, I was just whipping it." As to how she got into XXX in the first place, she answered an ad from World Modeling for nude modeling, "So I went to Jim South and he started me off with just the covers of magazines, and it went from there to there to there. It was some money; I needed to eat; my family left me, and I was on the street, and Jim South, he's a great guy, thank God, and it was good money and he treated me good." She also noted that her dad was less than happy that she was working under her real name: "He called me and said he's gonna break my arms and legs ... I went into hiding for two years when Little Orphan Dusty came out." Petty then talked about the cross-over between mainstream Hollywood and XXX, noting that many crew members would do side work in adult, and that several of the Hollywood stars—notably Baer and pal Nick Nolte—wanted to come on adult sets to watch people fuck. Petty also had another brush with celebrity. "I worked for eight years on the road back East, headlining at the strip clubs because I got tired of making the movies, and the money was better headlining at the strip clubs, even though it was a lot of work ...," she recalled. "So I was working the Kentucky Derby one year, and I was standing at the front office inbetween the shows, and a black limo pulls up and guys in black suits walk in, and they wanted to see me and they handed me a box and they handed me an invitation to the Mile High Club, and then they handed me the president's pin, and inside that box on the lid, which I really didn't notice for a long time, was his room number at the Ramada Inn. And at that time, I was working and I wanted to go to the Kentucky Derby; I could give a shit." That room number, she said, belonged to George W. Bush. "Shame on him," was Petty's only comment. Kelly Nichols took the stage next, and in response to Santa Maria's first question, revealed that she was the oldest sibling of a Catholic family with five sons—"You know, no birth control"—and that when she stepped out of line, she "got a pounding" from her Midwestern mom, and spent a good part of her childhood taking care of her brothers, changing diapers and babysitting. "I was a loner," she admitted. "I read a lot. I was smart, but not smart enough to go to college, except for some art classes. I was very much a nerd: Comic books, Star Trek—I was a nerd, yeah, and back then, it wasn't cool to be a girl nerd. Now we revel in it. And my brothers had every comic book in the universe. Silver Surfer was my favorite. I'm a DC girl, but Silver Surfer, yeah!" "I was a good girl: No drugs, no sex till I was 18," she recounted. "I hit 18 and I picked the boy I wanted to fuck. He was playing ping-pong, he was watching Star Trek—I mean, why not? ... I felt totally free about it. My mom didn't talk that much about sex so it didn't build up any 'sex=bad'; it just wasn't talked about. It was just sex." Nichols switched from Catholicism to liberal Protestantism in her teens, though she's now mostly left religion behind. "I wanted to belong to something, and it also was a way of meeting cute guys," she said. She got a job doing commercial art, but decided that it wasn't really her thing. However, while she was waitressing to pay the bills, she saw an ad in a L.A. tabloid that offered $500 a day for nude work. "So I went down and checked them out, and sure enough, it was nude work, and like I said, I didn't really have a thing about my body or about sex; ikt just didn't seem to be a big deal," she said. "I have some fun stories about guys chasing me around a table, you know—a photographer would put in this much money and he had you for the day, and they weren't all professional; they would take advantage." During that time, Nichols developed her skill as a makeup artist, a profession she continues to practice today. "That started because I was doing the magazines, and I got into better magazines, and I was doing Chic and Hustler and Penthouse, and I met a photographer for Bob Vesey who was a really good photographer, and he liked my makeup," she explained. "I hadn't had any experience except what I had done on myself, and he started using me, and then word of mouth got around to other photographers, and so in the genre, I became a makeup artist, and I stopped doing as much magazine work and really made good money." From there, Nichols auditioned for some Hollywood roles, snagging the role of the murdered Dee Ann in The Toolbox Murders (1978), which got her her Screen Actors Guild card, though XXX wasn't far away. However, Nichols also did a stint as Jessica Lange's stuntwoman in the Dino DeLaurentis version of King Kong. "That was really fun!" she exclaimed. "I was working for a management company that got me these scream-queen films and magazines and bondage—it was kind of all in one, and they needed a stunt double for Jessica Lange because she was in New York filming being in the hand and all the New York stuff, and they needed someone on studio to do the hand scenes. They had these giant hands that had fur on them, and they would come down and one would ... pull your top off and stuff like that. They had me dress up in her outfit and stuff, and they had breakaway clothes and wraparound necklaces, and at one point, the robotics of the arm crashed and burned, so I was walking around MGM studios watching all the other movies because I had two weeks before they fixed the hands." In Toolbox Murders and, later, Dixie Ray Hollywood Star, Nichols worked with Hollywood celeb Cameron Mitchell. "He was weird but fun," she recalled of Toolbox. "I mostly saw him when he had his hood on, and he would walk around with his toolbox, and when we were actually getting killed, we were getting killed by special effects guys. He would be in the room and then they would cut in, but he had this thing where he came up with this [low moan] and he would sing while he was walking around, and the sound would follow him around, and we'd know, 'That's Cameron!'" Nichols also revealed that she almost joined the Marines, having been "seduced" by commercials for the service similar to those shown at the beginning of Private Benjamin—but when the recruiter asked her to take (that is, fake) another girl's test in exchange for a higher rating when she entered, she had second thoughts, and never showed up for boot camp. Today, Nichols continues to do makeup for XXX, and takes the occasional non-sex role: "Yeah, I'm happy," she concluded.  The evening's third guest was the multi-talented Annie Sprinkle, who described herself as "the Lily Tomlin of porn"—but also admitted to Santa Maria's description of her as a "sexologist, activist, ecosexual conceptual performance artist, lecturer and writer." "I was also the Yoko Ono of porn," she added. "I'm the Renaissance woman of porn." Born in Philadelphia, Sprinkle's family moved to Granada Hills when she was 5, and she claims she spent most of her youth in the family swimming pool, "hence the name 'Sprinkle'"—though she admitted that that attribution is only "partly" correct, which prompted Santa Maria to quip, 'Oh, how our president would love you!" Both of Sprinkle's parents were social activists of a sort—mom taught English as a second language, dad was a social worker and later a professor—who took the young Annie to protest marches for fair housing, etc., and got her involved in the Unitarian church. As a girl, Sprinkle was very shy, spending a lot of time in her bedroom doing paint-by-numbers and sand paintings, and even took tapdance and ballet lessons. But what "got me into sex work," she said, was the musical Gypsy, with Natalie Wood. "It was a very fantastic film. I think I was about 12 or 13 when it came out, and we went to the drive-in movie theater, and I just loved the burlesque—and she stood up to her mother at the end. I wanted to do that." At 14, the family moved to Panama for her dad's job, and it was there that Sprinkle discovered, at 14, psychedelics. "Everybody did them then; everybody," she averred. "In the '60s, millions of people were doing LSD in the '60s, literally millions of Americans, so it was a very big thing and it was the hippie times and 'just say know,' and we were exploring, and it was a very pivotal thing for me, although I wasn't prepared and I didn't know what we were doing. I was on the beach, and no one prepares you for altered states of consciousness and so that was my first experience with altered states of consciousness. The sex came later." It was through her parents that Sprinkle met sexologists Vern and Bonnie Bullough. "They were my parents' best friends, and they were very important sexologists; they wrote 60-something books, and they had this incredible sexology library, and we were allowed to look at it. ... My parents didn't talk about sex much at all, but the books were there so we could learn." Eventually, Sprinkle moved to an artists' commune in Arizona with her first boyfriend, then moved to Tucson to work as a popcorn seller in a movie theater, and it was there that she came in close contact with the adult industry in the form of Deep Throat director Gerard Damiano, when her theater was busted for showing the ground-breaking film. "It was the first adult film I saw and I was just mesmerized," Sprinkle recalled."I couldn't believe that they actually filmed sex. I was really surprised ... I saw this giant blowjob and it was fascinating. ... The state police came in and shut down the theater. I wasn't at work that day, but 'interstate transportation of pornography' was the legal excuse they use to arrest people, and they could close down a movie if they thought it was obscene. So Deep Throat went to trial to see if it was obscene, and it was just the most playful, fun, innocent movie, and I met Gerard Damiano becausde the film was busted and he had to appear as a witness and I had to appear as a witness because I had sold the popcorn." Sprinkle fell in love with the married Damiano and became his mistress—"I was 18, he was 46 and a charming, talented, beautiful man"—and the pair went to New York where he got her a job at an adult production house—and the rest is history. "One day, Harry Reems couldn't get it up and I became a fluffer first," she revealed. "He was in trouble that day and I just really felt sorry for him—and the next day, [producer] Leonard Kirtman asked me if I wanted to make a film. ... It was an irresistible pull to make sex, which I was really enthusiastic about, and filmmaking." Sprinkle also voiced her approval of Xaveria Hollander, the "Happy Hooker" who penned a memoir of the same name. "You have to imagine, the words 'happy' and 'hooker' were an oxymoron," she said. "People just all thought that if you were a hooker, into prostitution, you were a terrible mess, and she came out for whore pride, and so in '75, I joined COYOTE, Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics, and tried to decriminalize prostitution, and I was in the prostitutes' rights movement for a long time, and unfortunately we've really lost ground and it's illegal." The porn actress support group Club 90 was the next topic of discussion, and Sprinkle explained how it was formed by Gloria Leonard, with "permanent" members including herself, Kelly Nichols, Candida Royalle, Veronica Hart, Veronica Vera and Sue Nero. "We started sharing information and who to work for and going around and supporting each other," she explained. Finally, Sprinkle talked about her successful battle with breast cancer, her partner Beth Stephens, the documentary they made on coal mining and an upcoming one on water ("Water Makes Us Wet"). "We're ecosexuals," she declared. "We're all really into imagining the earth as a lover, and it's a conceptual art project—and I have to just brag, I've achieved my wildest dreams miraculously. ... Now I can retire. This is the last thing I'm doing," she concluded. (The audience made it clear that they hoped this was NOT the last thing she'll do in adult.) The last official guest, and by all measures the quietest, was Serena, who thanked the audience for "giving up your Oscar night" to be there—and who had some of the evening's most interesting stories to tell. For example, she stated that she had been born under an oak tree at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains when her father was driving her mother to the hospital and baby Serena just couldn't wait. "The doctor only charged us half price [for] cutting the cord," she said. Serena lived in a variety of different houses growing up, largely because her parents were into home renovation long before it became popular, and once they'd finished with one house, it was on to the next. She also revealed that her mother was a follower of Vedanta, a form of Hinduism, and that her house was host to a variety of religious iconography. Professionally, her mother was a keypunch operator at Paramount Studios, and her grandfather painted movie posters, called one-sheets, for various Hollywood studios, some of which can be seen in the poster collection Now Playing. Her father, however, suffered an accident at work and was hospitalized for several months with a leg injury and forced to undergo several operations. It was really awful," she stated. "He was on crutches for years and it was bad. He was really crippled in my childhood." But perhaps Serena's biggest revelation was that she had been diagnosed as bipolar, which in part inspired her autobiography, Bright Lights Lonely Nights. "Probably the reason I ended up in X-rated films was because I was bipolar, because I was such a wild child," she said. "I was so wild, and I couldn't be contained, and when I was manic, I was excellent as an actress; I made everybody cum in sight. I was eating them up and sucking them down; I was wild! I was manic. You have to understand, that was my mania, and when I'd go home, I would be depressed and crying for weeks on end, hiding under the covers and you couldn't talk to me." The other inspiration for the book was the fact that Serena had fallen through a plate glass window, which put her in a coma for a time and gave her amnesia. "I was trying to regain memories from the '70s and trying to piece it all together because it was a jigsaw puzzle," she explained. "It took me about two years to remember, or walk, even ... and I took another year learning how to write, and then after about two years, I kind of started remembering things but I'd remember like segments of my life, and I still only remember pieces," she revealed. "All of a sudden a big block of my life will come back, but on the other hand, a lot of it, I don't want to remember." The actress also gave a small eulogy for Bill Margold, whom she described as "my big brother in porn." "Bill Margold, we protected each other; he protected me in porn and took care of me and he was always my agent through the years," she stated. And still, the revelations continued—like the fact that she had had mainstream actor Warren Beatty as a paramour—"He lasted in bed for like nine hours," she claimed—and that LSD and marijuana were her drugs of choice. She also marched on Washington in the '80s with the National Organization for Women. "I was definitely a feminist," she said. The evening's final guest was a very special one: multi-award-winning actress Ginger Lynn, the industry's first contract star. "I am such a fangirl," she began. "I'm sitting here and watching these beautiful, intelligent, amazing artists and I'm going, 'Ohmigod, is this the coolest event ever?' And I know all these ladies and to listen to your stories, I love you even more." Born in Rockford, Illinois—"I can milk a cow," she informed. "Very helpful later in my career"—Lynn pulled no punches in describing her mom as "a psychotic bitch. She's batshit crazy; a sociopath; she's really fucked up." "She does things, and they're evil and awful and wrong, and they seem perfectly normal to her," Lynn continued. "And the things that she does, it's because she loves you, and she'll do something really awful and be smiling while she does it, and everything is made up; there's no reality in it, and it's jsut kind of scary. The way I dealt with it is, I pretended that my entire life was a soap opera, and everything that happened was part of a script and I was one of the characters." Lynn's other family history was no less strange. She stated that her grandmother had been a prostitute in Georgia, and had been impregnated by an American Indian man who had been raised by a Southern Baptist minister and his wife. The pair got married, bore her mother, and "the hooker didn't want her so she left her at the hospital. The hooker's sister raised her and then after five years, she didn't want her anymore, so the Baptist minister and his wife, they adopted my mother and also adopted her father, so it's like one of those, 'Really?!?'" Eventually, Lynn managed to get to California—and wound up in prison, thanks to a complicated series of events. "Back in the day, Traci Lords, underage—oh, yeah; love that woman; hope her tits rot and fall off," she began, adding, "Somehow, I get a knock on the door; I'm asked to testify against 64 adult film producers on Traci's account. I turned them down. The U.S. Attorney comes in; I go before the grand jury, have a really bad memory, and five years later, I'm charged with wilfullly subscribing to a false tax return. I'm facing six years federal time. I spent $400,000 on the trial for a crime I didn't commit, over $2,087.04. I get 750 hours community service, three years probation and mandatory drug testing. So I'm doing great; two years I've got it together; my probation officer's like, 'Okay, you get to do things now; you get to go to Cannes for the film festival.' So I go to Cannes, and I'm engaged at the time, which is not unusual for me—I've been engaged nine times, never married—so I fly to Cannes, I run into an old boyfriend, I'm wearing an engagement ring. The old boyfriend is Charlie Sheen, so Charlie and I fly off to Vienna, and we're just partying like crazy and Kiefer's there and all these famous people and we're partying, and I come back and I have a new probation officer, and I have to go pee in a jar, which I haven't done in a long time, and so my prison is my fault: I failed my drug test, and so I ended doing four months, 17 days; I spent time in MDC-LA, I learned how to mix and fix heroin; I know how to start a fire with a pencil, nail clippers, cotton ball and an electrical outlet, and I learned to assume the position. I didn't fuck anybody in there, but my acting came in very handy." Eventually, Lynn wound up in a halfway house, where she was allowed to leave during the day to go to work—which included an audition for the then-popular TV series NYPD Blue, where Lynn was supposed to say to series star Dennis Franz, "I want to lick your lollipop." "So I get all pissy, and I'm like, 'I'm not saying "I want to lick your lollipop,"' and I called my agent and I'm like, 'I'm leaving,'" she recounted. "And he says, 'Get your ass back in there, get the role, and then you leave.' So I go back in and I just try not to sit on her [Traci Lords, who was also auditioning], and she goes in, she comes out; I go in, and it's the first audition I ever went on where I didn't give a fuck; I know that when I'm done, I'm going back, I'm gonna piss in a cup in front of somebody and then hope I live through the night—I walked in, I did the audition; Steve Bochco was there; he said, 'You're on hold for the next two weeks.' I get in the car; my agent calls, he says, 'You've got the role,' and I'm like, 'Do I have to say the lollipop line?' Because I don't—okay, I'll say it,' and he says, 'No, you got the role.' So I filmed NYPD Blue in prison, and every day I would go back and forth, and I beat Traci Lords out of it." Santa Maria went on to draw Lynn out about some of her other mainstream roles, including Vice Academy 1-3 and the TV series Silk Stalkings—and she noted that her NYPD Blue episode had been nominated for five Emmys and won three. The conversation then turned to her relationship with mainstream actor Charlie Sheen. "I knew Charlie 20, 25 years ago," she said, "and when I knew him, he was young, he was just coming off Platoon; I was just coming out of porn, leaving it; we met and I was working on Young Guns 2, and Charlie wanted to meet me—I'd heard around that he wanted to for a while and I knew he loved to fuck—it was like this little bit of porno pride: 'I'm not gonna fuck you.' I don't know; it was like that star thing; I don't know." Eventually, however, the two did meet, "and we had five years, off and on; two good solid years and then whatever. But the Charlie I knew, one of the nicest guys I ever met. I don't know him today, but he was kind, he was charitable, he was generous, he was just this really, really good guy, very smart, very good to me, and I don't have one bad thing in my experience to say about him." Bringing the discussion up to today, Lynn revealed that she is in her "first relationship that I've never cheated on my partner—that's huge for me, and it's like eight years ... but pussy is a whole 'nother story. I love girls, so I get a weiner when I want and pussy when I'm lucky enough to get it." She also disclosed that her son is doing well in high school; that she spends a lot of her time painting canvases, which she sells to fans and other collectors; and that she's working on a book. "I'm working on a book, which I have been for 30 years," she stated, "but I started over sober and so now that I'm sober, I'm 200 pages in, and there's just so many stories. The book is right now called, 'I Don't Look Good On Paper,' because if you think of it, single parent, abused child, drug addict, hyper-manic, psychotic, I dated Charlie Sheen—you know, it just doesn't look good. But I have about a hundred stories of some like really fucked-up, awesome things, so I'll tell the story, just a couple of paragraphs, and you're gonna go 'Fuck!' because you don't know who it is. But there's a column at the end of 100 names, and so you get to match the name with who did what!"—including the one about the mainstream actress who wanted to pay Lynn $10,000 to come over and fuck her dog! "That whole story is in there," she assured, however noting, "I did not fuck the dog. I thought about it but I didn't fuck the dog." "I will explain this," she added. "Everybody in here, you've got a thing that you masturbate to; everybody does, and you would never tell anybody. That's one of mine: I masturbate thinking about fucking dogs. Would I ever fuck a dog? No." And with that, the show concluded, and everyone poured out into the lobby to talk with the stars and buy their photos, DVDs, movie poster and even VHS tapes. Among the celebs we spotted in the crowd were director Luc Wylder, actresses Veronica Hart, Melissa Hill and Lily Cade, and Dr. Susan Block, who had arranged to broadcast a special edition of her show from the theater. Pictured, l-r: Nick Santa Maria, Ginger Lynn, Annie Sprinkle, Serena, Kelly Nichols, Rhonda Jo Petty.

 
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