Linda Lovelace (born Linda Susan Boreman; January 10, 1949 – April 22, 2002) was an American pornographic actress known for her performance in the 1972 hardcore film Deep Throat. Although the film was an enormous success at the time, Boreman later said that her abusive husband, Chuck Traynor, had threatened and coerced her into the performance. In her autobiography Ordeal, she described what went on behind the scenes. She later became a born again Christian and a spokeswoman for the anti-pornography movement.
An undated photo of Lovelace
Linda Susan Boreman
January 10, 1949
|Died||April 22, 2002 53) (aged|
|Cause of death||Injuries sustained in a car accident|
|Other names||Linda Lovelace, Linda Marchiano|
|Occupation||Pornographic actress, memoirist|
(m. 1971; div. 1974)
(m. 1974; div. 1996)
Boreman was born in the Bronx, New York, into a working-class family. She described her upbringing in an unhappy family, as the daughter of John Boreman, a police officer who was seldom home, and Dorothy Boreman (née Tragney), a waitress who was harsh, unloving, and domineering. She attended private Catholic schools, including Saint John the Baptist (Yonkers, New York) and Maria Regina High School. Linda was nicknamed "Miss Holy Holy" in high school because she kept her dates at a safe distance to avoid sexual activity. When Boreman was 16 her family moved to Davie, Florida, after her father retired from the New York City Police Department.
At the age of 19 she gave birth to her first child, whom she gave up for adoption. Shortly afterwards, she returned to New York City to live and go to computer school. There, she was involved in an automobile accident, sustaining injuries that were serious enough to require her to undergo a blood transfusion. The transfused blood had not been properly screened for hepatitis contamination, which caused her to need a liver transplant 18 years later.
While recovering at the home of her parents, Boreman became involved with Chuck Traynor. According to Boreman, Traynor was charming and attentive at first, then became violent and abusive. She said he forced her to move to New York, where he became her manager, pimp, and husband.
Allegedly coerced by Traynor, Boreman was soon performing as Linda Lovelace in hardcore "loops", short 8 mm silent films made for peep shows. Boreman starred in a 1969 bestiality film titled Dogarama (also known as Dog Fucker). She later denied having appeared in the film until several of the original loops proved otherwise. In 2013, Larry Revene, the cameraman who actually shot the film, spoke about it for the first time, during which he asserted that Boreman was a willing participant and that no coercion took place. Porn star Eric Edwards, who was present for the shoot, has similarly claimed there was no obvious coercion going on and that Boreman appeared to be a cooperative performer.
In 1971, Boreman also starred in the golden shower film titled Piss Orgy.
In 1972, Boreman starred in Deep Throat, in which she famously performed deep-throating. The film achieved surprising and unprecedented popularity among mainstream audiences and even a review in The New York Times. It played several times daily for over ten years at theaters in the Pussycat Theater chain, where Boreman did promotions, including leaving her hand and footprints in the concrete sidewalk outside the Hollywood Pussycat. The movie later became one of the first, and highest-grossing, X-rated videotape releases.
Media career after Deep Throat
In December 1973, Boreman made her theater debut in Pajama Tops at the Locust Theatre in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The production suffered disappointing box office performance, which led it to close early, and Boreman's performance was panned.
In 1974, Boreman starred in the R-rated sequel, Deep Throat II, which was not as well received as the original had been; one critic, writing in Variety, described it as "the shoddiest of exploitation film traditions, a depressing fast buck attempt to milk a naïve public."
In 1975, Boreman left Traynor for David Winters, the producer of her 1976 film Linda Lovelace for President, which co-starred Micky Dolenz. The film showed her on the campaign trail following a cross-country bus route mapped out in the shape of a penis. However, her career as an actress failed to flourish, and her film appearances add up to five hours of screen time. In her 1980 autobiography Ordeal, Lovelace maintained that those films used leftover footage from Deep Throat; however, she frequently contradicted this statement. She also posed for Playboy, Bachelor, and Esquire between 1973 and 1974.
During the mid-1970s, she also took to smoking large quantities of marijuana combined with painkillers, and after her second marriage and the birth of her two children, she left the pornographic film business.
In 1974, she published two "pro-porn" autobiographies, Inside Linda Lovelace and The Intimate Diary of Linda Lovelace.
In 1976, she was chosen to play the title role in the erotic movie Forever Emmanuelle (also known as Laure). However, according to the producer Ovidio G. Assonitis, Lovelace was "very much on drugs" at the time. She had already signed for the part when she avowed that "God had changed [her] life", refused to do any nudity, and even objected to a statue of the Venus de Milo on the set because of its exposed breasts. She was replaced by French actress Annie Belle.
Charges against Chuck Traynor
In her suit to divorce Traynor, she said that he forced her into pornography at gunpoint and that in Deep Throat bruises from his beatings can be seen on her legs. She said that her husband "would force her to do these things by pointing an M16 rifle at her head." Boreman said in her autobiography that her marriage had been plagued by violence, rape, forced prostitution, and private pornography. She wrote in Ordeal:
When in response to his suggestions I let him know I would not become involved in prostitution in any way and told him I intended to leave, [Traynor] beat me and the constant mental abuse began. I literally became a prisoner, I was not allowed out of his sight, not even to use the bathroom, where he watched me through a hole in the door. He slept on top of me at night, he listened to my telephone calls with a .45 automatic eight shot pointed at me. I suffered mental abuse each and every day thereafter. He undermined my ties with other people and forced me to marry him on advice from his lawyer.
My initiation into prostitution was a gang rape by five men, arranged by Mr. Traynor. It was the turning point in my life. He threatened to shoot me with the pistol if I didn't go through with it. I had never experienced anal sex before and it ripped me apart. They treated me like an inflatable plastic doll, picking me up and moving me here and there. They spread my legs this way and that, shoving their things at me and into me, they were playing musical chairs with parts of my body. I have never been so frightened and disgraced and humiliated in my life. I felt like garbage. I engaged in sex acts in pornography against my will to avoid being killed... The lives of my family were threatened.
Lovelace's accusations provoked mixed responses. Traynor admitted to striking Lovelace but said it was part of a voluntary sex game. In Legs McNeil's and Jennifer Osborne's 2005 book The Other Hollywood, several witnesses, including Deep Throat director Gerard Damiano, state that Traynor beat Boreman behind closed doors, but they also question her credibility. Eric Edwards, Boreman's co-star in the dog sex films and other loops that featured her urinating on her sex partners, similarly discounts her credibility. According to Edwards, Boreman was a sexual "super freak" who had no boundaries and was a pathological liar. Adult-film actress Gloria Leonard was quoted as saying, "This was a woman who never took responsibility for her own [...] choices made; but instead blamed everything that happened to her in her life on porn." Corroboration for Lovelace's claims came from Andrea True, Lovelace's co-star in Deep Throat 2, who, on a commentary DVD track of the documentary Inside Deep Throat, stated that Traynor was a sadist and was disliked by the Deep Throat 2 cast. Andrea Dworkin stated that the results of polygraph tests administered to Boreman support her assertions. Moreover, psychiatrist Judith Lewis Herman notes that many details in Lovelace's memoir Ordeal are consistent with a diagnosis of Complex PTSD, such as Lovelace's description of a fragmented personality in the aftermath of alleged abuse. Because of the circumstances of her upbringing, however, it had ceased to be clear whether the abuse came from Traynor or from Boreman's parents.
Eric Danville, a journalist who covered the porn industry for nearly 20 years and wrote The Complete Linda Lovelace in 2001, said Boreman never changed her version of events that had occurred 30 years earlier with Traynor. When Danville told Boreman of his book proposal, he said she was overcome with emotion and saddened he had uncovered the bestiality film, which she had initially denied making and later maintained she had been forced to star in at gunpoint.
Marriage with Marchiano
In 1976, Boreman married Larry Marchiano, a cable installer who later owned a drywall business. They had two children, Dominic (born 1977) and Lindsay (born 1980). They lived in Center Moriches, a small town on Long Island. Boreman was then going through the liver transplant that her injuries from the automobile accident had necessitated, owing to the poorly screened blood she received in the transfusions. For a while, marriage and particularly motherhood brought her some stability and happiness. However, Marchiano's business went bankrupt in 1990, and the family moved to Colorado.
In The Other Hollywood, Boreman painted a largely unflattering picture of Marchiano, claiming he drank to excess, verbally abused her children, and was occasionally violent with her. Their divorce in 1996 was civil, and the two remained in contact with each other for the remainder of her life.
With the publication of Ordeal in 1980, Boreman joined the anti-pornography movement. At a press conference announcing Ordeal, she leveled many of the above-noted accusations against Traynor in public for the first time. She was joined by supporters Andrea Dworkin, Catharine MacKinnon, Gloria Steinem, and members of Women Against Pornography. Boreman spoke out against pornography, stating that she had been abused and coerced. She spoke before feminist groups, at colleges, and at government hearings on pornography.
In 1986, Boreman published Out of Bondage, a memoir focusing on her life after 1974. She testified before the 1986 Attorney General's Commission on Pornography, also called the "Meese Commission", in New York City, stating, "When you see the movie Deep Throat, you are watching me being raped. It is a crime that movie is still showing; there was a gun to my head the entire time." Following Boreman's testimony for the Meese Commission, she gave lectures on college campuses, decrying what she described as callous and exploitative practices in the pornography industry.
In The Other Hollywood, Boreman said she felt "used" by the anti-pornography movement. "Between Andrea Dworkin and Kitty MacKinnon, they've written so many books, and they mention my name and all that, but financially they've never helped me out. When I showed up with them for speaking engagements, I'd always get five hundred dollars or so. But I know they made a few bucks off me, just like everybody else." Thus Tom Leonard, writing for the London Daily Mail on March 26, 2012, alleged that both the porn industry and the anti-pornography movement had taken advantage of her. In the Daily Telegraph, former call girl Dr Brooke Magnanti wrote, "The anti-porn movement seized on her story without providing the good support structure necessary to moving on with her life. Objectifying her, really. Was it much different from what she had been experiencing her entire life?"
Last years and death
Boreman had contracted hepatitis from the blood transfusion she received after her 1970 car accident and underwent a liver transplant in 1987. In 2001, she was featured on E! True Hollywood Story. The following year she did a lingerie pictorial as Linda Lovelace for the magazine Leg Show. She said she did not object to the magazine shoot because "there's nothing wrong with looking sexy as long as it's done with taste."
On April 3, 2002, Boreman was involved in another automobile accident. This was more serious than the 1970 accident that had injured her. She suffered massive trauma and internal injuries. On April 22, 2002, she was taken off life support and died in Denver, Colorado, at the age of 53. Marchiano and their two children were present when she died. Boreman was interred at Parker Cemetery in Parker, Colorado.
Boreman's participation in Deep Throat was among the topics explored in the 2005 documentary Inside Deep Throat.
Indie pop singer and songwriter Marc with a C released a 2008 album titled Linda Lovelace for President, which contained a song of the same name.
The country songwriter and singer David Allan Coe wrote a song called "Linda Lovelace" which is featured on his 1978 album Nothing Sacred. The same song appears on his 1990 album 18 X-Rated Hits under the title "I Made Linda Lovelace Gag".
In 2008, Lovelace: A Rock Musical, based on two of Boreman's four autobiographies, debuted at the Hayworth Theatre in Los Angeles. The score and libretto were written by Anna Waronker of the 1990s rock group That Dog, and Charlotte Caffey of the 1980s group the Go-Go's.
Lovelace is one of the main characters of the 2010 stage play The Deep Throat Sex Scandal by David Bertolino. The play follows the life and early career of Harry Reems as he enters the pornography industry, eventually filming Deep Throat and its resultant infamy and obscenity trial in Memphis, Tennessee, and Lovelace is a central figure. In July 2013, an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to make a film version of the play raised over $25,000.
As of 2011, two biographical films on Boreman were scheduled to begin production. One, titled Lovelace, went into general release on August 9, 2013, with Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman directing, Amanda Seyfried as Lovelace, and Peter Sarsgaard as Chuck Traynor. Lovelace received a limited release in 2013, but ultimately, despite drawing many positive reviews, it was a box-office failure. The other, titled Inferno: A Linda Lovelace Story, starring Malin Åkerman, was to be directed by Matthew Wilder and produced by Chris Hanley and was scheduled to begin filming in early 2011. Due to a lack of financing it never went into production.
Boreman has been the subject of five biographies, four written or co-written by her:
- Inside Linda Lovelace (1974), Linda Lovelace, ISBN 0-902826-11-5
- The Intimate Diary of Linda Lovelace (1974), Linda Lovelace, ISBN 0-523-00394-3
- Ordeal (1980), Linda Lovelace and Mike McGrady, ISBN 0-517-42791-5
- Out of Bondage (1986), Linda Lovelace and Mike McGrady, ISBN 0-425-10650-0
- The Complete Linda Lovelace (2001), Eric Danville, ISBN 0-9705502-0-0
- Jack Stevenson (ed): Fleshpot: Cinema's Sexual Myth Makers & Taboo Breakers (Headpress, England 2000). This features an interview with her.
- Briggs, Joe. "Linda Lovelace dies in car crash - UPI.com". United Press International. Archived from the original on April 23, 2015. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
By 1980 she had become a mother of two, a born-again Christian, and a feminist -- and was living on welfare as her husband tried to make ends meet as a cable installer on Long Island. She had already become the feminist poster child for the demeaning effects of pornography, turning up in Andrea Dworkin's 1979 book "Pornography: Men Possessing Women."
- Standora, Leo (April 23, 2002). "Ex-Porn Star Lovelace Dies After Crash" Archived July 15, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Daily News. WebCitation archive.
- "Linda Lovelace" Archived May 24, 2018, at the Wayback Machine. The Daily Telegraph. April 24, 2002
- Briggs, Joe Bob (April 25, 2002). "Linda's Life". National Review. Archived from the original on March 29, 2007. Retrieved March 16, 2007.
- "Linda Lovelace". Arlindo-correia.org. Archived from the original on January 21, 2013. Retrieved April 27, 2013.
- Lovelace, Linda; McGrady, Mike (2000). Ordeal. Citadel Press. p. 110–114. ISBN 0-8065-0687-3.
- Larry Revene: Loops and Organized Crime Archived July 31, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, The Rialto Report Archived July 27, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, May 12, 2013.
- Saraccino, Carmine; Scott, Kevin M. (2008). The Porning of America: The Rise of Porn Culture, What It Means, and Where We Go from Here. Boston, MA: Beacon Press. pp. 15–16. ISBN 978-0807061534.
- Linda Lovelace, Ordeal, pages 105–113 and 194, cited by "PETA and a Pornographic Culture, II". by Carol Adams, Feminists for Animal Rights, April 1994. Retrieved July 17, 2007.
- "Eric Edwards: Twilight of a Shy Porn Star". October 6, 2013. Archived from the original on August 10, 2016. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
- Saraccino, Carmine; Scott, Kevin M. (2008). The Porning of America: The Rise of Porn Culture, What It Means, and Where We Go from Here. Boston, MA: Beacon Press. p. 16. ISBN 978-0807061534.
- Canby, Vincent. The New York Times. January 21, 1973
- Bronstein, Carolyn. Battling Pornography: The American Feminist Anti-Pornography Movement, 1976–1986 Archived July 29, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. 2011. Cambridge University Press. Page 75. Archived at Google Books. Retrieved May 6, 2012.
- Collins, William B. (December 29, 1973). "Critic Raps Linda's Latest Acting Effort". Willoughby News Herald. Knight Newspapers. Archived from the original on October 27, 2017. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
- "Play is Closing". Uniontown Evening Standard. Associated Press. January 15, 1974. Archived from the original on October 27, 2017. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
- Saraccino, Carmine; Scott, Kevin M. (2008). The Porning of America: The Rise of Porn Culture, What It Means, and Where We Go from Here. Boston, MA: Beacon Press. p. 15. ISBN 978-0807061534.
- Statement by producer Ovidio Assonitis in the featurette "Emmanuelle Exposed" on the 2007 DVD release of Laure (1976), Universal Product Code 891635001230
- MacKinnon, Catherine A. (2006). Are Women Human?: And Other International Dialogues. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
- MacKinnon, Catharine; Dworkin, Andrea (1997). In Harm's Way: The Pornography Civil Rights Hearings. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. pp. 206–213. ISBN 0-674-44578-3.
- Herman, Judith (1992). "Complex PTSD: A Syndrome in Survivors of Prolonged and Repeated Trauma". Journal of Traumatic Stress. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell. 5 (3): 377–391.
- Deep Throat: Damiano, Lovelace.. and “Lovelace” Archived September 29, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, The Rialto Report, 8 September 2013
- "Linda Lovelace dies at 53 of injuries suffered in car accident" Archived May 17, 2017, at the Wayback Machine. Lodi News-Sentinel. April 24, 2002. Page 15. Archived at Google News.
- Leonard, Tom (March 26, 2012). "Abused by the porn industry AND her feminist saviours: How Deep Throat star Linda Lovelace's tragic life was a very modern morality tale" Archived May 13, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Daily Mail.
- Legs McNeil and Jennifer Osborne. The Other Hollywood. 2005. HarperCollins. Page 439.
- Magnanti, Brooke (August 13, 2013). "The naked truth of the Linda Lovelace story, an abused woman who left her abuser, is powerful stuff"
- Lovelace, Linda; McGrady, Mike (2006). Ordeal. Citadel Press. p. 7. ISBN 0-8065-2774-9.
- "New Liver for Linda Lovelace". The New York Times. Reuters. March 7, 1987. Archived from the original on December 20, 2008. Retrieved March 16, 2007.
- de Vries, Lloyd (April 23, 2002). "'Linda Lovelace' Dies". CBS News. Archived from the original on October 6, 2013. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
- Smith, Lori (February 1, 2012). "People: 'Big' wants scene with Sarah Jessica Parker in 'Lovelace'" Archived October 6, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. The Denver Post.
- Peterson, Eric. Ramble Colorado: A Wanderer's Guide to the Offbeat, Overlooked, and Outrageous Archived March 16, 2017, at the Wayback Machine. Archived at Google Books. Retrieved May 6, 2012.
- Markoff, John (January 19, 1992). "David Gelernter's Romance With Linda". The New York Times. Archived from the original on April 22, 2016. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
- Marc with a C. "Linda Lovelace For President". Marc with a C Official Page. Archived from the original on September 18, 2016. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- "The David Allan Coe Band* - Nothing Sacred". Discogs. Archived from the original on December 30, 2016. Retrieved December 29, 2016.
- "David Allan Coe - 18 X-Rated Hits - The Best of Both X-Rated Albums". Discogs. Archived from the original on December 30, 2016. Retrieved December 29, 2016.
- Verini, Bob (October 27, 2008). "Review: 'Lovelace a Rock Opera'". Variety. Archived from the original on September 16, 2016. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- "THE DEEP THROAT SEX SCANDAL MOVIE" Archived August 7, 2013, at the Wayback Machine Accessed December 15, 2013.
- A Linda Lovelace movie (or two) fights on Archived January 31, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, 24 Frames (blog), Los Angeles Times, April 28, 2011.
- The Race to Release the First Linda Lovelace Biopic Archived February 8, 2012, at the Wayback Machine by Mark Kernes, AVN, May 2, 2011.
- "Malin Akerman Hoping Her Lovelace Film Is Finished Before Kate Hudson's", ContractMusic.com, April 25, 2011. WebCitation archive.
- Pham, Thailan (November 21, 2010). "Lindsay Lohan Loses Porn Biopic Role to Malin Akerman – Lindsay Lohan, Malin Akerman". People. Archived from the original on January 31, 2011. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
- Finke, Nikki (November 20, 2010). "Lindsay Lohan Dumped For Malin Akerman In Matthew Wilder's Linda Lovelace Biopic –". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on January 22, 2011. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
- Martens, Todd (May 17, 2003). "Musical traces life of Deep Throat star". Archived from the original on April 16, 2010. Retrieved August 12, 2009.
- Pussycat Theaters - a Comprehensive History by Jay Allen Sanford, published 6-30-10
- Pussycat Theater History - San Diego Reader
- Linda Lovelace (1949–2002) @Arlindo-Correia.org– Collection of Linda Lovelace obituaries and other articles.
- Linda Lovelace at Find a Grave
- 'Larry Revene: Loops and Organized Crime', The Rialto Report An interview with the cameraman on one of Linda Lovelace's loops.
- Linda Lovelace on IMDb
- Linda Lovelace at the Internet Adult Film Database
- Linda Lovelace at the Adult Film Database
- Deep Throat: Damiano, Lovelace.. and “Lovelace” at The Rialto Report, 8 September 2013