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Linda Lovelace is a pornographic actress who had instant success with the 1972 film Deep Throat.
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As the star of the first full-length pornographic film, Deep Throat, Linda Lovelace became a household name in the 1970s. But there was reportedly a dark story behind her fame. She was often abused by her mother growing up, and her first husband forced her into porn. Once the industry’s biggest star, Lovelace later stood up against porn, testifying about its dangers before Congress. She died on April 22, 2002, in Denver, Colorado.
Linda Lovelace was born Linda Susan Boreman in New York City on January 10, 1949. As the star of the first full-length pornographic film, Deep Throat, Lovelace became a household name in the United States in the 1970s. But there was reportedly a dark story behind her fame; she was often abused by her mother growing up, according to an article in the Boston Globe.
In her early twenties, Lovelace began dating Chuck Traynor. She married him in part to escape her family, but ended up in an even more harrowing situation. Traynor reportedly forced her into doing pornography. She later claimed that he controlled every aspect of her life and threatened her with bodily harm if she did not perform or tried to leave him. Traynor denied her charges.
Her most well-known film, Deep Throat, was released in 1972 and took the nation by storm. Lovelace starred with Harry Reems, a seasoned porn actor. The thin plot revolved around a woman who goes to see a doctor to sort out her sexual frustration. Unlike other porn films of the time, it tried to incorporate humor alongside the sexual aspects of the film. Despite its triple X rating, it became popular with mainstream audiences and eventually earned around $600 million. Not bad for a film that cost $25,000 to make. But Lovelace reportedly saw no money from Deep Throat and said that her husband received around $1,250 for the project.
With its numerous graphic sex scenes, Deep Throat stirred up a national debate on obscenity. Several diverse groups, including the Nixon administration, Christian leaders, and feminist activists, protested against the film and the porn industry itself. There were police raids of movie theaters across the country often with the film’s print being seized by the authorities. Fines were also levied against some projectionists. While Lovelace faced no legal challenges, she was subpoenaed to testify in one of many court cases against its “obscene” content in 1973. A Supreme Court ruling that same year led to a crackdown on hardcore pornography, but all of the outcry about Deep Throat only generated more interest in the film and spurred ticket sales.
Not long after Deep Throat, Lovelace left Traynor and tried to launch a career as an actress. But her notoriety did not translate into any substantial legitimate roles. She did an R-rated sequel, Deep Throat Part II (1974), and starred in Linda Lovelace for President (1975), which was rated X, but both were box office duds.
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