Friday, February 14, 2014

Gloria Leonard, Pornography Star and Advocate


Gloria Leonard, Publisher, Pornography Star and Advocate, Dies at 73

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Ms. Leonard Evart Enterprises
Gloria Leonard, who became a pornographic film star in her 30s and then a men’s magazine publisher and a prominent spokeswoman for her industry, died on Monday in Waimea, Hawaii. She was 73.
The cause was a stroke, her daughter, Robin Leonardi, said.
Ms. Leonard took a decidedly atypical path into pornographic movies in the 1970s, a time many in the industry now regard as its golden age, when films had story lines and actors enjoyed some crossover appeal with mainstream audiences. She was a divorced single mother, much older than most starlets and had held other jobs, including as a Wall Street broker and publicist.
“I was a fairly liberated lady, and I figured this would be the supreme test of just how liberated I really was,” she told The Miami Herald in 1983.
Her first credited role was in “The Opening of Misty Beethoven” (1976), Radley Metzger’s erotic reimagining of George Bernard Shaw’s play “Pygmalion.” She went on to appear in dozens of films, including “Odyssey: The Ultimate Trip” (1977), directed by Gerard Damiano of “Deep Throat” fame, and “All About Gloria Leonard” (1978), based on her memoirs, which she also directed.
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Gloria Leonard in 2006. Ted Davis
Ms. Leonard’s background in public relations, as well as her high profile on screen, led to her hiring as the publisher of the men’s magazine High Society in 1977, a job she held for more than a decade while continuing to appear in and direct films.
One feature she introduced to the magazine showcased risqué photos of celebrities like Jodie Foster and Goldie Hawn, usually lifted from film stills. “We were sued by a number of celebrities, including Barbra Streisand and Ann-Margret, and we won every case,” Ms. Leonard said in an interview with The Rialto Report, a website and podcast dedicated to pornographic cinema. A sultry recording of her voice on an answering machine previewing the magazine’s next issue proved so popular that it inspired the magazine’s Living Centerfold Telephone Service, one of the first phone-sex lines, in 1983. About 500,000 to 700,000 callers each day paid to listen to recorded messages on answering machines.
Ms. Leonard defended the pornography industry and her participation in it, appearing on talk shows and in debates on college campuses with feminists who regarded the business as misogynistic.
“I said the whole point of the women’s movement is for women to choose whatever they want to do,” she said “Why should my choice be considered any less or more valid than your choice?”
Ms. Leonard was born Gale Sandra Klinetsky in the Bronx on Aug. 28, 1940. Her first two marriages ended in divorce. She was separated from her third husband, Bobby Hollander, a producer and director of pornographic films, when he died in 2002.
After she left High Society, Ms. Leonard was the administrative director of the Adult Film Association from 1989 to 1992. In 1998 she became president of the Free Speech Coalition, a pornography industry trade group. At her death she lived in Hawi, Hawaii.
Besides her daughter, Ms. Leonard is survived by a granddaughter.
Ms. Leonard said that she had no regrets about her career, but that she thought the sex-film industry had been cheapened by the ubiquity of video. Anyone with a video camera “can rent a hotel room and make a porno these days,” she told The Rialto Report. She added, “I don’t know that anyone will remember the girls of today’s porn.”


Jump to:Overview (4) |Mini Bio (1) |Spouse (1) |Trade Mark (1) |Trivia (5) |Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth28 August1940, The Bronx, New York, USA
Date of Death3 February2014 , Hawaii, USA (stroke)
Birth NameGail Klinetsky
Height5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Gloria Leonard, the doyenne of the erotic film industry, was born Gail Leonardi on August 28, 1940 in The Bronx, New York. Blessed with a 40-33-37 figure and 5' 9", the brown-haired, brown-eyed porn star from porn's "Golden Age" (1972 until the advent of video tape) made movies under her own name as well as the alias(es) C. Gale Leonard and Gail (or Gayle) Leonard.

She appeared in approximately 70 adult films before taking over "High Society" magazine in 1979. In her 14 years as publisher of "High Society", she created the genre of "Celebrity Skin". The magazine also was a pioneer in the phone sex industry.

Miss Leonard served as the administrative director of the Adult Film Association from 1989 to 1992, until the AFA merged with the Free Speech Coalition. Gloria returned to the porn industry in 1997 and was elected president of the Free Speech Coalition in 1998.

She was married to the fabled porn producer Bobby Hollander. They divorced in 1990.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Spouse (1)

Bobby Hollander(21 March 1981 - 1990) (divorced)

Trade Mark (1)

Exotic Erotic

Trivia (5)

Prior to her porn career, she was a stockbroker on Wall Street.
Served as administrative director of the now-defunct Adult Film Association, the pornographic film industry trade association, from 1989-1992. Leonard was kicked out after the merger of the AFA with the Free Speech Coalition (FSC) as FSC board members didn't want an outspoken former porn star to be the face of the new organization, and they objected to her demand that the term "Adult" be retained for the new organization's title. "Many of us are motivated by passion and principle rather than just profits." Ironically, after leaving the industry for several years in the 1990s, she was elected president of the FSC in 1998, one year after her return to porn production.
Leonard grew up in New York. She worked on Wall Street for three years as a registered representative of the now defunct Schweickart and Company. Leonard also worked for various PR firms. She started out as a copywriter for Electra Records when they were "just a little one-room office in Greenwhich Village.
"High Society" magazine owner Carl Ruderman hired Leonard to be the publisher of the men's magazine to give it the unique twist of having a woman as the head of its editorial operation. As publisher from 1977-91, Leonard pioneered the (un)coverage of celebrities (in its "Celebrity Skin" features and stand-alone magazines) and telephone sex.
Profiled in the book "Golden Goddesses: 25 Legendary Women of Classic Erotic Cinema, 1968-1985" by Jill C. Nelson.

Personal Quotes (1)

[on her 14-year stint as publisher of "High Society" magazine] I started supervising layouts, shoots, writing a lion's share of the copy, including cover lines. I went out on the road and visited many of our wholesalers. There were 400-500. They in turn distributed to the retail level. I met with everyone from the truck drivers to the company principals. I examined bulk records to see how many copies an agency was getting. How many magazines they were returning. I did four to seven media interviews a day at times, depending on what "High Society" wanted to promote.

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